For the past weeks I’ve been getting to know my computer like never before. Many, many hours I’ve been sitting here at work, first to revise the web site (www.renewthechurch.com), and more recently to reformat my books on spirituality and prayer for the new e-readers, the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Why? Glad you asked.
The world is in a dangerous position, more so than I’ve ever seen. And I remember the drills in elementary school, hiding under our desks, in preparation for possible nuclear attack! But this is different – a different and deeper danger, reaching down into the soul of America where we are now most vulnerable. America hardly knows who she is anymore. A profound moral confusion has crept in among us, and into many, many of us. Right and wrong have intermixed and blended. Reality and fantasy, truth and lies – the polar opposites that used to be fundamental to defining the character of men and women, have found a deadly compromise. We have become as a nation weak and shallow, and dangerously vulnerable to what is most dangerous and lethal: the lie.
So for some years I thought that our greatest need was truth – the Gospel truth of sin and salvation, forgiveness, righteousness and holiness. But I come to believe now that it is not doctrinal accuracy that we need the most, nor the teaching of Christian morality, nor the meaning of the sacraments. Yes, Catholics are poorly catechized on these important matters, and they are important! But I have come to believe that prior to substantive knowledge, prior to right education, something else must be in place or it is all building on sand. We need to meet Christ; we need to encounter Him, and be encountered by Him. We need to come face to face, so to speak, with the supernatural and eternal that alone unmasks the falsity and hypocrisy and duplicity now so common and unremarkable. We need to find God and be transformed, lest we will never break the hold the world has on us.
So, back to my wrestling with website design, html code, .gif and .mobi and .prc and formats that e-book readers can work with. Maybe if I can get my two humble little books on prayer and Catholic spirituality out there, persons can be helped to pray and to grow in prayer – and there, in the silence and solitude of prayer, maybe persons can seek the One who seeks to be found. Until we meet Him, doctrine remains on the surface, morality remains law, sacramental grace remains much squandered and mostly lost.
We need to discover prayer, the holy communion of prayer. We need to touch Him and be healed. We need to be converted, and renewed, and consecrated and sent. The world needs a holy Church, as darkness needs light. And the darkness seems to be growing.