Again and again, the Anglican theologian Kenneth Leech strikes me as one of the most important voices in contemporary Christian spirituality. Here is a passage from an introduction he wrote to a book, now long out of print, called Three Spiritual Directors for Our Time (by Julia Gatta, published by Cowley Publications, 1986):
The demand for spiritual direction, which has become something of an epidemic in parts of the United States, is an understandable reaction against consumerism. But it is all too easy to make “spirituality” another commodity or product to be promoted within a social and political framework which is taken for granted. Private spiritualities, safe, unprophetic, wholly inward, are very popular… The demand for direction within the churches has come at a time when perhaps they were least equipped to provide it. A church which has ceased to pray, ceased to challenge the principalities and powers, and become concerned more with the provision of comfort than with transformation, is in a weak position to guide… But the recovery of an authentic Christian mysticism is one of the greatest needs of our day.
Preach it, Ken!
What do you think? Do you agree with Father Ken that the church today “is in a weak position to guide”? What are we to do about this sad state of affairs?