More on 19th Century Thinking

As the story below makes clear, many Catholics are also still stuck in the 19th and early 20th Century in assuming that the structures erected then are still doing the job for which they were erected. They aren’t. With the exception of a *very* few schools, most Catholics college are, in the words of Peter Kreeft, excellent places to go to lose your faith. We are in a period of transition. A huge portion of real Catholic education (and often *remedial* education aimed at undoing the damage done by apostate academics) is being done by what Evangelicals would call “parachurch ministries”: lay Catholics such as the Catherine of Siena Institute, or St. Joseph Communications, or Catholic Answers, or individual laypeople like the frighteningly productive and inventive Steve Ray (who makes the Catholic Faith as fun as an Indiana Jones movie) or Dave Armstrong or the wonderful maniacs at Envoy, of course, Scott Hahn (who retains the old-fashioned belief that the fruits of academic labor ought to benefit the people of God, not just tittilate other academics). And, those folks, of course are just a taste of the burgeoning work that’s being taken up out there because a) it’s not being done by the structures that were supposed to do it and b) it still needs to be done.

However, such work is, I think, definitely a work in transition. New structures will have to be created because apostolates that rely primarily on the charisms of individuals will necessarily die with the individual. There’s nothing wrong with individuals exercising their charisms. But in addition, we laypeople, working together with faithful clergy are going to have to create new and lasting structures to make sure the Faith is passed on to the next generation and spread over the world. How that will happen I don’t know. The first key is prayer since it’s the Spirit’s job to build the house. But it has to be done. The 19th Century and, indeed, the 20th, are history. In a very real way, the 21st Century belongs peculiarly to faithful laity. The sooner we realize that and get off our duffs, the sooner we shall see the Springtime of Evangelization which, I still believe, is God’s intention for the Church in our time.