Amy Welborn writes forcefully in “But do gird your loins” about the disconnect between church leaders and the young people they seek to engage.
I’d like to add an additional point that’s easy for in-church people to overlook: There’s a very good chance you are in church because you like it.
It is much, much harder to hold onto your faith if church is unpleasant for you. It is fathoms more difficult to be involved in parish and diocesan life if you don’t fit in with what’s on offer, for whatever reason.
For church insiders, it takes imagination and compassion to understand that other people don’t love the church activities that you love. They don’t enjoy your classes, and your potlucks, and your clubs, and your council meetings, and your little traditions that you, personally, find quite reassuring and satisfying. They are different from you.
It is very tempting to accuse them of being hard-hearted. But maybe they just have different tastes? Maybe meetings aren’t their thing?
And yet they still need Jesus Christ.
And maybe He has a vocation for them, doing His work, that isn’t about one more meeting at all.
Photo: People leaving Mass circa 1970, public domain, part of an EPA project on religion in America. Click through to read the associated description, an eloquent sermon of its own, for those with ears to hear. The use of all-caps in the mile-long title is a flourish of unexpected brilliance.