Recent article in First Things: any opinions?


“Dismantling the Cross” by Patricia Snow:

I don’t really have any specific questions, so I’m just throwing it out there for comment.


There’s a lot going on in the mind of Patricia Snow. I believe the informed public perception and regard for the clergy and religious life has, throughout history, been mixed.

Many positives, and many negatives. There have been times when the Church was extremely influential in all aspects of life - education, science, commerce, and government. And there have been times of poor leadership, corruption, and mismanagement. And there have been centuries of tremendous progress and hope for mankind.

But the Church endures. Looking back on history, no other organization has remained after governments rise and fall, nations collapse, and cultures come and go. The Church has continued on through the ages. For many reasons. But one thing remains which stands out for me…

Namely, that anyone with a sense of purpose and the intent to live a life of service for others can find a path in the Church. Whether it is in the formal priesthood, brotherhood, sisterhood, lay ministry, volunteerism, or simple parish involvement, the Church offers many pathways for anyone who is willing to participate. The doors are wide open.

Each person must discover, or choose their life purpose, or mission. And that is constantly evolving for each individual as they live their days and years on this earth. Indeed, there are a hundred ways to skin a cat.

What is right for one person (priesthood, brotherhood, sisterhood), does not necessarily fit for another. It’s a symphony of ideas, lifestyles, callings, choices, and missions. Those called to orders can do incredible things collectively by living and working together in religious societies. No question about it. Again, it is people living a life of love and service to one another, and society.

The public perception will always be varied. For who is to know what is truly the optimum way to live. It’s ultimately an individual choice and exercise of free will. Inspiration, purpose, and mission must be sought. And we know that true passion, happiness, drive, and a meaningful lives blossom as by-products when people live their lives on purpose. Sharing that sense of purpose and commitment is a very powerful thing. And it endures because when people choose to carry out their missions or vocations, they cannot be discarded and their lives can’t be defeated - individually or collectively.


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