Reclaiming "Catholic" without qualifiers. Before Vatican II, the only subgenres of Catholics, it seems were lapsed ones and ethnic ones. Since then, no one is satisfied to be just Catholic and no one believes the person next to them in the figurative pew is a real Catholic. Why? How did this happen? What can we do about it?
Respecting modern doubt. Many people want to believe in God, but "can't," and I don't think believers take this seriously enough, casting unbelievers as nothing but willful, obtuse and prideful. I don't think this is true. I think a lot of people really want to believe. They might even want to believe in the Christian God. But so much - questions of theodicy, the power of the materialist worldview, their experience of content non-believers, the hypocricy of believers, the incredible, seemingly endless diversity of faith claims...all work against it. What is our answer?
Jesus for Catholics..and everyone else. Jesus is the absolute core of my faith. I can cogitate about God-questions all day long, and they get me everywhere and nowhere, but when I come back 'round to Christ - that He was and He rose and I can't intelligently discount that nor its consequences, it all makes sense. Or, at least more sense. Does Catholic life and practice give the impression that the Living, True Christ is what we're about? Do we meet a doubting world with Christ or...with something else? Why?
So yes, I'm thinking about these things. And please, I love you all, but just because I''ve cut the comments this weekend doesn't mean that's an invitation to email me with your thoughts. My email account will probably collapse over the weekend anyway, so let's not add to it. We'll talk on Monday.