firstname.lastname@example.org Previous articles by Chris
July 25, 2012 Chris McDonnell, UK
Are we listening?
We live in a noisy world. It is worth reflecting on the role that the Net has played in the discussions relating to our current Christian experience. On the question of the new translation of the Missal for example, it has been significant. The vast majority of the English speaking world have experienced the new text since Advent 2011. For others I believe that joy will arrive in the next few months.
Putting aside for the moment the issue of this text with all its problems, I would like to consider some of the issues relating to the use of the Net.
For the first time in the history of the Church, we have had the opportunity of an uninvited, worldwide, participatory discussion on significant changes and issues that affect the Church today. Rather than wait for a text to be offered via the usual channels, we have been able to voice an opinion and offer comment on the way through. It has been immediate and has not been dependent on the postal service, the press, or the reserve of an elitist group. That expression of opinion has come from a varied background, from scholars, laity, priests, religious, and the humble Joe Soap anxious that his or her small voice is heard.
Many comments have been searching and thought-provoking, reflecting the real anxiety felt by the contributors for the good of the Church. Others have been somewhat trivial, and at times lacking in charity. And some have been very funny, which is good, for an ability to laugh as we go through difficult times is a healthy condition. As James Joyce once said of the Catholic Church ...."here comes everyone"
The Net has offered an opportunity for reflective comment in a manner that is new in our experience. We all need to learn from the events and postings of recent months and appreciate the considered opinion all can make.
But in the noise of this exchange, can we also remember the value of silent reflection when we can be still, remembering the words of Isaac of Syria... "Love comes from prayer and prayer comes from remaining in seclusion".
Too much activity can get in the way and prevent our listening.