Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Consecrated Religious

With the lapse of so many orders into the New Age chaos of the 1960s-70s it is heartening to remember that it is part of an ancient process the Church has gone through many times before--of decadence and ultimate renewal--as noted by this article from Catholic Education Resource Center.

An excerpt.

“He worked closely with Mother Teresa in encouraging Religious sisters whose own communities had lapsed into some of the follies of the social chaos of the 1960s and '70s. Some of those communities sadly never recovered from that confusion. Many became disoriented in their theology and spirituality, keeping at best a tenuous relationship to Catholicism.

“One recent consequence was the ill-advised decision of some Religious to ignore our bishops by endorsing the present government's health-care legislation. Groups such as Network and the Catholic Health Care Association preferred Caesar's coin to maintaining a prophetic witness to the dignity of life according to Catholic principles. Thirty pieces of silver in inflation-adjusted dollars are still thirty pieces of silver. That great reformer of conventual life, St. Teresa of Avila, once prayed, "How is it, Lord, that we are cowards in everything, save in opposing Thee?" Actually, the number of Religious who lost their way is not as great as some publicity has claimed, and the orthodox Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, established in 1992, has said that they "believe the bishops' position is the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church."…

“Happily, if there is a natural selection in biology, there is certainly a supernatural selection in Religious life. While communities of Religious who opted for some vague New Age spirituality are aging and looking more like decaying infirmaries themselves, new Orders are forming with young and vibrant vocations. The cycle of decadence and renewal is part of the organic life of the Church and, while exacting a sad cost to souls, is also the engine of great hope.”