So I went on this amazing retreat a week ago. I have yet to write about it, but I do have this to share…

There were reading rooms in the main building on the property. I dubbed them The Scary Reading Room and The Safe Reading Room. Here are some books I found in the scary reading room, and all I could ask myself as I walked out, shaking my head, was, “Is it any wonder the Church is going through all this mess right now?”

This first book was written in 1948. I’d actually like to get my hands on it because I was surprised that they were discussing these changes to the Mass that early.

43243172_295322431073573_3558200677534531584_n43133270_460479504438721_4435032342800629760_n43057096_182352866014015_3197208152319721472_n

Aaaand then I saw the book (below) by Sister Joan Chittister, Climb Along the Cutting Edge.  I’m sorry. I don’t have any eye bleach for you. The cutting edge of what, Sister Chittister? You went over the edge a long, long time ago. Oh, but it gets worse, look at the name of the book next to Sister JC’s book: Naming Your GOD, by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. I don’t even want to know. God told us His name. That’s all we need to know. If you feel you have to name your God, your God might be yourself. Keep going left: Shaping the Coming Age of Religious Life. Seeing as it was published in 1979,  in the midst of the mass post-Vatican II abandonment of religious life, I have to wonder if the book talks a lot about the shape of future religious life as being a “formless void.” Fortunately, the more traditional, faithful orders are bursting at the seams!

43043462_992614050911167_1513713613762723840_n

And so it was no surprise that I saw this book, published in 1980, in the same room. Get a load of the chapter names. This is another I’d like to get my hands on. I’ll bet it’s awfully prophetic!

43091927_252345398800159_7191213303043981312_n.jpg43061468_2199052383714083_6465424779900878848_n.jpg43163657_939315166252710_350987012351721472_n43045115_509212956214038_8948587957766324224_n

Alas we are in a veritable battle, but I must say I am heartened by the response of the troops! While the responses of particular members of the church hierarchy may be disappointing/lacking (sorely) in certain respects, overall, the Church is rallying, revivifying, and rediscovering her roots. This is, at least, what I am seeing and hearing. It kind of reminds me of the chorus from Chumbawamba’s song “Tubthumping”:

 

The Church may get knocked down, even–and especially– by those within, but you can’t keep the Church down. She’ll only come back stronger!