In his wonderful book ‘Introduction to Christianity,’ Pope (emeritus) Benedict XVI spoke of Christianity in the ‘ghetto’ of irrelevance, particularly in Europe, in the period immediately surrounding the collapse of socialistic dictatorships in, and around, the year 1989. This period marked a significant loss of the Christian spirit of discipleship after Europeans, particularly the youth, jumped on the Marxist bandwagon in hopes of a do-it-yourself utopia, only to be discouraged from all ‘meta-narratives’ claiming truth and salvation, to include Christianity.
And this has left a continent hungering for God, only to self-feed on worldly ‘spirituality,’ religion and mysticism void of Revelation, and the ‘dictatorship of relativism.’
To make matters more relevant, isn’t this the situation America is currently in?
In the face of the consequences of Nietzsche, and the despair that ‘God is dead,’ Christianity has three things to offer the world in a response that sings with joy and hope, ‘He is Risen!’
1) We must offer the God of both Judgment Day (Truth, free will, purposeful life, the dignity of every human person) and the Merciful Lord of the Cross and the empty tomb. The God who ‘judges and suffers.’ The God of Justice and Mercy, compassion and Truth.
2) We must offer the God who ‘sets limits and standards for us.’ This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ This is the God of virtue, holiness, and the path to perfection in the Holy Spirit. This is the God who gives all things meaning, even suffering.
3) We must also offer the ‘Alpha and the Omega,’ our Creator and our Redeemer, our beginning and our end, our means and our end, our birth and our salvation, and our Father and our beatitude.
In doing so we reveal the Person of God, the Trinity of Love, the face of God in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit of His Body in the Church to a world seeking His transcendence when He offers his Loving immanence.