Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Hour Has Come for a Re-Evangelization

Whole countries and nations where religion and Christian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and working community of faith, are now put to a hard test, and in some cases, are even undergoing a radical transformation, as a result of a constant spreading of indifference to religion, of secularism and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-called First World, in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with a tragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains a life lived “as if God did not exist”. This indifference to religion and the practice of religion devoid of true meaning in the face of life’s very serious problems, are not less worrying and upsetting when compared with declared atheism. And although it survives in some of its traditions and rituals, the Christian faith tends as well to be separated from those moments of human existence that

have the most significance, such as birth, suffering and death. In such cases, the questions and formidable enigmas posed by these situations, if remaining without responses, expose contemporary people to an inconsolable delusion or to the temptation of eliminating the truly humanizing dimension of life that these problems cause.

(Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles laici, Pope John Paul II, No 34, December 30, 1988.)