In some ways, it is the best of times, as well as the worst of times. We have far more solid resources at our fingertips than anyone has ever had in previous generations -- all sorts of biblical and theological resources, ecclesial and historical documents, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, publishers like Ignatius Press, networks like EWTN and Catholic radio stations for the morning commute.
On the other hand, there is a certain growing anxiety about the confusing voices emanating from the Vatican, chancery offices, local parishes, as well as from the debates in print and online about what is going on. And not a little ennui and general weariness from information overload and the taxing strain of following every unfolding story, scandal, or crisis.
Or, for example, this missive [slightly edited below], which popped into my email inbox just two days ago. The author is a self-identified former Methodist and Catholic convert, and he writes here, not with any evident regret about his conversion, but with palpable sorrow, perplexity, and frustration at the confusing state of affairs in the Church:
The princes of the Church don't seem to realize it, but their posturing before the world (most recently exemplified by their Synodical performance), places the whole Catholic project on a greasy plane that slides towards Alfred Loisy [an early Catholic modernist theologian]. Would everyone stop what they are doing and read Maisie Ward on Insurrection Versus Resurrection?And realize that she conducted the layman's definitive if now obviously premature autopsy on Modernism? Then we will realize that the 'resurrection' she sees is now being slowly undermined? Yes, "New Springtime," in a Church that encourages prayers to postconciliar popes? And who speaks for the Church today? Pope Francis? Cardinal Schönborn? Fr. Jim Martin? ... Forgive me Lord, but all I can muster right now is, "Wow..."Pray without ceasing, my friends, and drink deeply of the Sacraments! These are our lifelines.