I really like your lecturers. They're depressing and I don't mean that in a bad way. On this topic you are challenging me. I'm finding my view of the world very limited and I'm realising how little I know.
We live in a world where we are becoming increasingly conditioned to have goals in life. To achieve these goals all we need are a step of achievable targets and if we achieve these everything else falls into place and we reach our goals. Universities are now for most students just places where, provided you jump through enough hoops, you get your worthy degree and that is just another target to tick off the list. Thinking for yourself is not on the agenda. Being challenged to alter one's perceptions is an alien concept and one this student had obviously not considered before. The use of the word "depressing" is very interesting.
The effervescent Young Fogey, Fr. Jay Toborowsky has a good post where he contrasts the attitude of parents to catechism classes to attitudes towards sporting commitments. Basically, in general parents will bend over backwards for sporting coaches but not for a priest and his catechists.
Isn't the issue here that the sporting coach has goals, targets and all manner of incentives to get the parents and youngsters motivated. The Church only has the goal of Eternal Life and that just doesn't attract! Few these days seem so motivated. What is wrong with folk??! The Church has the ultimate goal and few seem able to comprehend it because it can't be broken down into bite sized targets that stir ones motivation.
The problem is targets. The journey of the pilgrim is an internal one; getting closer to God in one's heart. It is not something your parents can brag about to the neighbours. You don't get any medals for it. There is no graduation ceremony here on earth. Confirmation itself (the enrollment to the whole proceedings) so often is seen as a cultural rite of passage or just something to please grandma.
Ironically, in yester year the Church had more managable targets; novenas, chaplets, plenary indulgences, pligrimages, Trinity walks, guilds. These are now so unfashionable with the local heirarchy as being somehow primitive and even bad. On their own they probably won't get you to Heaven, but they can't hinder your progress, so how can they be bad?
What do the wise ones give us in their place: Live simply! Recycle some paper and buy some Fair Traid products and think about poor people far far away, cook a trendy meal, have a walk with some friends...lame isn't it? Well it is worthy in a small way, but can all be done without any recourse to Holy Mother Church (Triumphant or Militant)....that is why it is lame. The Body of Christ is almost excluded from the proceedings and the proceedings would probably work quite well without this inconvenience. If this seems like I'm venting my spleen and I'm being unfair, please let me know and I will remove this paragraph.
The Church can't compete with soccer coaches because the language of the Church is now so alien from the everyday speak sporting coaches use:
Souls, resurrection of the body, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, sin, passion, caritas, the Fall, redemption, intercession, obligation, grace, peace...I don't think any of these are on Auntie Adrienne's list of inaccesible works like concupiscence or hermaneutic, but they might as well be as our youth have been strangualted by a curriculum of relevance and blandness that has obliterated their vocabulary.
We just look a like a bunch of weird nut cases....What can we do? Our catechisis can almost seem aimless because the language of salvation is not special, desired or known by our youth.