Friday, December 05, 2014

Encountering Christ...

...was the topic of a lecture by Fr Michael Holman, former headmaster of Wimbledon College, organised by the Catholic Union, and held at the London campus of Notre Dame University (which is just off Trafalgar Square). It was thoughtful and challenging - asking how we can help young people to discover Christ as a true friend, to have a real relationship with him...recognising the sad reality that so many young people cease attending church after about the age of 14 (with Confirmation being widely named as the "sacrament of departure"), and asking important questions about how families and Catholic schools can open up the way to change that...

Families are central of course - part of the essence of God's plan for humanity.Celebrating the message of Christ at home, in the feasts and seasons, the traditions and ceremonies that mark the Church's year and our a discussion, when we were invited to think about the people who had most influenced our faith and its practice, parents and family were the first people mentioned.

A Catholic school has a particular role - you cannot love what you do not know, and young people have a right to know about Christ.

Among much else, Fr Michael quoted from - an unlikely source - the spiritual autobiography of a former Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham The Door Wherein I went.  Hailsham writes of  discovering the lovableness of Christ, the joy and vibrancy he communicated...a Person you could love, and want to know for always.

"When I am asked about the utility of Christianity I must point to the consolations of living your life in the companionship of this person who commands your love and adoration precisely because having been through it all and sympathizing with it all he cheers you up and will not have you sad. Your shame at your own misdoings and shortcomings, your sense of awe and fear of the divine majesty, your broken heart in the presence of sickness and bereavement melts in the prsence of this person into the sheer wonder and delight which the happiness of his presence excites."

1 comment:

Savonarola said...

417Is "the sheer wonder and delight which the happiness of his presence excites" what the churches radiate? Clearly not, seeing that most people want nothing to do with them. But can you blame them when the Catholic Church is more intent on upholding rules and regulations than it is on showing Christlike compassion to those whose lives have got out of order?