Looking forward

I hear the longing for things to be as they once were.

I hear it when I sit with elders in a circle during an event at the spirituality center where I minister, when they express concern about the lack of young adults, youth and children in their churches. I hear it when I talk to catechists at area parishes and they share their hope that young adults who’ve left the church after confirmation will return once they miss the sacraments and want their children to learn the faith. I hear it when I listen to some elder sisters in my community, when they express sadness that there aren’t large groups of young women applying to join our congregation every year.

I get it. It’s normal to hold out hope that things will go back to what we once knew, what made sense to us. I understand.

Yet, I also struggle with the notion, with the longing for things to be as they once were.

I aim to lovingly listen when elders express disappointment about the era we’re in now. But I don’t tell them that I hear their grief…

[This is the beginning of my latest column for the online newspaper, Global Sisters Report. Continue reading here.]

Photo by Sandra Wattad on Unsplash

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  1. Julia, this is by far the best reflection on this topic I’ve ever read. I’ve heard recently my pastor state after frustration eith similar questions: gazing at the cross, “Jesus, this is your Church. I’m going to bed.” Another thought…as a Church historian, looking over the past 2000+ years I recognize that the Church has undergone lots of dark spells and still lives. That’s the Holy Spirit’s work. These remind me that ultimately God is in charge, God is all good, God intends only good for Creation, and we can trust that.

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