My Homily today was a good opportunity to share these notes from Archbishop Aymond, delivered at our recent Priest Convocation in late September. They outline challenges which we face as a Presbyterate in today’s world.

Advent is always a reminder that we are situated in time, and that ‘we know not the day or the hour’. Rather we need to live simply, and to live prepared for the Coming of Jesus Christ — whenever that may be.

These pointers are also important for all of the Christian faithful, as these are signs of our times, which can cause us to fall off of the narrow path, and straight into the deadly abyss. Not to be morbid.

But here they are…

Archbishop Aymond’s Notes on the Future of the Presbyterate

    1. We have no quiet time in society, and have lost a sense of quiet, and of openness to the Sacred
      • Many people can go from dawn to dusk surrounded by noise, of all types.
      • Can we move people to quietness if heart?
      • Can we help to bring about a Sense of quiet and solitude to our people’s hearts?

A) Respect quiet times in liturgy
B) Foster adoration, quiet prayer, 40 hours devotion, lectionaries divina… Quiet times before meetings;
C) People should see us in prayer
D) Don’t be caught up with latest things in life… Be filled with prayer and quiet
E) Know Jesus and what he wants

    1. We’ve lost a sense of the personal
      • Concern for young adults, who are losing the skill of relating to the other one on one
      • Virtual-long distance relationships are becoming common and the norm.
      • Such can only affect a relationship with God, who is personal, and one on one with us.

A) we need to be one on one and very personal

      • Be very present and personal – there’s an intense need for that
      • The Incarnational aspect of our spirituality – We’re in the flesh, not virtual and long distance

B)Presence, not distance, is required of the Catholic.

    1. Responsibity Overload
      • People lead very, very busy lives, with increasing burdens and obligations.

A) God, church activities, are competing with priorities
B) So many people have scattered from the flock (we say honestly and sadly.)
C) People are caught up in personal bubbles.
D) Some feel that the Church is irrelevant, or they have been hurt by the Church.
E) How do we find the busy and the scattered – Knock on doors?
F) Preaching, music, and a sense of hospitality, all must be honed to perfection.
G) We are Shepherds, not functionaries. Shepherd the flock!

    • We must be Personal, one on one
  1. The Age of Relativism — We all Live in Bubbles
    • We need to proclaim the Gospel with an authentic, consistent life
    • And strive to be unifiers amongst signs and camps of division
  2. The Age of Addictions
    • Societally there is Rampant alcohol, drugs, and sexual addiction.
    • Pornography is perhaps the greatest addiction in the world, raking in more $$$ than the NFL and NBA combined

“We need a church who isn’t afraid of going forth into the night… Capable of meeting people wherever they are, inviting them to know Jesus more deeply” and walk the road to Emmaus.

Thus ends the notes of the Archbishop. Tying this in with Advent is obvious… these are the things which can strive for our time and lead us away from wholeness, and holiness. They are challenges with our families and children. our lives need to be a reflection with our relationship with Jesus Christ and of our union with the Catholic Church, and her rich Sacramental life. Let’s pray for each other during Advent.)