After a year, I am back. The dialogue had been side-tracked: the good intentions were there; the focus was missing. As I adjust my ministry responsibilities, I plan to re-energize my efforts to carry on an ever-widening conversation.
As 2011 enters its final quarter, there are personal mile-stones that have brought me along to a crossroad--I've turned 70; Joanne and I have been married 40 years; I will have been ordained 25 years; our sons and their wives have been married 10 years--I am ready to cross into a new horizon or two during what I hope will be my next 30 years of life.
One focal point for me will be anticipating the October 12, 2012 50th anniversary of the start of the Second vatican Council. The vision and spirit (yes, there is a genuine spirit of the Council that, fragile as it may presently be, can be named and fostered)--the vision and spirit of the Council will be the context for some of the themes I would suggest as the basis of our dialogue.
How can anyone harken back to some Catholic good old days? Particularly if you were really alert and alive, say, in the '40s, 50's and preConciliar '60s. Do we really want to return to a wall-surrounded Church, a Church with all the answers to no longer real questions, a Church that really did not, in practice, recognize the dignity of the human person?
To be sure there were seeds being sown in those preConciliar decades that would come to fruition as the Bishops of the world came together during those eventful days a half-century ago. Liturgical, scriptural, historical, psycholigical and philosophical perspectives were slowly reviving the dialogue with "the world" which effectively had been "officially" shut down for a few centuries.
My hope and prayer for this blog is to enable that dialogue to have one more place to continue.