“Is it correct to say that the fostering of tradition has obtained the upper hand, that the dynamic, realistic element of religion has been extinguished and that the faithful do not find the answers to their vital questions? The dissatisfaction of so many with the Church is condensed in the accusation that it exhausts itself in dead rites, that it has a fixation about an unintelligible structure of dogmas by which it supports an artificial world. They complain that within the precincts of the Church, nothing of the dynamism of the Gospel to change the world makes itself felt. Instead, they assert that they find there a wasteland, ennui, resignation and the lack of contact with life, that a spirit foreign to the world exists in the Church which does not influence the reality of the external political and social situation.”
“For that reason it becomes necessary to investigate thoroughly why religious life, despite constant efforts, produces no convincing radiation. In ecclesiastical life the expression of faith – as found in the sacraments and the liturgy – and the individual’s experience of life no longer overlaps. In the prayers, readings and sermons the assembled faithful hear: “We are redeemed and freed.” But a large part of the congregation feels little of the redemption, and the burdens of life remains the same as before. Once upon a time the sacred texts directly supplied the experience of redemption. They revealed what happens when the healing springs of religion gush forth: people are freed from isolation, loneliness and all spiritual and even corporeal sufferings (cf Lk 6:18).”
“The redemption once experienced became a belief of the Church. The effects of baptism – originally the process of an adult’s becoming new in a lived process – became the content of a teaching that hardly has a relationship to actual life.”
Guido Kreppold, OFMCap
The Sermon on the Mount: Between Spirituality and Utopia (St. Pauls Philippines)
Couldn’t be less truer in this largely Christian country where former “leaders” exemplified by GMA can turn religious denominations, (which include the Evangelical Christians), into their political playgrounds and some religious leaders into their puppets.