Aleteia has a very interesting interview with Fr Andrew Pinsent, the most brilliant priest of my diocese. He used to work on the CERN project, he was one of those scientists who was drawn into worship by the wonder of the infinite. I have always had a great admiration for him and his insights. The interview begins with Father saying:
We do a certain amount of pre-Communion preparation and maybe confirmation preparation and that gradually dies off into adulthood. If a student is lucky enough to have a good university and a good university chaplaincy, there’s a chance of getting input during university years. After that, in my experience, there’s almost nothing.A lot of it is about Evangelium, which he co-authored with that other remarkable priest Fr Marcus Holden, there are lots of interesting insights throughout, but this is perhaps the most important.
When you think about it, this is completely crazy. They expect young people to go out with pre-Communion training into the world, and be fruitful as Catholics.
Well perhaps by some miracle, some of them still go to Mass and some still practice their faith, study their faith and so on. But what we’re doing doesn’t seem very sensible.
Grace is actually the number one issue in the Church and in Catholic theology today. And the issue is really this: What is a Christian? In practice, in the minds of many Catholics today, a Christian is really just like anyone else, perhaps just trying to be a bit better. And this is not what a Christian is.
A Christian, by grace, becomes an adopted child of God, able to call God “Father.” That’s a unique privilege of the grace of Baptism, and people don’t know this. What we’ve got actually is not anonymous Christianity; it’s more like anonymous Buddhism with Christian language. That’s quite a common kind of spirituality today.
What I want to do is recover a healthy sense of the proper distinction and relationship between the life of grace and the life of nature.