Legatus in the 21st century
John Hunt writes that Legates are called to lead the in today’s culture war . . .
I’ve recently been reflecting on my younger years. You know, those seminal, impressionable years of elementary school, high school and college that form so much of who we become in adulthood.
The Church has offered me peace and comfort with her teachings since birth. I have vivid recollections of life as a young Catholic in the days preceding Vatican II. Our parish was a source of friendship and support to my immediate and extended family.
I recall my grade school days in which every grade — one through eight — was taught by an Ursuline nun. Those good women, many of whom had dedicated their lives to preparing young, often unruly minds for the responsibilities of life, were models of Christian generosity and service. Most were serving well past the age when they should have been able to retire.
The challenges of the day were innocent and simple. I recall cramming for the Latin portion of my test in preparation for joining the ranks of altar boys. Memorizing the Confiteor was a challenge that, with much prayer and repetition, I mastered.
In the rectory there was a sense of fraternity thanks to the pastor and three associate pastors. That climate contributed to a sense of comfort and continuity by my parents, my siblings and the entire parish community. There was a sense of stability. The Catholic Church was in the able hands of the clergy and religious.
Then in 1965, the work of the Council Fathers was concluded and a new era in the life of the Church commenced: the era of the laity. The documents of Vatican II are rich with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that should guide the faith lives of all thoughtful Catholics. The Council prophetically recognized that the life of the Church into the 21st century would depend upon how well each faithful Catholic publicly lived his or her faith. But there is still work to do for the Church militant as we have not yet fully achieved that objective.
That brings us to 2012. The “theory” of Vatican II is now being acted out on the world stage where we lay people are called to be the Church as secular society and government leaders seek to impose a false reality on us as Catholic Christians. Our burden is heavy and spiritual martyrdom is a real possibility. But a faith built upon truth and nurtured by prayer and sacrifice can achieve the goals to which we all aspire — service to Our Lord and His Church on earth and eternity with Him in heaven.
John Hunt is Legatus’ executive director. He and his wife Kathie are charter members of Legatus’ Chicago Chapter.