It’s become a bit of a cliche, but the main issue that we see in today’s world is not a plethora of sinners, but a dearth of saints.
Maybe that’s a statement that’s become familiar, like grandma’s wallpaper-it’s something we’ve always been exposed to, and so we don’t even pay attention to it. It can be comfortable to blame the situation in the world on “the bad people,” and to blame the situation in the church on evil priests and complacent bishops.
I would not for a minute fail to point the finger at these people-violent offenders and robbers certainly pave the way for evil, as do predators and poor spiritual fathers in the church. But focusing only on that makes us susceptible to the bystander effect, and can paralyze us into frustrated inactivity.
One of my favorite quotes is from GK Chesterton, who said that the most extraordinary thing in this world is an ordinary man, his ordinary wife, and their ordinary children. Our greatest responsibility and our greatest potential for good begins way before we reach our front porch. To truly help the world, we should ask ourselves-how well have we loved our family? Have we prayed and sacrificed for priests? Have we been a neighbor, even if we don’t necessarily like a particular person?
Systematic reform, of course. We should be loud and proud in working to repair the systems, the Church, and the human family. But our families are far more proximate. It’s something I need to work on. Maybe you do, too.