Now that Autumn is here on one side of the equator and Spring on the other, the spiritual landscapes seems to be going through a transition that is as refreshing as nature’s change of seasons. Teilhard de Chardin S.J. put it this way:
Some day after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
Teilhard was highly recommended by the Roman Curia to quench that particular fire, but not long after he died, someone popped out of nowhere and relit it again. Pope John XXIII is now famously described as the man who also threw open the windows of the Vatican to illuminate the Vatican with the 20th century. This is what he said in his speech to open the Second Vatican Council:
The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is expressed is another.
The first thousand years of Christianity you could call the monastic era. During that era Emperor Constantine jump-started the rise of the diocesan framework that has dominated the Church until now. Today the numbers of candidates for the monastic and diocesan priesthood suggest the Autumn has arrived for these vocations as we commence the third millennium of Christianity.
But Spring reveals a new Easter . Buds are popping up all over the spiritual landscape. These buds are theologically informed lay men and women and an increasing number of younger men and women mulling over Jesus’ invitation to preach good news.