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Word Magazine October 1962 Page 10
OUR PAST AND FUTURE TENDENCY
By Father Elias G. Dacy
Speaking of the present and contrasting it with the immediate and not too distant past — of religious knowledge and the innumerable changes of aspects, thoughts, activities, etc. in the past ten years or so.
There have been no more momentous and transforming years in the experience of our Religion.
We have heard our forebears — in controversy — wail and say, that the past two or three generations were the best period in the growth of religion; and others, that the trend is away from religion. We must not dispute with them, it was their era, and, of course, theirs, then of limited knowledge of that era’s past.
But, as we now presently contrast our present activities of greater and better education; and of greater facilities of research and incentiveness — We may justly term it an epoch.
The present trend towards religion is not heartening. Old members who have been insisting and asserting their arbitrary demands on the Youths; and thereby, directly or indirectly caused stagnation, lethargy, and unconcern in religion of the future of manhood. But, now, the youths are in the saddle, and thus have been respectfully out-numbering and outvoting their elders; and thereby, accounting for the upsurge and progress in religion; and the unparallel construction of new churches and edifices related thereto, which we are presently enjoying, to accommodate the new influx to these magnificent new churches.
With this new incentiveness and innovation, we can expect a continuous forward movement with still greater accelerated speed to wonderful results.
In this short epoch the former order of conception (or misconception) have been dissolved and modified greatly.
St. Paul said: “Your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” You see the proof of it on those pages on which St. Paul flung his glowing heart.
And this same promise holds today.
The new born spirit and enlightenment of the youths of our present era, and indeed, at this present day, is most joyous and inspiring.
The religion of Christ has suffered no change. It holds for men now the same forces which, in apostolic days, poured human lives into an earthly sunshine. Now, as then, it is a message to be believed, but above all, it is a life to be lived. And if it be a life of joy is uncancelled, it is rooted in the nature of things. All life, if it rises into the realm of self-consciousness, means joy. Otherwise, God being good, would not pour out such torrents of life. The mere outflow of life, if it be healthful and unimposed, bring happiness to all conscious, living creatures. And the soul, which has such capacities for the most exquisite phases of joy, finds only in life of God its rest and fulfillment. God, with the faiths and loves and hopes that He has given us in Christ, feeds the hunger of the soul, just as God, with the air and the sunshine, feeds the hunger of the flower. The satisfaction of hunger is joy.
Abounding incentives and greater interest adduced by heart warming and angelical music of our ever increasing choirs; and the youth organizations, such as SOYO, GOYA, and others of the like, who are of special entities in function but accountable to the Church and its sacred Canons. Such perfect coordination and compliances, spells success and overwhelming joy: the joy, which was first expressed and amply pronounced by the untiring expounder and traveler extraordinary the most gifted Saint Paul.