Theology on Tap - another successful conclusion!
Well, our young adults group finished off another series of Theology on Tap tonight, with our traditional "Grill the Priests" night, and boy did we grill them!! Thankfully, I don't think any priests got burned.
I forgot my camera, so I don't have pretty pictures, but trust me... great crowd, probably in the 200-attendee range. And great questions! It just goes to show that young adults today really and truly want real ANSWERS, they want depth to their faith and they want to know the fullness of truth.
I mean, come on, we had all kinds of meaty questions (and well done answers!). From a question about helping non-Catholics understand transubstantiation and the Real Presence in the Eucharist, to a question about how Canon law 915 is to be applied by priests distributing Holy Communion, to a question about why NFP is any different from contraception. These are not fluffy Barney-style kumbaya questions here people! Ok, so maybe the note asking whether Fr. Huard had a single younger brother was a bit off the mark... but seriously.
There is a lot of hope out there in the young adults of today... they are seeking, they are searching, with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit upon them. One of the priests (responding to a question about priestly celibacy) made the comment that each generation has its own set of priests -- there are no "priestly families" as there were in the Old Testament. Instead, each generation gives up some of its own, each contributing to the Church in its own way. Where the Holy Spirit is allowed to work, there priests will emerge, will answer the call. There as well, along with priests, will come holy marriages and faithful service in answer to God's call in other ways. But the priesthood, that special ontological call for the men whom God wishes to make the bridegrooms of Christ and His Church, that is something that can only happen through faith. Priests do not beget priests (generally speaking, Eastern rites and special cases notwithstanding), out of obedience to the Church's wisdom in the matter of priestly life, of what it means to BE a priest (not just have the "job" of a priest).
My point in all of this (yes, I do have one) is that with this brief Theology on Tap discussion, I realized how amazing it is that we have priests at all, that we have a Church at all, and it made me realize just what a special time we live in -- and it is "our" time, for our generation. We can study history all we want to, and we can attempt to predict the future, but none of that really matters to God. Vocations are for each generation, and the answering of God's call to priesthood, religious life, marriage, or single life is something that each person in each generation must cooperate with or reject.
No one denies that there is currently a "flowering" in the Church, an increase in the number of vocations (at least in some areas), and the corresponding spiritual vigor and enthusiasm of so many young adults. Granted, the faith is certainly not "thriving", there are many many young adults and youth out there who see no need for a Church (or even a God). But still, the young adults who are here, are here with a sense of mission, a sense of yearning for truth, a sense of seeking fulfillment that will last. And so they come eagerly to events, like our Theology on Tap sessions, that provide them with substance, with answers to their tough questions, speakers that straight and true with the teachings of the Church.
Thank you to everyone who has participated in Theology on Tap, here and elsewhere, and who has worked in young adult ministry to provide the opportunities (like Theology on Tap) for young adults to come together in faith and fellowship to find the true center of their life, the person of Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the One who is the Answer.
And if you're wondering why I'm suddenly blogging about all this immediately upon arriving home... I got the message tonight that I haven't been blogging enough. (It's all for you, Nels! :)