Modern values focus on individualism
postmodern values focus on relativism
and often both result in nihilism and meaninglessness.
We all have limitless wealth –
the whole Creation is given to us by God
but we get so caught up in individualistic or relativistic
that we no longer see
what is right in front of us.
A competitive society is violent
so the apparent passivity Jesus preached
in the Sermon on the Mount –
turn the other cheek – seems absurd
but is actually subversive resistance
which forces perpetrators to face
their own violence.
What Thomas Merton rejected in the “world”
was not wealth or ambition
but the world’s triviality –
its fads/advertising/masks of hypocrisy
which even his comrades he disparagingly called
the “cheese monks” got caught up in –
as if their true calling/purpose was to produce
excellent cheeses or liqueurs!
The Catholic Church got so off track
that sex scandals broke it –
one third of people raised Catholic
vacated the premises
and with the pandemic
another third departed.
If real transformation never happens for Christians
then for professional church staff
their work becomes just a career
and for lay people church becomes something
one just attends, an afterthought
instead of the living Body of Christ
which heals the “world” and its violence
by giving it profundity.