Thursday, March 03, 2011

Pope Benedict on Engaging the Culture

This is from Light of the World: The Pope, the Church, and the Signs of the Times: what extent do people still belong to the Church in the first place? On the one hand, they want to belong to her and do not want to lose this foundation. On the other hand, they are of course also shaped and formed interiorly by the modern way of thinking. It is the unfermented coexistence, with and alongside each other, of the basic Christian intention and a new world view, which leaves its mark on all of life. To that extent what remains is a sort of schizophrenia, a divided existence.

We must strive to integrate the two, insofar as they are compatible with each other. Being Christian must not become a sort of archaic stratum to which I cling somehow and on which I live to a certain extent alongside of modernity. Christianity is itself something living, something modern, which thoroughly shapes and forms all of my modernity - and in this sense actually embraces it.

That a major spiritual effort is required here I expressed most recently by founding a "Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization". It is important for us to try to live Christianity and to think as Christians in such a way that it incorporates what is good and right about modernity - and at the same time separates and distinguishes itself from what is becoming a counter-religion.
It seems to me that this has a lot of significance for Catholic homeschooling and for Catholic education in general. We make a deliberate attempt in our family to introduce our children to age-appropriate things in the culture (movies especially come to mind) that we can enjoy and discuss together, with a special emphasis on recognizing what is good (but naturally, noting what we have issues with as well). For the same reason I enjoy watching the Oscars with my high schoolers. I would love to hear what ideas you have for incorporating this important concept into your family's education.

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