A View of the Future

I have found that the more I read of Pope Benedict’s writings, the more I like and respect him.  (Perhaps that is because I find that he agrees with me 🙂  only he says things much better than I do!) His devotion in retirement to a life of prayer will be a great blessing to us all, despite the loss of him as our shepherd and leader.

I was sent this quote in an email from a dear friend, taken from the Pope’s book, Faith and the Future, published by Ignatius Press in 2009.  Originally, the material in this book was presented as radio addresses in 1969 and 1970 by Cardinal Ratzinger, on German and Vatican radio.

I had been thinking along these lines for the past several years, and wonder what you all think the future holds for our Catholic Church?

“The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.  She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity.  As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges . . . .  As a small society, {the Church} will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members . . .

But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church.  Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely.  If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty.  Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new.  They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times.  The real crisis has scarcely begun.  We will have to count on terrific upheavals.  But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith.  She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”



About reinkat

I am an iconographer, and have been studying Russian/Greek icons since 1995. I'm married with 3 children. I love hiking, camping, animals, my family and church--and icons.
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9 Responses to A View of the Future

  1. I’ve been reflecting on that piece of writing lately and am planning on discussing it with my spiritual director when I meet with him next week. It’s quite prophetic, I think.

  2. lilyboat says:

    Very prophetic, I agree. Much harder times are ahead of us, but the trials can only make us stronger as a group of His Faithful. I do believe we have great leaders in the Catholic Church who will defend the Church till the end! Church of Faith.. where the world will find life and hope beyond death.. That’s a beautiful idea.. 🙂 One day, the whole world will know the Truth..

    • reinkat says:

      I agree–and i pray that more than just the leaders will take a stand and defend the Church. I will have to work on my own courage there.
      Thanks for your comment and for following. You are much appreciated and prayed for.

  3. He is “spot on” with his views. Extraordinary in that it was written in 1969-1970. He, however, saw the radicalization of his students when he was a University professor and the violence – both physical and spiritual – that was born out of it. The Church will never be crushed by the world, Scripture and our Blessed Mother tell us so, however, this does not mean it will continue to have the same presence – physical or influential – that it had in the past. The Body of Christ is continually moving toward its Head, and in the process, will shed a many pounds. We are in a race, as St. Paul says, those that care must run it to win!

    • reinkat says:

      Yes. And it will be a tough race, too.
      Thanks for all of your comments. Sometimes I am lax in expressing my appreciation, but I do cherish and take to heart every comment–and post, that I read.

  4. SR says:

    Loved this post!! When reading I could only reflect back on her history. She has endured many trials and sufferings Rome, Luther, Henry VIII, and many left her during these times. Probably more then any other time in history. I am sure many thought that would be the end of Her. Yet, she stood and continues today. Men such as John Paul II came into play and breathed new life back into Her. We will see it again. Even in Revelations Jesus took the Churches out of Turkey, for what He felt was wrong. I agree we are in for hard times again, and are in some of them now. She always has a way of coming back better and stronger then before. I can think of no better way, then the “Church of faith.” Great post! God Bless, SR

  5. Biltrix says:

    Joseph Ratzinger, Benedict XVI, is a great visionary. I remember reading this years ago, and not being able to identify with it at that time. Lately, I’ve been pondering about it as an imminent reality. With every passing day I see the truth behind these words unfolding more and more. And I’m willing to embrace it. God’s will be done!

    “His devotion in retirement to a life of prayer will be a great blessing to us all, despite the loss of him as our shepherd and leader” — Thanks for sharing that too!

    Great post, Reinkat. God bless!

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