Spoiler alert: If you haven't read Shirley Johnson's short story The Lottery, you might want to do so before reading what Archbishop Chaput has to say about its modern interpretation.
It's both fascinating and alarming that Johnson's story fails to predictably raise much contemporary moral indignation. Whereas in previous decades, the creepy juxtaposition of an ancient rite of human sacrifice with Americana New England in the 1940's brought swift condemnation of the practice, its almost too hard to believe that in university settings these days the story meets with a yawn and a "who are we to condemn the villagers of this story?"
Archbishop Chaput of Denver, insists that this change has not come about because the younger generation is cowardly, but because they have lost their moral vocabulary. "Our culture is doing catechesis every day. It works like water dripping on a stone, eroding people’s moral and religious sensibilities, and leaving a hole where their convictions used to be.”
And then this gem:
“Instead of changing the culture around us, we Christians have allowed ourselves to be changed by the culture. We’ve compromised too cheaply. We’ve hungered after assimilating and fitting in. And in the process, we’ve been bleached out and absorbed by the culture we were sent to make holy.”
“We need to confess that, and we need to fix it,” he asserted. “For too many of us, Christianity is not a filial relationship with the living God, but a habit and an inheritance. We’ve become tepid in our beliefs and naive about the world. We’ve lost our evangelical zeal. And we’ve failed in passing on our faith to the next generation."
We've been determined to change that at Holy Cross, emhasizing weekly mass attendance and developing strong catechetical programs not only in our school, but in our Religious Education Program. Each year more and more of our teachers become trained, not only to manage their classroom effectively, but updated on the central truths of our faith.