The Montserrat Retreat
Easter in the “Meantime”
Faith in the Crossfire
Faith-exploration for a challenging time.
A Retreat/Workshop presented at the Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Dallas, Texas in December 2009 –
for all those interested in deepening faith, bringing it to maturity, and passing it on to the next generation.
History, wrote the great Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar, will always consist of the mutual intensification of the Yes and the No to Christ. Today, the religious tradition that made Western civilization possible, and that is its true lifeblood, is in decline. The moral, cultural, and spiritual consequences of this decline are as unmistakable as they are distressing. In a matter of a few short years, we have witnessed a breathtaking historical and cultural and moral shift, the result of which is that the world we are preparing to pass on to our children and their children is one overshadowed by great and ominous clouds.
There is only one real reason for embracing Catholic faith day. There is only one question that has to be answered: Is it true? If the rapid de-Christianization of our once extraordinary culture is to be reversed and the unique, history-altering meaning of the Christian message proclaimed afresh, we must learn to account for Christian faith in ways that are loyal to Church doctrine, intellectually exciting, morally rigorous, charitable, and courageously undeterred by the cynical spirit of the age. Benedict XVI has pointed the way to accomplishing this by suggesting that a collaboration between theology and anthropology can lead to “the truly most exciting part of Christian faith.”
Drawing on both the rich theological tradition for which Benedict XVI is today’s preeminent exponent and the extraordinary anthropological and cultural insights of René Girard, “Easter in the Meantime” is a retreat/workshop aimed at bringing “the truly most exciting part of Christian faith” to bear on the challenges facing the Christian vocation in our time.