Teresa Mottet's letter "Memory Lane" atracted my attention because it seems to summarize the point of view of many Catholics who had a lukewarm faith before Vatican II but became more religious after that Council. To many, this return to the faith was the result of a perceived liberalization of the Church's religious teachings.
The problem with that perception was that it often led to the individualization of the doctrine in a way that tended to dilute the main religious principles of the Church. It also led to confusion among the faithful about which were Catholicism's moral values. Catholics often felt without a true North.
Seeing that this interpretation of Vatican II could eventually lead to a secularization of the Church, under Pope John Paul II the "Catechism of the Catholic Church "was written and published ïn the order of the application of the Eccumenical Council Vatican II."
Maybe many of those who think that there is a reversion of the spirit of Vatican II see the Catechism as one of the steps (perhaps the main step?) in that direction.
We can identify with Teresa's story about her Methodist girlfirend, or simpathize with her on her frustrated attempt, as a child, to become an altar server.
However, she never mentions what are the things that have now made her unenthusiastic about the Church, other than quoting Pusak's loss of his sense of engagement and anticipation "as previous patterns of authority and demands for obedience have increasingly been reasserted."
Teresa concludes by saying that maybe those Catholics who had the initial perception of Vatican II will be the future of the Church.
Perhaps she should also consider her namesake, Mother Teresa, a humble woman who served others, as one of the possible role models for future Catholics, particularly in these times when we still have extreme poverty.
Charity, under the Church's meaning and, as beautifully defined in "Caritas in Veritate" (and in, yes, the Gospels for that matter) is still one of the central principles of our religion and it is the true North.
It is by this principle that we should build our faith and it is by using this principle that we can identify first with Teresa (Mottet)'s concern about her Methodist girlfriend and, in a distant second place, with her frustrated attempt at becoming an altar server.