Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vatican II: The "rediscovery of God and Christ"

In his truly remarkable Lenten pastoral letter of 1962, Pensiamo al Concilio (i.e., Let's Think About the Council, which it has been my joyful Lenten task to translate into English for the first time, along with my friend Stefania, for Conciliaria- Part VI, the penultimate installment, will post tomorrow morning) which he wrote from Rome, archbishop of Milan, then-Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini, writing about the upcoming Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in the fifty-sixth section asks whether this bold attempt to update the Church will work. In the three or four preceding sections he attempted to describe the scope of the council, which was vast, as is revealed by what he writes after wondering whether what the council was to attempt would work:

Will the world understand there is an institution on earth only trying to make it good, healthful, peaceful and happy? Will the world understand its agnosticism, its materialism, its atheism must be finally overcome through a bold and wise rediscovery of God and Christ? Will it remain silent before the Church’s great invitation to pray together? Will it at least reply, moved by a new spiritual and revealing experience, uttering timidly, “Amen”? will its victorious song to the God of the Universe, to the Christ of the true civilization, ring again on earth?

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