About 500 years ago there was a massive change in Western Christianity. I’d like you to set aside your opinions about whether the Protestant Reformation was a good thing or not and think instead about what made it possible. It was a time of great change not just in the Church but in Western society in general.
There were many factors which contributed to this but there is one in particular that propelled so much of that change, and without it there would have been no reformation.
Of course, I’m talking about the printing press. The ability to disperse information en masse, and at a relatively low cost, changed the very fabric of our culture and the Church along with it.
We are on the precipice of another revolution. Social media has allowed the free exchange of information to grow exponentially beyond anything like that of the printing press. We can all communicate freely with people from around the globe and any subject which may interest you has thousands of like minded people already engaged in it. It’s absolutely remarkable and has already drastically changed all our lives in only a few short years. And there is no doubt that the Church will change with it.
The question then becomes, what will this reformation look like? What questions are being debated? What deep inner longings are coming to the surface? As those who stand at the precipice finding the answers to these questions and more is our part of God’s unfolding plan for humanity in general and the Church in particular.
I believe the need of our time is the need of every time. It is that part of the Gospel which is the most beautiful and the most difficult. It is that which will bring us to death and new life. There have been many reformations and for all the good they may or may not have done they never managed to take us away from our false selves.
The reformation we need is a mystical one. We need contemplatives who are more concerned with becoming like Christ than with having the right doctrines about Christ. We need a new way of being Church that actually changes people and takes them away from selfishness and into love.
For too long the Church has been an instrument utilized by the proud and the self-righteous. It has been something which secures power and prestige. It has been diametrically opposed to what Jesus taught for far too long and the time has come to change that.
So this is call out to those with eyes that can see what is happening. This is the voice of one in the expanse of the internet calling out to those who would follow the Living Word of God. This is me wondering who else out there can feel the winds of change stirring the Church into new life.
There are little pockets of the internet where people are sharing their direct experiences of God. There are real and meaningful communities developing where the contemplative tradition is coming to light.
I pray that those of us who dare to turn inwardly and be changed, who dare to live lives like Jesus described in the sermon on the mount, who dare to be gentle and meek in a world of power and prestige, will be able to come together and be the Church in these changing times.
If this call speaks to your condition or if your in most prayer longs for a contemplative reformation like mine does, please reach out to us. You are not alone. Check out our virtual community which is sharing in what the Spirit calls us to – generosity, love, patience, and all things holy.
If you enjoyed this article, please share it on your favourite social media or leave a comment below. If you want to learn more about Celtic Christianity and Contemplation, check out some of the free videos from our virtual retreat: Sacred Spaces: Contemplation and the Celtic Spirit.