This week I had the pleasure of teaching my first Confirmation class, during which time it became clear that the next generation of Catholics is brilliant.
Brilliant... and deeply, deeply steeped in relativism.
We had a discussion on sin, free will, and the presence of evil in the world that left my head spinning and my stomach queasy. But I was intrigued, nonetheless, by the scope and depth of their questions during our discussion, and by the amount of thought they'd put into their opinions.
The bottom line is, these kids are hungry for truth, and they're lapping up the half truths and flat out falsehoods they're being fed in the classroom. I had a 14 year old quoting Siddhartha. Shortly thereafter, she busted out some Orwellian sociological observations, and then pointed out that the ability to sin is what - in fact - makes us human.
Very bright, this one. But a little off. Perhaps more disturbing, however, was the reaction of the 45 year old woman with whom I was co-leading, who nodded in emphatic agreement with every one of her insightful - yet profoundly non-Christian - points.
Here was a woman near my mother's age, obviously dedicated to the service of the Church and the formation of our youth... and yet she was happily agreeing with the statement that "before sin entered the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were, like, animals or something. 'Cause they didn't know right from wrong."
Yes kids, that is correct. (and I quote) "Sin is what makes life... interesting."
Well, I've got my work cut out for me this year. Or rather, He does. I'm just along for the ride.
St. John Bosco, pray for us!