Gerard Hughes SJ died last month – an obituary is here. He had much to say about Christian formation, including this from a chapter called “clearing the approaches” in God of Surprises.
“The Church must encourage the critical element in its members.
If it fails to do so, then the individual will not be able to integrate religious belief with everyday experience or, put in other words, God will be excluded from most of the individual’s life until religion comes to be considered a private but harmless eccentricity of a minority.
If the Church does encourage the critical element, then it must expect to be questioned and challenged by its members and it must be prepared to change its own ways on thinking and acting, submitting itself to the light of truth. Such an attitude is only possible in a Church which has a strong faith in God’s presence in all things………….
Her teachings will never be delivered as the last word on any subject, but rather as signposts, encouraging her members to explore the route further for themselves.”
Gerard Hughes, God of Surprises, DLT 1985, p. 21
Thanks to Friday Mailing for bringing this to our attention. The “complete blank signpost” is a photo by Andrew Bowdon.