I just finished reading a friend's blog wherein she summed-up her last ten years. I don't know why, but I'd rather look forward than back. I guess I see a lot of pain in the past, so I'd rather look forward...
I don't have ambitions as much as I have hopes for my family and the Church.
MYSELF OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS
I don't want to make a lot of money. I just want to be able to pay the bills. I'm virtuous like that. I'd just like to get closer to God, to know Him better and to feel His presence more keenly. After that, I'd like to learn. I'd like to keep researching Augustine, write some papers and books on all sorts of topics, but of course on Augustine. I'd like to learn a great deal more about: Plato, Canon Law, Ethics, Latin and Greek - I suppose in that order. I have always thought about becoming a deacon, but I don't know. I love to hear myself speak, so it seems a natural choice. I hate travelling, but I'd like to visit Hippo (Algeria) sometime over the next ten years. Anne-Marie and I always talked about going to Rome, but we're obviously in no great rush - having no money kind of helps with that too. I'd love to still be living in Barry's Bay in ten years.
MY FAMILY OVER THE NEXT TEN
This is the best part, of course, and the most interesting. In ten years, Isaiah will be 19 - hard to imagine. Since the girls will be as pretty as their momma, I'll have my hands full with little twerps coming over to the house... My hope for my children is that they develop a strong love of the Lord, above all else. Could I see any religious vocations there? It's possible. Isaiah never entertains the idea at 9, so what are the chances when he discovers girls? Sarah-Grace is a full-fledged mother as it is. Rebecca does what Sarah tells her, so we'll see what Sarah decides in this matter. Would I like them to go to the Academy? Of course! Even if they don't follow in my scholastic footsteps, I hope that they get the best education possible, and enjoy every bit of it. Baby Stephen will be 11 in ten years. Hopefully not still throwing tantrums and banging his head on the kitchen floor. I guess I can't say here how old Anne-Marie will be in ten years, but let's just say that it is likely that her baby days will have drawn to a close (please, please, please!! just kidding!) In ten year's time I hope Anne-Marie is as happy as she can be, and finding life much easier, and that I've bought her a dishwasher by then.
THE CHURCH IN TEN YEARS
My first thought here is for the Academy, of course. Let us pray that in ten years it will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. Let us pray that it will have gained accreditation, is financially stable, is still doing its amazing job of forming young Catholics, and is beginning to spawn sister schools elsewhere in this country, to provide real, Catholic education.
There are alot of reasons to be hopeful for the Church in Canada in the future, and many reasons to be concerned. I think the general pattern will be a decrease in numbers and an increase in quality. If you look at the Church's history over the last ten years, you will see that when the decade began commonsense seemed not to draw a distinction between people like Kung, Curran, and Schillebeeckx, on the one hand, and Ratzinger, May and von Balthasar, on the other. They all seemed to have an equal claim on the title 'theologian.' Another great change has made itself apparent in the episcopacy. If you simply look at the top half-dozen sees in this country you would marvel at the quality of the men we've been given to run the Church in Canada. The age of the Winnepeg Statement has almost fully died away. In ten year's time, it will simply seem as an embarrassing, but distant and insignificant memory.
I don't want to go into the negatives of decline in the numbers in the pews and growth of government oppression - those are almost certainties. I'd rather end on a positive note. In ten years, just imagine how many bookmarks I'll have in my many half-read books.