Faith and the future

“The Church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning . . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members . . . [It will be hard-going] for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome, as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret” (Joseph, Cardinal Ratizinger. [2009]. Faith and the future).