|Prophet Nahum, not Dwight Longenecker. Why Nahum? Why not?|
Why does he say the vocations crisis is over? Here are some highlights (be sure to read the whole thing at his site):
> The battle over Vatican II is coming to an end. Before long, those who see things as "pre" or "post" Vatican II will have gone to their reward. Not only are the folks who see things that way "dying out, but their ideas are dying out. Their places are being taken by a younger generation of Catholics who do not remember the Vatican 2 wars."
> This new generation isn't necessarily more "conservative" or "traditional," Father says, but are Catholic because that's what they want to be. And they are filling traditional religious orders and seminaries.
> "Cultural Catholicism is dying." (And I partly want to say, "requiescat in pace." There are certain aspects of "cultural Catholicism" I will be very glad to see die. Ask me in comments if you want, and I'll unload...) "Cultural catholicism doesn’t produce vocations. Committed Catholicism does." (As Fr. Z says, can we get an "amen"?)
> In the years ahead, the culture will become more aggressively hostile to our Faith. Although Father doesn't say this, I will: we may be stunned by how ferocious it becomes. But he does say, "As it becomes difficult and dangerous to be Catholic the complacent and comfortable Catholics will quietly slip away. They are doing so already." And I will add my own prophecy: this may be a more sizeable exit than people are ready for.
> "As it becomes difficult and dangerous to be Catholic more young men will stand up to be counted. Men like the militant aspect of being a priests. They want to stand up for what they believe in without compromise. They want to fight the good fight with all their might. The Church militant will make a come back and an increasing number of men will step forward to be engaged in the spiritual battle."
We may not be "flooded" with priests, Father Longenecker concludes, but they'll be strong, courageous priests. Absolutely.
Let me add my own prophecies to Father's:
> The liturgy wars will begin ending faster than you may expect.
As already mentioned, a certain generation is dying out; and the complacent are departing. Included in this departure (either form) will be the narcissists who have been demanding parish liturgies cater to their demands, as opposed to liturgy being what it truly is: a corporate act of worship and intercession, for those who realize their needs are fundamentally met by God Almighty and the sacraments, not mood-music Masses and lots of affirmation from all around them. They are less interested in a "table" to "gather around," but readily understand the need for an altar to kneel before.
While this will be a trial for the "progressives" -- this process is already a trial for them -- many of the "traditionalists" will continue to be tried as well. There's narcissism there, too; and it won't be catered to. The Church is going to be too busy to do that. "Told you sos" may be merited, but it would be better to let it go. Many traditionalists need to prepare themselves for something new that will be good.