Let me take you through some parts of the puzzle that are beginning to make sense to me.
If you have watched the telemovie 'Brexit: the uncivil war' with Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead character of Dominic Cummings, towards the end there is a scene where Dominic is answering the questions of the inquiry tribunal and talking straight into the camera. In it he expresses his profound disappointment that after the Brexit campaign revealed what a systematic failure the government had been, that no one had had the courage to be the change catalyst necessary for a reset and that the same operating system of government had been rebooted.
Under that analogy a reboot tries to get the same modus operandi working again, and a reset goes back and checks that the settings are according to the original instructions, and changes everything back to the maker's original settings.
In the church do we have system failure? Looking at the clergy abuse scandals and how badly we have done in transmitting the faith to the young and to the not-so-young, the answer looks like Yes. And if this is so, then we need a Reset, and not a Reboot, and to do that we need the courage to do some things completely differently from the way we are doing them now.
However the answer to what things need to be done differently lies in the past, in the ancient paths of holiness and the ancient wellsprings of grace.
Chapter 4 of Chesterton's 'What's Wrong With the World' expresses it like this:
'The future is a blank wall on which every man can write his name as large as he likes; the past I find already covered with illegible scribbles, such as Plato, Isaiah, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Napoleon. I can make the future as narrow as myself; the past is obliged to be as broad and turbulent as humanity. And the upshot of this modern attitude is really this: that men invent new ideas because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back. Now in history there is no Revolution that is not a Restoration. Among the many things that leave me doubtful about the modern habit of fixing eyes on the future, none is stronger than this: that all the men in history who have really done anything with the future have had their eyes fixed upon the past. I need not mention the Renaissance, the very word proves my case. The originality of Michelangelo and Shakespeare began with the digging up of old vases and manuscripts.'
A few years ago the necessity of spiritual renewal spilling out beyond the church walls was brought home to me in an analogy on a Christian television show. It went something like this: On a plane there are crew and passengers. The plane is the era we are living in, the crew are the leaders in government, education, arts & entertainment, religion, family, business and media, the passengers are the rest of us. The passengers could be having the most wonderful prayer meeting on that plane, but there will be no impact upon accomplishing the will of God unless those who can manoeuvre the plane realign its trajectory to the trajectory of God's will.
In other words unless spiritual revival is big enough to permanently change culture for the better in a region, society or era, it will not achieve its divine purpose.
To understand this better, I recommend listening to or watching this talk by Ken Fish on 'The Anatomy of an Awakening': In it he explains how a radical turn around can take place in a short amount of time. An awakening is more than a revival; it is more like God pressing the reset button. Unless there is preparation and follow-up, a revival can fade very quickly, like a flash in the pan. https://movies.toxicwap.com.ng/watch?v=ReO92EfwSEg
Therefore in order to go forward, we need to back and dig deeply into Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition to rediscover models and structures that have been God's plan from the very beginning, and dare to give them a go.
According to the Divine Renovation team, in every diocese 16% of the priestly leadership is daring enough to give new things a go. These are the ones we need to identify and encourage, and give the co-ordinates of the ancient pathways of holiness and the ancient wellsprings of grace to. I know I have at least two pastoral experiments based on Holy Scripture that I am eager to see tested in practice.
In the prevailing culture giving these things a go will take enormous courage. Consider this example: When the people of Israel left the slavery conditions of Egypt under the anointed leadership of Moses, they kept order through the sub-leadership of the elders of tribes and clans. All of those elders were men.
What if instead of the current representative model of parish councils where you try to get a microcosm of the special interest groups of the parish together (youth, school, choir, catechist etc) from whoever volunteers; what if you looked for the people who would qualify as elders, grandfathers with deep roots in the community, men of steadfast faith and prayer, whose adult children are all keeping the faith?
What if it works much better than the existing model? If it is according to the maker's original plan, it likely will be. But it can only get tested if someone is willing to face the backlash that will come from anyone infected with feminism.
Now you can comprehend the amount of courage that will be required if we are serious about discovering God's will and actually doing it. He is more than willing to equip us if we give Him a 'Yes, Lord, whatever you want, I will do my best to do whatever you ask, if You but give me Your help'.
So with this in mind, please pray daily that whatever God wants to do 'Reset in Australia'-wise will happen…and for the necessary courage and fortitude of bishops, priests, religious and laity to enable it to happen.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, patroness of Australia, pray for us.