HALFWAY THROUGH the '90s, the midpoint of the so-called Decade of Evangelisation, one might suspect to see the first shoots of spiritual fervour breaking through the mud of secularism and materialism.
The Decade was launched, after all, with the kind of optimism that greets a spring clean; the chance to throw away the rubbish and concentrate on what matters bringing the gospel to society. But little of this prophetic rallying cry has seen a flowering into any sort of revival which might give the label `Decade of Evangelisation' some credence. In sporting parlance, the Church's efforts have not seen it climb the table since the start of the season.
Such thinking may just be an evangelical trap, a temptation to cut corners in a battle to 'win souls'. But if this can be avoided, we may yet have much to learn about communicating our Faith. The Spirit, of course, moves in mysterious ways. But as far as the Decade of Evangelisation has so far been concerned, the Spirit has been moving in largely invisible ways. If we are to risk putting labels to years or decades the UN is most guilty of this; witness society's wider apathy in 1994 to the Year of the Family we should be brave enough during that time to make the label stick.