Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. (Luke 14:34-35)
We Christians are so far from being salt of the earth that not only have we lost our flavor, we have become a kind of kill-taste. What's a kill-taste? It's like a killjoy. When a killjoy shows up at a party, all the fun is sucked out of the room. What's a kill-taste? Sprinkle some on your food and all of the flavor gets drained away.
Go to Mass in the suburbs next Sunday. Will the music, the homily, the general atmosphere inspire you to go out and baptize all nations - or will you want to go home and go to bed to sleep it off? Are we salt of the earth or are we the anti-salt, the killtastes of culture?
Pope Francis' Exhilierating Exhortation, on the other hand - that's salty, that's flavorful.
Meanwhile, Gerard Nadal has written a thoughtful piece in which he takes Cardinal Dolan to task for blaming the loss of the "gay marriage" battle on bad marketing on the part of the Church: "Responding to Cardinal Dolan: We were not Out-marketed on Gay Marriage, We were Out-Evangelized." Nadal gets it right because it ain't about marketing. Thank God for that, because the Church doesn't even begin to start to understand marketing.
Take, for example, Cardinal Dolan's marketing disaster known as the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM Radio. Listen to that thing for more than five minutes, I dare you.
I looked up the words FORCED, AWKWARD, ANNOYING and UNBEARABLE on an online dictionary. The definitions simply consisted of a link to the audio feed for the Catholic Channel. It makes you wonder how Mother Angelica, salt of the earth that she is, managed to start a network that by and large still has shows that are Catholic, interesting and flavorful - and not forced, contrived and repugnant.
So here's another thing that happens when we lose our faith - we realize that the stuff we do isn't exactly tasty and so, since we're no longer salt, we compensate by being loud or stupid or insistent or artificial or self-consciously clever or ... well, we become the headache that is the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM. Better simply to be bland, in my opinion.
At any rate, marketing and "forced fun" doesn't really fool anybody. We have lost our flavor and we are fit not even for the manure pile.
If we begin to believe again, if we begin to love - then the vision of Evangelii Gaudium will begin to come to pass and we will attract people not by marketing our message but by becoming followers of Christ - not by what we say but by who we are.