Here is an extract from a very fine Advent homily given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008:
“The cry of hope of Advent expresses all the gravity of our condition, our extreme need for salvation. Which is to say that we await the Lord not as some beautiful decoration to a world already saved, but as the only way of liberation from mortal danger.”
How sad so many of us have lost a sense of sin and our need for a Savior. How can one even begin to feel true gratitude for the immense love of God without a profound awareness of our wretchedness?
I’m not even sure there’s Pelagianism rampant in the Church today, because even Pelagianism is a call for self-improvement. Even that seems to be missing in some quarters these days–a lot of people seem to assume they are already the Redeemed People of God, just as they are, and everyone is included and everyone is going to heaven. No need for a Savior, no need for Redemption. Even for those Pelagians who think its all about their own choice and efforts, no need to strive. Sin? Pffft!!!! We no longer believe in that stuff, unless perhaps you fail to recycle or use bottled water.
It’s come as you are, no need to change, just widen the circle of inclusiveness. Unless of course you believe in the Four Last Things and all that inconvenient, traditional stuff.