"The true vocations crisis in the Church is not a lack of candidates for the priesthood: it is a lack of committed Catholics (from whose ranks a small but sufficient percentage of men would naturally be drawn to Holy Orders). There is a reason why the number of church weddings, not to mention baptisms, declines yearly: it is called erosion of the faith, decline in commitment to living out the Faith, and general forgetfulness of what previous generations, often at great cost, nevertheless succeeded in passing on – until the last half-century or so. The tradition has failed: discontinuity and rupture has broken the links formerly passing down the Apostolic tradition in continuity from one generation to the next.
In this Year of Faith, what is too evident is a crisis and a lack of faith. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" – Hosea iv, 6. I recall what St Thérèse of Lisieux noted: that if there were no love in the heart of the Church (and she felt her vocation to be to live as that loving heart), the apostles would forget to preach, the martyrs would not bother to die for Christ, the missionaries would not labour to spread the Gospel. Terrible to say, what she spoke of per impossibilem has in many places throughout the West – certainly in Australia – come to pass.
What is believed by too many nominal Catholics is rather a comfortable falsehood, according to which Scripture and Tradition have little value, nor does commitment to the harder moral precepts or duties such as Mass-going (which ought in any case actually be a joy if one realize what Mass is, but I digress); rather, a fairy-floss version of eviscerated Christianity is given lip-service, according to which bourgeois niceness and thinly disguised versions of the current secular virtues (the fashions of the moment) are all that is required, to which the more pious may add lounging about on bean-bags and playing at prayer, since sometime hopefully far distant in the future we all go to "some heaven light-years away" anyway (though one should not be too serious about such fables, unappealing as they are to the worldly), and in the meanwhile "celebrating the life" and dabbling in trendy forms of do-goodery is really all that is necessary. Indifferentism replaces Christianity, in point of fact."
In a "Year of Faith" we might have expected that these "harder moral precepts" would have been drummed into us Sunday by Sunday in the weekly homily, but as it isn't happening - where I live the "Year of Faith" is a logo on the parish newsletter - we're just going to have to do it ourselves.