What has been the most visible sign of decay in the modern Catholic Church of the past 40 years? The way the priests and nuns dress? Missing religious elements, such as genuflections, Benedictions, certain prayers? What would you say?
My own answer is bad sermons--either poorly prepared, lacking substance, and/or bordering (or crossing the border of) heresy. In the late 50's and early 60's, priests became so busy and distracted and influenced by Modernism that they didn't prepare and preach good sermons. In contrast, the secular media became very good at preaching their religions of secularism, hedonism, and paganism.
Many Protestant pastors continued to prepare and research their sermons--often ones that did not contradict Church truths. I've encountered a number of people who left the Catholic Church because they said they saw more signs of Christ in a Protestant evangelical church. Why did they say this? I believe primarily because of the clear differences in SERMONS!
The days of great Catholic sermons given by the likes of the Cure of Ars, Cardinal Newman, and Archbishop Sheen are not over! A local website, Audio Sancto, publishes great sermons--of the current time! The priests who give the sermons insist on remaining unidentified because they have other primary religious duties. See here.
Listen to a couple of minutes from different sermons to select one or two to download to your Ipod. I suggest you first listen to "Blackfeet Indians and the Black Robes" (part 1 and part 2). To download, rather than play, a sermon, it is necessary to set your browser options to 'save' an .mp3 audio file to your computer Desktop.
Once you have downloaded selected sermons to your desktop, move them to your Ipod or a CD for playing in your car. We waste so much time in cars listening to venal things--instead, listen to these great sermons to invigorate your spiritual life.