It is easier to demonstrate for the rights and freedom of one’s own group than to practice in everyday life the discipline of freedom and the patience of love for those who suffer, or to bind oneself for all of life to such service with the sacrifice of the greater part of one’s individual freedoms. It is astonishing that the desire to serve has been visibly and decisively weakened in the Church too: religious communities, dedicated to the care of the sick and elderly, attract hardly any new vocations. The preference is to engage in more ambitious "pastoral" ministries. But what is really more "pastoral" than an unpretentious life lived in service to those who are suffering?
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1988, Cambridge
The above quote is from a 1988 address of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger at Cambridge, England, as reported by Robert Moynihan in The Moynihan Report which I recommend reading. Unfortunately, Robert's web site is currently undergoing revision, so email me if you'd like a copy and I'll forward it to you.
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