Much has been written about the generational conflicts we are going through in the Church and in religious life; it's the "70s priests" against the "neo-cons," the "John XXIII Catholics" against the "John Paul II Catholics," the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" against the so-called "reform of the reform," etc.
I was discussing these questions with an astute older priest yesterday, and he put it something like this: 'We grew up in a culture that valued conformity and was overly defined and regimented. So when the reforms of the Council came, we found our spiritual identity in our liberation. Guys your age, on the other hand, grew up after the Vietnam war and other events took away our moral clarity about our nation, after some of the darker sides of the sexual revolution began to appear. You attended educational institutions in the grip of the 'dictatorship of relativism,' as Benedict calls it, and just as we reacted against strictness and found our spirit in our liberation, you came to find your 'liberation' and spiritual identity in the struggle to have something solid and structured to stand on in the midst of the moral and cultural vertigo.'
Of course all this has been said before. I only rehearse it again because I thought that Father's articulation was particularly clear, and especially because I think we need to appreciate the source of each other's spirituality. We can argue about liturgy or canon law or whether to wear a religious habit until the end of time, but it won't help us at all unless we can appreciate and give thanks to God for the spiritual place in which someone else found their God.