Required reading: this should hit you like a splash of cold water

The wondrously gifted Heather King writes about why she avoids both the Catholic Left, and Catholic Right, and offers this insight (among many):

I, for one, am way too busy to get overly exercised about whether to, say, bring back the Latin Mass, though I’m sure I would welcome such a move; or lobbying against (or for) abortion in the health care bill; or calling for reform in the hierarchy. As it is, I look at these people who are always railing against the Church (from the right and left) and think: How in any way is the Church impinging upon your freedom? How is the Church in the smallest particular preventing you from performing the works of mercy, from trying to figure out how to love your neighbor as yourself, from taking the beam out of your own eye before you take the mote out of your own eye, from not casting the first stone? Are the Papal police coming to your door and arresting you? Is Rome telling you anything other than at the last day, you will be judged by how you treated the least of these, which includes not just the unborn, or the illegal immigrant, or the prisoner on Death Row, or whoever else you’ve adopted as your cause, but the person on the other side of the fence: your “enemy”? If the Church started saying You can’t pray, you can’t go to Confession, you’re not allowed to be emotionally or sexually responsible, hate your enemy, I’d start to worry.

Instead, I’m always a little taken aback by the complete lack of affection, often within her own ranks, for the Church. To me, the Church is kind of like having an alcoholic mother: majestic one minute; engaging in some cringingly  non-Christ-like behavior the next. But no matter what, she’s your Mother. No matter what, you love your mother. And the way you love her is you notice when she goes wrong, you grieve for her, you mourn for her, and then you silently resolve to help her do a little better. You don’t pretend not to see her faults and get all self-righteous and militaristic if someone attacks her—but you also don’t kick her when she’s down. I think the way we feel about the Church is very much an indication of how we feel, in our hearts, about the least of our brothers and sisters. In one of her letters, Dorothy Day quotes a priest who said, “You love God as much as you love the person you love least.” And by extension, I think we love God about as much as we love His Church…

There’s much, much more.  Read it.  It’s challenging, eloquent, passionate, and filled to overflowing with love for the Church and the gospel.

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7 responses to “Required reading: this should hit you like a splash of cold water”

  1. While I can’t agree with everything that King says, she writes beautifully and the core of her piece cuts right to the heart of it.

    It is must-read material and it may well be one of the best Catholic blog posts ever.

  2. Thank you for sharing.

    As I prepare to travel to Ireland in two days and face my former Catholic mother in law who now holds the Catholic Church in utter contempt and who also firmly believes that my husband – her son – is possessed by demons because he suffered an epileptic seizure last week 🙁 – a woman who has stirred so much hurt and pain in my heart this week with her insistence that her faith is what leads her to believe this – her knowledge cannot be wrong and nobody will ever change her mind about what is happening in her son’s body – I needed to read this more than you will know.

  3. Heather King is full of wisdom, joy and hope. She is a blessing!

    Blessings to you too Annie…hang in there!

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