Steve puts up a fine little piece on Roger Ebert’s curious Catholic sensibilities and complex relationship to the Faith. I had been going to write something, but I think I’ll let Steve do the heavy lifting. I couldn’t help but like the guy and I hope that his “lock, stock, and barrel” Catholicism (curiously hampered by his professed inability to believe in God) has now been healed.
People who are quick to judge such folk need to reflect on the fact that the heart has reasons the Reason knows nothing of. I’ve known any number of people who simply have no idea how to reconcile the different parts of themselves and are past trying. Racists who will give a black man the shirt off their backs because it’s their Christian duty and still call him “boy”. Catholics who are upstanding members of their parish and who speak bitterly of their hatred of God, but who still do their sacramental duties and perform works of mercy. People who do all they know how to do to love God and who hate their neighbor with an abiding passion. Atheists who weep with longing for God at Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Oskar Schindler, life-saving dirtbag. Simon Peter, Heroic Coward. People are complicated and never cease to amaze me with their contradictions.
May God rest Roger Ebert’s soul through Christ our Lord and give him clarity on that little detail about St. Thomas’ five ways and the fact of His Being. He seems to have lived better than his worst words about God and that is the very essence of eupocrisy, so that’s a hopeful sign. It’s a much better note to go out on than the Pharisee, who lives worse than his best words about God. Better to be the son who says “no” and does his Father’s will, than the one who says “Yes” and does not. Ebert seems to have tried to practice his Faith, though he had mental difficulties holding it. Very mysterious, as people so often are.
Well, I guess I wound up writing about him anyway.