Catholic and Enjoying It!
Mark Shea's Blog: So That No Thought of Mine, No Matter How Stupid, Should Ever Go Unpublished Again!
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Here she is on avoiding the Catholic left and right. Huzzah!
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From her reader: Should I be e-mailing, discussing, lobbying, debating people, friends, family on the wrongness say of abortion or gay marriage or the culture of death, etc. or should I be inside a church praying, doing small acts of penance, works of mercy that don’t seem to amount to much while the whole world keeps moving in the wrong direction…?
So many hints in the question. I can’t quite relate with the mindset, but the frustration is understandable. Prayers for the reader and all those facing similar challenges in their lives.
I disagree and I agree with Heather King.
Catholicism is continually under attack by the media, by dopey bloggers and the comment boxes, and by people who have reached the conclusion that they know better what Christ said than scholars who have devoted their entire lives to interpreting His message.
I think part of proselytizing is confronting this evil, and using the voice God gave you to overturn spurious lies and arguments. I think part of proselytizing is reinforcing and rallying those who are spreading the message. To shout back when the mob tries to drown out the Truth.
I find the voice of the mob interesting. I often breeze through an article to get to the comment boxes where the real action is and there confront the venal stupidity put forth by people whose intellectual curiosity about life ends at an idiotic Richard Dawkins diatribe about an issue Catholic scholars disposed of about 1,500 years ago.
I do think the true power of the church lies in the personal conversions, acts of love and mercy, and constant striving to be a better Catholic that SHOULD take up the majority of our lives. I think that is why our message is the Truth,and is eternal.
However, confronting evil is an important part of what we do. And it is interesting.
Neither hot nor cold …
And here goes another sad example of a biblical verse used as blunt instrument.
This essay isn’t about being on the “left” or “right”. This is about hiding; about turning the Catholic witness into a privatized worship that secularists have worked hard to legislate into the fabric of our culture. To the contrary, the Church is the most public of institutions, unless your vocation is behind the grill.
Need I quote Francis about taking the Church to the streets, and wanting a Church that gets bruised and beaten? The mealy-mouthed — “I dare not tell my friends that abortion is wrong”, is fearful, not inspired. The grace to know right from wrong is not to be hoarded or kept only for quiet reflection and personal gain — while blood runs in the street. How dare we share the Gospel with our neighbor.
Fact: Jesus made us missionaries — each of us — to go out and sow the seeds of His Word. Some will land on good soil. Most will not. The answers isn’t to stop sowing, shut up, and live life in the event someone you know has an abortion you can share their pain afterward. Yes, we all need quiet time alone to reflect and meditate and discover deeper truths about our faith. There’s a time to listen, but we’re entrusted with spreading the Word, not presenting our faith to others like something that would fit on a bumper sticker: “Hugs, Not Hard Sayings!”
There are plenty of examples in Scripture of the duty to share the “hard sayings”. Otherwise, we’re just a Gnostic mess. If you wait for it to rain, your flowers are going to die. Get out there and start watering.
I got it the first time, My Friend. Cheers.
Actually, you missed the whole point of the text, which is quite sad.
I have commited the same mistakes Heather King mentions.
I’ve been totally commited to engage in political discussions and proselitisms whenever they appeared on the Internet or in my group of friends and relatives. I was all like: “Ooooh look at me how Catholic I am because I’m so antiabortion and whatnot, why don’t you accept the Truth?”
And guess what? I was right in everything I said to those prochoicers and left-wingers!
And guess what no. 2? No one… let me emphasize that NOT ONE person has converted by the action of those proselitisms.
In fact… I lost one person. Myself. Gradually, I started to feel completely alone in the world… I grew sour… my soul withered away.
Now I just engage in publications in catholic blogs. Even today, I can’t resist the urge to debate and to irate myself whenever I come into contact with an opinion that disgusts me.
Heather King isn’t saying to shut up about inconvenient and hard sayings. She is saying that you start with YOURSELF, not others. That you should avoid discussions if they endanger your soul. That sinners are sometimes hurting and in that case they need comprehension before lectures. And that you begin evangelizing with your life, not with cheap words and arguments.
Every single one of those statements is profoundly christian and catholic.
I got what she said. That you didn’t get it frightens me. If you want to ride the other path, go ahead. It ain’t gonna be pretty, though.
For some reason the link points to the “mobile” version of the post, the full version is http://shirtofflame.blogspot.com.ar/2011/02/why-i-avoid-both-catholic-left-and.html
BTW: the post is not new (feb 2011) . Not that that matters much.
Jesus took a position ,nailed to a cross. I know what our Lord said about the lukewarms and judging from this article, Heather King is about as lukewarm as it gets. CS Lewis once said the devils favorite color is grey,everything in an archaic, middle of the road fog. I guess John the Baptist screaming “repent” would have been offensive to Mz.King.At least she took one position, to stand shoulder to shoulder with her gay brothers and sisters, which means what ? Either your for Christ or against Him, there is no right or left, only the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
How odd that I always mistakenly saw this conflict as a battle between the Orthodox and the Heterodox that spill over into politics because the Heterodox lusted for power but now Heather King clarifies everything in a fashion very reminiscent of the sniffing disdain that I heard from most cultural Leftists who pretend to Catholicism.
Heather King is occasionally okay about her own spirituality but not too interesting when she wander outside of it. This is one of her dated erstwhile adventure into deep water that she isn’t qualified to navigate. Stick to the shoreline, Heather, the adults are able to fight the good fight in the deep water.
p.s. Her selection of “Saints” on this page is also odd. Bonhoeffer was a politically active Officer in the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence) executed for his involvement in the attempted assassination of Hitler, Kolbe was a skilled and vocal polemicist while Edith Stein was a adept philosopher and teacher who wrote extensively on the moral decay of Europe. I suspect the irony to be in play.
And BTW, in fairness to Ms. King, this article was written in 2011, I found her recent Aleteia article extremely compelling.
Great essay. Thanks for linking to it, Mark.
I loved this paragraph:
Here’s how, in my experience, you know you’re becoming a follower of Christ. You begin to want to be seen less, not more. You begin to want to be quieter, not louder. Knowing you’re on the right track doesn’t come from scoring points among your “friends.” Knowing you’re on the right track doesn’t come from winning useless arguments. You find yourself making tiny sacrifices. You find yourself experiencing tiny moments of joy. You find yourself mysteriously drawn to the Gospels, to Confession, to Mass.
I think too many of us (me definitely included) love to be Soldiers in the Army of Rightness, rather than humble, broken servants of the Truth.
I sent this to all of my adult and almost adult children. Thank you. I just don’t understand some of the hostility in the com box. (?) This is both humble, and brilliant at the same time. You have to have suffered some measure of brokenness to understand it.
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