It’s an honor to know Tom McDonald

Here he is, doing what every Christian in the world should do in the face of human evil: taking responsibility and turning to God for mercy instead looking around for somebody else to blame.

One of the things that finally dawned on me a couple of years ago was that it was stupid to blame God for “demanding” the crucifixion of Jesus.  The thing about the cross is that God handed himself over entirely to us and said, “Knock yourself out.  I’m in your hands.  What would you like to do?”  It was the ultimate genie granting the ultimate wish.  We had God, God almighty, right there in our hands and we had the opportunity of all lifetimes to respond in whatever way we possibly could.   We, us, our race, all of us, in one accord, looked over the menu of possibilities and we, us, our race, all of us, decided it would be really fun and smart to beat the living hell out of him, twist a crown of thorns and ram it down on his head just for the delectable gratuitous cruelty of the thing.  Then we, us, our race, all of us, in one accord, decide that wasn’t enough and so bestirred ourself to take the shocked victim and beat him some more as he carried some heavy lumber several hundred yards, pound some nails through his hands and feet, and settle down to watch the show as the flies bit him and he struggled for breath while he slowly underwent pulmonary edema.

It was entirely our choice to demonstrate just why *that* sacrifice was necessary to redeem our wretched fallen species.  And we go on demonstrating it to this day.  We broke the world.  We did this. And now we blame God, or the Jews, or liberals, or Obama or whoever the hell else we can think of when the answer of the revelation stands staring us in the face: “through my fault, through my fault, through my own most grievous fault”.

CCC598  In her Magisterial teaching of the faith and in the witness of her saints, the Church has never forgotten that “sinners were the authors and the ministers of all the sufferings that the divine Redeemer endured.” Taking into account the fact that our sins affect Christ himself, the Church does not hesitate to impute to Christians the gravest responsibility for the torments inflicted upon Jesus, a responsibility with which they have all too often burdened the Jews alone:

We must regard as guilty all those who continue to relapse into their sins. Since our sins made the Lord Christ suffer the torment of the cross, those who plunge themselves into disorders and crimes crucify the Son of God anew in their hearts (for he is in them) and hold him up to contempt. And it can be seen that our crime in this case is greater in us than in the Jews. As for them, according to the witness of the Apostle, “None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” We, however, profess to know him. And when we deny him by our deeds, we in some way seem to lay violent hands on him.

Nor did demons crucify him; it is you who have crucified him and crucify him still, when you delight in your vices and sins.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!


Rebecca Bratten Weiss is simply right
A Sister in Christ Could Use a Bit of Help
"Catholics, this should bother you"
Matt LaFleur is very kind
  • KM

    “We must live as Christians, against all danger and threats. We must forgive, against all wrongs. We must hope, against all evidence. We must love, against all reason.”

    These last lines he writes are a great reminder, as are your words, that we must examine our own hearts and remove the darkness within with God’s help.

    Speaking for myself, what looks like blame on my part is my anger and disappointment at our leaders who promised better, only to give us the same old policy that will haunt us for years. We’ve been lied to by the media and our political class, and many of us aren’t happy about it to put it mildly, so we continue to speak out while praying and trusting God.

    • KM

      I want to elaborate on my comment above by quoting writer A. Daniel Roth:

      “Instead of cultivating a bit of foresight among the so-called “leaders”, we are witnessing a massive failure of moral courage and strategic action.”

      Although Roth is referring to the Israeli-Gaza conflict, this applies in general, and is why people are angry/disappointed and looking to blame someone/something. There has been a massive failure of moral courage and strategic action worldwide.

      I will continue to put my trust in God.

      • Andy

        I aree – what little faith I had in our “leaders” has one to zero – neither set of them (R or D) have courage or integrity. They exist only to make their own lives easier and to serve their masters – the corporations that own them. I look now to my family for support, courage and integrity and put my faith in God.

  • Erin Manning

    Beautiful, Mark!

  • James H, London

    That’s it!

    Jezu, ufam tobie!

  • Catholic pilgrim

    Mark Shea (chezami, I agree with everything you & Tom wrote, but if we give refuge to persecuted Middle Easterners (which we absolutely should) we should give priority to Christians (Roman/Eastern-Rite Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, & otherwise) & then Non-Muslim religious minorities (Jews, Zoroastrians, Yazidis)- not Muslims. Muslims should absolutely be given refuge but not in Christian nations. There are PLENTY Muslim nations (from Egypt/Saudi Arabia to Indonesia/Iran); they should be the ones accommodating Muslim refuges- it’s their Islamic Religion anyway. There is only one tiny state for Jews, no Zoroastrian country, no country for Christians in the Middle East (thanks to Islam). We are all mystically united into the same Persecuted Body of Christ (Church) by Holy Baptism, what Islam does to Christians over in Iraq they do to us Christians over here. They are destroying ancient Christian communities with no Middle Eastern Christian nation to run to, we need to open our gates to them. Muslims have ABUNDANTLY many & VAST Muslim nations to run to, they don’t need to come to the USA or Europe (where Islam, which is causing all the violence, could spread & eventually overtake our already post-Christian nations). Bring in the persecuted Christians as number one priority, bring on the Yazidis, bring on the Jews & Zoroastrians, bring on the South Americans, but the Muslims (except for the Kurds, who have been friendly to ancient minorities) should be given refuge by their own Muslim neighbors & Muslim Nations.

    • chezami

      Screw priority. Every one of these people deserve our help.

      • Catholic pilgrim

        Send & give every displaced person packages of food, water & clothes- I absolutely agree on that. But give refuge to the homeless- the Ancient Christian communities who have no Christian country in the region to flee to & the other religious minorities (in this case the Yadizis, Zoroastrians & Jews). The Muslims should shelter their own. With the rise of Islam, they stole Christians of their homeland in the Middle East. Now, they’re killing & destroying whatever small Christian communities are left. Muslims have MANY Muslim nations all around the world. Why don’t those Muslim nations (many of which are prosperous & very rich with all the oil- like Dubai or Saudi Arabia) give refuge to their own Muslim brothers? Muslim communities in Post-Christian Europe are already having larger communities (with higher birthrates) than Post-Christian Europeans (with their secular love of abortion & birth control & materialism/relativism) & implementing Sharia systems across the UK & Europe. The spread (or invasion) of Islam into the West is inevitable. Islam wanted the West for many times & even had it in Spain, Austria &Constantinople & almost at the Battle of Tours & Lepanto. And if we open the Gates to them in greater numbers, you’ll support in the destruction of Christianity in the West. Mark, it’s dangerous. I love Muslims. We should give everybody in the Middle Eastern unstable regions aid (food, water, clothing)- Muslims & all. But Muslims still have Muslim homelands, they don’t need American & European land. Middle Eastern Christians, Yazidis, Zoros, & Jews (who have a tiny country surrounded by unstable neighbors) should be welcomed to our Christian lands & given refuge as well as the South American children. But bring Muslim communities here would not only hurt & help diminish the already weakened Church of Christ in the West but also bring the violent expansionist Islam to our land. To help the displaced Muslims (besides giving them aid), we should demand that the Many Muslim nations welcome their own Muslim brothers. If those countries refuse, put sanctions on them until they accept their own Muslim brothers.

        • Catholic pilgrim

          How easy we forget that North Africa & all of the Middle East was once Christian before Islam even existed. Now the Empire religion that is Islam is killing & destroying whatever small Ancient Christian communities they didn’t destroy before.

  • SteveP

    You’re really a piece of work, Mark, God love ya.

  • Drusilla Barron

    “The wood on which Christ hung was felled in Eden, by our hands. And after all this time, mankind still holds the ax at the root.”