Using The Kind Gaze to Look Past Splinters

Using The Kind Gaze to Look Past Splinters June 23, 2022

There are so many cool Catholic blogs, magazines and other things to read online. One really doesn’t have the time, energy or computer bandwidth to read all the good things being written up and slapped on a web page. Besides some of the stuff being cyberly produced are meaningless chaff and should be left to the mercy of the wind to be blown away into forgotten thought.  That is unless you want to take that chaff and blow it up and tell the world why so and so is wrong to have written such and such.

If there is one thing, I’ve discovered from being on Catholic social media is that you can’t talk about religion or politics without a full-blown argument breaking out.

You would think that every Catholic agrees on everything, but there differing beliefs on how the liturgy is to be celebrated, who can be ordained to the priesthood, and what the church’s official teaching on Harry Potter and yoga is.

Certain Conservatives think liberals are modernist heretics.
Certain Liberals think conservatives are rigid mean Pharisees.

And Joe and Jane Catholic don’t care about the catholic culture wars and want to follow God to the best of their ability.

We all forget sometimes….

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” -Rupertus Meldeniu

It’s interesting and really sad actually that those writers who claim to love the same Lord and God and hope to end up being with Him, the angels and saints in heaven one day in eternity, spend much of their writing life spilling digital ink about how uncatholic their baptized brethren really are and how their outraged by this conservative/liberal idea”.

Where Peter Is Catholic: You know who makes ad hominem arguments? Ugly people, that’s who!
1PeterFive Catholic: No, your FACE is an ad hominem fallacy.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t critique real problems but you should do it with clarity and charity, not animosity and anger.

Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:  Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.
CCC 2477-2478

It’s easy to find something we don’t like about someone else’s thoughts or actions and write or video a lengthy tirade about how wrong they are, with the attitude in mind ‘I am saving souls by bashing this erroneous and heretical idea’ usually by bashing the person holding the idea. It’s a lot harder to find something positive to say about someone we don’t like and disagree with.

“Here’s something: Let’s agree to try to understand the people with whom we strongly disagree. That way we can be certain wherein we disagree and where, perhaps, we only seem to. What’s more, we may then be better equipped to communicate. “
-Mark Brumley

So, have you ever looked at certain Catholic publications you despise and try to find that spiritual needle in a haystack that you might actually find spiritually uplifting and worth reading?

Can anything good come out of the Francis hating Rigorous Vortex Catholic websites?

Can anything truthful come out of the Francis loving Liberal Hippie Catholic websites?

I have browsed and looked through both types of pages and various things in-between and found beauty. I’ll be honest and say that some Catholic publications are really hard to find anything but virol and negativity.

But if you seek you might eventually find.

Where Peter there is, there is the Church – even if a given Peter does need assistance or even correction – it shouldn’t be going on in the secular press and certainly shouldn’t be going almost as sport among Catholics.

Pray for the Holy Father, instead of sniping at him OR distorting and using him.
– Michael Voris: It always comes back to the Pope (3/13/14) Church Militant

Now let’s take a cue from our dear Pope Francis who said we should use the ‘Kind Gaze‘ when looking at our neighbors.

U.S. Catholic magazine@USCatholic: (, 2022)The kind gaze does not discriminate, judge, measure, or exclude. The kind gaze sees the divine image in every face rather than imposes an image it prefers or insists on.

Like it or not we Catholics are all brother and sisters baptized into Christ. Even if your brother writes slander about how your not really Catholic doesn’t mean you have to do it back with the same intensity.

Scott Eric Alt@ScottEricAlt:  If the marital sacrament is permanent independent of my failures, so is my membership in the Body of Christ (which is the Church) by virtue of the sacrament of baptism.

These sacraments are permanent and unrepeatable, and no sin cancels them: baptism, initiation, marriage, and Holy Orders.

This is not opinion; it is dogma.

A laicized priest is still a priest; a separated or divorced spouse is still a spouse; an excommunicated or apostate or heretical Catholic is still a Catholic and still belongs to Jesus Christ.

Using the kind gaze does not mean ignoring those who ignore church teaching but it does mean looking past splinters in others to find Truth, Beauty and Goodness in your sibling’s eyes and wit, creativity and humor in their writing. It might seem more fun to bash them with the long beam in your eye, but it’s not really what Christ wants of you.

I encourage everyone reading this to look for cool tunes from the Broad Chorus of Catholic Thinkers.

The diversity of thought within Catholic teaching, like variety within the strictures of sonnets,  is one of its most beautiful features. It is nevertheless important to listen, as much as we can, to a broad chorus of Catholic thinkers. I have found great consolation in the fact that someone holier and smarter than myself has likely asked my questions already; my job is to find them and to listen, and then to make as many people as possible read block quotations about it.
Sharon Kabel , OSB vs. UFO: Stanley Jaki and the Theology of Aliens (June 16, 2021)- OnePeterFive

I hope I’m not just tweeting to the choir of a certain tribe.

Janet@Mystagogy1013 Tweeting to the choir gives us all support and encouragement, which is much needed in these days.

I believe will all be in purgatory till we learn to get along with those we will spend eternity with. Better start here on earth.

So I don’t blab on and on and on, here is one last bit of saintly advice.

“Beware of condemning any man’s action. Consider your neighbor’s intention, which is often honest and innocent, even though his act seems bad in outward appearance. —St. Ignatius Loyola

And a pleaful type of prayer.

I plan tomorrow to do what I can to try to make the world a better place than it is today. Our ideals may differ in some respects, but I am human and you are human, and I bet we have some things in common. Deacon Steven D. Greydanus


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