Fr. Bourgeois and the Romance of Rebellion

These people don't strike me as weakly formed individuals ripe for suppression by an institution. On the contrary, they seem like very firmly formed individuals. Their willingness, finally, to endorse the institution with their cooperation enhances both their credibility and the institution's luster. If some things are worth fighting for and even dying for, it stands to reason that some others are worth taking a dive for. My priorities might be in the wrong place, but at this point in my spiritual formation, I'd like to believe the Church is one of those things.

I interrogate my own conscience into quiescence five or six times a week, and would rather not feel like a fool for making the effort.

Last week, America Magazine ran an editorial titled, a little confusingly, "The New Americanism." In it, editors make the point that the high premium Americans attach to self-reliance has caused many Catholics—led here by Representative Paul Ryan—to abandon community obligations in favor of what Ayn Rand called "rational egoism." The connection between Rand's rational egoism and Fr. Bourgeois' willful altruism might look tenuous, but it's real. Both arise from conviction that the machine amounts to no more, and quite possibly less, than the sum of its parts. I hope Fr. Bourgeois gets a chance to read the article, if he hasn't already. It might impress him that flight from the herd, no matter how noble it can look onscreen, is sometimes downright...bourgeois.

8/14/2011 4:00:00 AM
  • Catholic
  • An Israelite Without Guile
  • Father Bourgeois
  • Christianity
  • Roman Catholicism
  • Judaism
  • Max Lindenman
    About Max Lindenman
    Max Lindenman is a freelance writer, based in Phoenix. He has been published in National Catholic Reporter, Busted Halo and Salon.
    Close Ad