Monday, October 15, 2018

May God bless Mark Shea, who appears to have a beam in his eye

He starts with a quote from C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity:

"Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, ‘Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies are as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils."

Mark does so because his Usual Suspects are leaping all over Papa Francis, wailing and gnashing their teeth, and howling allegations of heresy, for things like his pious exhortation to stay close to one's guardian angel, perhaps by giving it a name (there is actually an instruction not to use names for angels, unless it's already mentioned in scripture; I reckon God has already given each angel a name of its own, and it is not important for you to know), his denigration of small-t traditions, and his use of a ferula-style crucifix.  Mark points out (rightly) that it's tendentious, and that the Christian thing to do is to love the Pope, and to interpret his actions in an empathetic and charitable manner.  He decries the drip, drip, drip of venom and hatred that these wrathful people actually enjoy pouring out on the Pope, and again, he is right to do so.  Nor is this the first time Mark has exhorted his foes to pray for their enemies, especially people he likes or feels sorry for; he once did the same for Lady Gaga.    But as I pointed out then, he typically ONLY does this for his allies.  When it comes to his enemies, he says this:

"[Their] goal is to destroy him [Papa Francis] and to remake the Church in the image and likeness of Christianist culture war Pharisees certain of their own righteousness.  They want that smaller, purer Church.  And by smaller, they mean not only “purged of all those we hate” but “purged of any teaching not in keeping with ideas solely convenient to the needs of the Party of Trump, the magisterium of FOX, and dogmas of Good White Christianists.  The goal is to whittle piety down to the Extraordinary Form, Purge the Gays and Liberals, and Magic Abortion Away.  Racism, misogyny, the worship of Mammon and Power, Pornocracy for rich white men, cheating workers of their just wages, death for all those whom the Party of Trump wants to kill, destruction of evangelism for all those the Pure wish to expel or block from access to grace, caging of brown children, nativism, enrichment of the rich at the cost of impoverishment of the destitute: these are the real goals of the Perfecti.  And they will hide behind the unborn and victims of sexual abuse to achieve those goals."

The vitriol, hatred, condemnation, and venom are palpable.  I cannot help but fear that Mark is determined to think his enemies are as bad as possible.  May God grace him with love for his enemies greater than any martyr of the Church.

P.S.:  Mark also recently wrote a piece on Pope St. Paul VI.  I recommend it highly; it is a great piece.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Pray, Hope, and Don't Worry

Things are getting weird and bad in Holy Mother Church.  People are fretting all over St. Blog's.  Anxiety is higher than I can ever recall.  I would be lying if I said it has not touched me, for it has.  But I say to all you who fret (including myself), "Pray, hope, and don't worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful and hears your prayer."

I've seen the posts, here and there.  They say things like, "This crisis is new and unprecedented!  Never before has Holy Mother Church taken such a blow!"

That may be so.  Some of this stuff may have never happened before.  That doesn't mean it has taken God by surprise.  If you have faith in Him, then you know it hasn't.  He knows what is going on, He has a plan, and He has people picked out who will be able, with His grace, to step up and fix whatever problem is besetting your thoughts.  God likes making His power evident by using weak people who can do nothing apart from Him.  That could include you, or me.  So be ready, and be of good courage.  If God is for us, who can be against us?  Isn't His grace sufficient for us?

So, pray, hope, and don't worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful, and hears your prayer.

Also, remember that Holy Mother Church belongs to our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Contrary to various Protestant histories, she wasn't stolen by Constantine (or anyone else) in the ancient world, and she hasn't been stolen from Him now.  He is ready, willing, and able to protect His own.  She remains the pillar and foundation of truth.  And the Gates of Hell will not stand against her.  If the situation seems beyond hope, remember that we have a saint for that, who is patron (among other things) of this blog, and my life.

So, pray, hope, and don't worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful, and hears your prayer.

And don't neglect the small stuff, like Eucharistic Adoration and church maintenance.  The volunteers who polish the brass on the altar, or repair Father's vestments, or mow the grass, or prune the bushes, do far more material good for Holy Mother Church than all the bloviation in the blogosphere, especially mine.

So, pray, hope, and don't worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful, and hears your prayer.