In Memoriam

Monday, October 25, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (9)

I just discovered that an old teacher of mine, Arden Flom, died in July.  God rest his soul.  The article in the Herald (and the tributes in the comboxes beneath it) reflect the profound impact Arden had on the lives of a great many people, and I would like to add my voice to them, for what it’s worth.

Arden Flom saved my life.  That’s not an overstatement.  You know those statistics you read about teen suicide?  I came this close to be being one of those statistics in the winter of 1977.  I was an American suburban garage band pagan.  Unbaptized, without a clue about the gospel, “without hope and with God in the world” as St. Paul puts it.  The previous spring I had graduated from high...READ MORE

Filed under rip

For some people…

Friday, October 22, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (43)

...tomorrow is the birthday of the entire universe.  That’s because some folks credit 17th Century Anglican Bishop James Ussher’s stab at figuring out the exact date of the creation of the whole universe.  He nailed it down to October 23, 4004 BC.  Some say he pinpoints it at 9:00 AM, but Steven Jay Gould says noon in this article.

I like this piece.  Gould was an atheist and a Darwinist, but he maintained a respectful attitude toward believers that is refreshing in these days of New Atheists who think that shouting “SCIENCE!” like Thomas Dolby lends an authority to their philosophical gruntings.  Gould has the moxie to write an article in defense of Ussher rather than simple pull the...READ MORE

Filed under notable dates

Obama's Cynicism

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (60)

Andrew Bacevich is somebody I respect a great deal.  A Catholic conservative and a principled opponent of our policy of Permanent War, he served honorably in the Army for decades and sacrificed a son to our disastrous and wrong-headed war in Iraq. He was respectful, yet unstinting in his criticism of the disastrous policies of the Bush Administration that have embroiled us in our imperial adventures (and of the policies pre-dating Bush 43 by decades, which are embraced by both sides of the aisle as conventional wisdom).  His book, Washington Rules, chronicles the way in which our present wrong-headed policies abroad evolved, flourished, and are now rapidly becoming outdated as we try to...READ MORE

Filed under the first casualty of war

Why Am I So Hard on Conservative American Catholics…

Monday, October 18, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (159)

...who put their conservative Americanism before their Catholic faith?

It’s more or less summed up in this note from a friend of mine, an Eastern Orthodox Christian who tells the following tale:

The wife of a Russian Orthodox priest in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, once told me that she and husband, both Ukranians, had lost their families to Stalin, escaped to Hitler, and escaped deportation to the Soviet Union only by providential miracle (the intervention of Orthodox monks and stealth). They came to the US and he got a job with General Electric in Indiana. He retired from that job and his church community and Bishop asked him to become their priest at the repose of their pastor.

She told me in...READ MORE

Filed under god first then country

A Bit of Humor for a Friday

Friday, October 15, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (30)

as folks in the heartland respond to the Amateur President’s demand that they stop whining just because he is presiding over just about everything ineptly.  Hey!  What’s to complain about?  Obama, Biden, and the rest of our Ruling Class in DC are millionaires, so why are the little people so upset about the tanking economy?  They need to respect their betters!

Filed under the amateur president

A Young Man Discerning the Priesthood Asks…

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (4)

The Church in the modern era (especially flowing from Vatican II) seems to be investing sizable resources in articulating the reality of equal dignity between men and women: while not the “same”, both are equal in God’s gift of Himself to each. One practical application of this principle can be seen in the Church’s steadfast belief that, while a woman cannot be ordained, she still has equal worth to that of an ordained man.

However, someone recently tried to explain to me that the ontological change a man undergoes in the sacrament of ordination disposes him more fully to a life of holiness. Here, then, is my question: Does the ontological effect of ordination dispose a priest (or, bishop...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

In Which I Again Signal My Secret Democrat Sympathies

Monday, October 11, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (117)

Having criticized Sharron Angle’s dangerously wacky remarks on Friday, I have been informed in no uncertain terms that I am a leftist and liberal.  That, of course, is the only conceivable reason anybody would question a Tea Party darling.  Having been thus exposed, I figure I might as well throw caution to the winds and criticize yet another Tea Party darling, Rich Iott, currently running for Congress in Ohio.  Here’s a warm endorsement of him as a “new voice for our values”.

Now, here’s the funny thing.  Last week, when I criticized Angle’s dark suggestion that, should the vote not take care of our “Harry Reid problems”, then “second amendment remedies” might be on the table, lots of...READ MORE

Filed under politics

I'm glad Jesus blessed peacemakers

Friday, October 08, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (93)

...because nobody else seems to.  Everytime some lunatic comes along to advocate violence, you can always find lots of people who will say, “Oh sure, *normally* violence is bad, but in our special case, things are so desperate that you’d have to be a fiend not to advocate violence.”  This was the standard tactic of the vandals and thugs who destroyed college campuses in the 60s in order to register their disapproval of the war in Vietnam and it is, rhetorically at least, increasingly becoming the tactic of some on the Crazy Right today.  Here, for instance, is Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle advocating what she calls “second amendment remedies” to current American politics in a...READ MORE

Filed under bringin' the crazy, politics

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.