A Reader Asks About Fighting Sin With Sin

02/01/2012 Comments (17)

He writes:

Thanks for your tireless and faithful work; your writing’s had a tremendous influence on my thinking as a Christian - -especially your explanations of the problems of consequentialism.

Here’s a question for you, though:

I’m slowly working through some of the Fathers, and I’m on John Cassian’s Conferences. At one point, he suggests using sin against sin; that is, to use one’s pride (at being oh-so-holy in the eyes of others) as a way to keep from giving in to temptations of the flesh: I won’t engage in gluttony or fornication or what-have-you simply because I want to preserve my reputation with the folks around me.
(Here’s a relevant passage, right at the beginning of the link)


Filed under mailbag

Thought Experiment

01/27/2012 Comments (36)

A reader writes:

A spaceship is leaking air rapidly, and soon everyone on board will die. The local chaplain does the mass absolution thing (the name of which I cannot remember at the moment), so that all may die in a state of grace. A nearby space station, hearing the distress calls, sends a small freighter to the rescue. The pilot, however, realizes that if he rescues the ship, it is statistically likely that someone aboard (it’s a big ship) will go apostate or otherwise sin mortally, and would not achieve heaven. If he does not rescue the ship, everyone aboard will die, but hopefully they will all go to Heaven. What gives?

The reverse situation is also troublesome. A spaceship (of the...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag


01/25/2012 Comments (14)

Lots of people think that “giving scandal” mean “saying or doing something that upsets somebody”.  That’s not true.  “Giving scandal” means “saying or doing something that tempts people to commit sin”.

One immediate result of this fact is that it is very hard for an enemy to give scandal, because we are highly unlikely to do something an enemy tells us to do.  For example, the other day Obama made some disgusting remarks about how child murder helps women fulfil their dreams.  Such remarks, while deeply offensive to pro-life Catholics, are not scandalous to them because no prolife Catholic will be tempted by the thought, “Gee!  He’s got a point!  I think I will quite the prolife movement...READ MORE

Filed under politics and other evils

I'm not normally a man of few words…

01/23/2012 Comments (35)

But when I see this:

...and read this, I have only one thing to say to my fellow Catholics about the Obama Administration:


Filed under


01/20/2012 Comments (15)

A reader writes:

I followed with interest Ryan McMaken’s analysis of the “6 Myths Catholics Tell About Libertarians” and your subsequent response.  I am a devout Catholic, which defines both my theological and political philosophy.  However, in the interest of clarity, I tell people that, politically, I am a Christarchist.  Christ is my King and I recognize no other “king” as legitimate.  Christ never forces us.  He never undermines the free Will with which He has blessed us.  We either choose to love Him or not and He allows us to reap the natural consequences of our decisions.  Our state, in fact all states, are the “king” described in 1 Samuel 8.  This is something I pray more Catholics...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

A reader asks about a neighbor's Bible Study

01/18/2012 Comments (48)

He writes:

I wanted your opinion on a matter.  Our 8 year old daughter has been invited to a Bible Study (non denomination; ie., non Catholic) put on by a neighbor (husband & wife team) every Thursday.  Now the person doing the inviting is another neighbor (a very nice lady) whose daughter is in the same public school class as our daughter.  She invited our daughter last week for Christmas Caroling which I allowed as there was no Bible study for that Thursday.  She went to spend time with her friend to sing songs, eat pizza, and watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas.  Generally, though, every Thursday they have a Scripture reading and then a discussion. 

I am leary of sending her as I know...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Was Lilith Edited out of the Bible?

01/16/2012 Comments (82)

A reader asks:

I have a question I hope you can help me research for my youth group.  We are using the Life Teen program and I am one of the core team members.  Where can I find real, researched information on Lilith…..supposedly Adam’s first wife who was edited out of the bible because of a whole jumble of conspiratorial reasons I cannot quite fathom yet.  Her erasure and other yet to be named biblical rewrites mean sin doesn’t really exist though…….I did get that much. 

My kids are a pretty bright group, and two of my brightest are the most challenging, the most confused, and the least accepting….. and I want to respect their challenges with real responses, even when they are off the...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

A reader has a question about extrabiblical testimony to Christ

01/13/2012 Comments (50)

He writes:

I’ve been discussing a number of topics with my brother who is an atheist. In particular he has asked me about a number of events that should be in the historical record such as the census that required Mary, Joseph, and Jesus go to Bethlehem to be accounted, the earthquake and three-hour darkness at the Passion. Do you know of any place where I can get some information about theses events?

Also, I was making a Lewis-esque argument concerning the truth of the Gospel. I argued that the Apostles had nothing to gain from inventing the Gospel, since all they received from it was stonings, beatings, and crucifixion. However, he pointed out that early Mormons and Joseph Smith were...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Page 58 of 96 pages ‹ First  < 56 57 58 59 60 >  Last ›

About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
  • Get the RSS feed
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.