A reader puzzles over a nephew's philosophy

12/21/2011 Comments (51)

A reader writes:

I have a nephew that has been caught up in the secular/relativistic worldview and has apparently lost his faith in Christ.  Here are his comments about his belief structure:

Religion is created as a means to give our lives a greater purpose, for those who can’t come to terms with the finality of death.  Upon death, our consciousness simply ceases to exist and our material bodies are cast back into the environment from which they came from in order to make way for newer life.  You will refuse to believe this because in your eyes, it is a very grim picture.  You would interpret my picture as life becoming meaningless and simply thrown away.  This is why you find comfort in...READ MORE

Filed under dealing with indifferentism

This Year I Will be a Conscientious Objector in the War on Christmas

12/19/2011 Comments (41)

The reason why is deftly satirized by this Toby Keith video courtesy of Stephen Colbert:

I decline to make Christmas a grenade in the politicized culture wars our nation is coming to specialize in.  I refuse to let the thought or mention of Christmas fill me with anger and resentment.  I resolve to let the thought of Christmas be an occasion of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

Does that mean I believe there’s no hostility to Christmas in our culture?  Of course there is.  There has always been hostility to Christmas...READ MORE

Filed under merry christmas

A Final (I think) Few Remarks on Voting as a Moral Act

12/16/2011 Comments (34)

Just a couple of things, prompted by some interesting and reasonable remarks by various readers.  First, one reader objects to my proposition that how voting changes the voter is vastly more significant than how the voter’s vote changes the outcome of an election:

If everyone thought about voting the way you do, then the worst candidates would always win elections.  The pure of heart would never vote.  Would the sacrifice of the widow in any possible scenario end with that result?

I don’t see how my reader’s logic makes any sense.  First, of course, it relies on the perpetual straw man being advanced throughout this argument: that the refusal to support grave intrinsic evils worthy of the...READ MORE

Filed under voting is a moral act

Interesting Follow-up to My Post on the Moral Act of Voting

12/14/2011 Comments (48)

Last week, I tried to give an answer to a reader who is (understandably) puzzled about how to approach the act of voting, particularly when confronted with candidates who are not merely “less than ideal” (that’s always the case) but committed to supporting policies which are gravely and intrinsically immoral. If you haven’t read that yet, please click here to get my reply.

Anyway, in the comboxes, my good friend Sherry Weddell reprinted something she wrote several years ago about a conversation she had with a couple of moral theologians—both solidly orthodox, big fans of Pope Benedict, and one of them even a bishop (not to mention a solid Dominican). I reproduce her note below, mostly to...READ MORE

Filed under voting is a moral act

Flattery and Vanity

12/12/2011 Comments (14)

I’ve been getting a ton of mail these days from people who just love everything about me.  Here are a few samples of the effusive praise I get, several times an hour:

Hi there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

I’m not sure what “watch out for brussels” means, but since she’s so clearly grasped my greatness and is urging me to continue being the informative and beneficial man I am, I will let that slide.  Meanwhile, somebody else writes:

Amazing web site you’ve here however i was curious about should...READ MORE

Filed under repent

Ben Franklin's Warning Is Our Present Danger


12/09/2011 Comments (111)

When people say, “There is peace and safety,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But, since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through...READ MORE

Filed under for freedom christ as set us free

A reader asks about the act of voting

12/07/2011 Comments (117)

A reader asks, very reasonably: “So, Mr. Shea, what is the solution? I want to vote prudently with my conscience as my guide. Yet still make my vote worthwhile, which at this time of the political season, it is. What now?”

I think the answer lies in thinking differently about what the act of voting is and what it does.  Tom Kreitzberg has wisely said that “The act of voting is the stone in the stone soup of political responsibility for Catholic citizens of democratic countries.”  I think this is basically true.  The real action in deciding what happens to the fate of a nation occurs not at the ballot box, but with political involvement (or lack thereof) by the citizenry at much lower...READ MORE

Filed under voting is a moral act

A Translator Ponders the New Mass Translation

12/02/2011 Comments (56)

She writes:

I don’t know if you are expecting, or have been receiving, many comments about this new translation of the Mass that came into use today, but I thought I might add mine to the others…
Of course, having been a professional translator for over 35 years, I do not get too worried about differing translations of the same basic text. It happens all the time, particularly in my country, Canada, which is officially bilingual. Therefore I was not getting very excited. However, what I have noticed is quite positive: The necessity to pay attention to a new text, instead of repeating things that have been familiar for decades, has by itself brought more reverence to the Mass by slowing...READ MORE

Filed under liturgy stuff

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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.