Failure of Nerve

Wednesday, May 05, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (9)

Henry Ford, who is not my normal go-to guy for wisdom, did get one thing correct.  He said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” 

The paradox of our time is that we have more resources and opportunities available to us than ever before in human history—and we are more despairing about the future than ever before.

It’s crazy really.  Over at Inside Catholic, I’m taking a look at the parallel careers of Norman Borlaug and Paul Erlich.  Both men were confronted with the problem of a burgeoning world population in the mid-20th Century and therefore with the problem of world hunger.  Erlich, the Chattering Classes Anointed Prophet, wrote The Population Bomb in...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death

More News from the Country that Used to be England

Tuesday, May 04, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (25)

Where to begin?  Where to begin?

Well, after yesterday’s bit on the ongoing derangement of the man who used to be Phillip Pullman (there’s something deeply corrosive to the intellect in all this New Atheist stuff.  It turns finely honed minds and brilliant imaginations into bag ladies who scream at the traffice of bores on park benches who turn every conversation back to the focus of their monomania), today we have more evidence that England is in the final stages of a sort of cultural senile dementia.  Time used to be that England was the country where every religion was equally superior to the Catholic Faith (aka “Romanism” or “Popery”).  That, of course, still holds.  But increasingly,...READ MORE

Filed under decline and fall

Phillip Pullman's Latest Novel…

Monday, May 03, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (6)

The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ emits major levels of suckage, even according to a sympathetic reviewer at the LA Times.

Like so many atheists who approach the figure of Jesus, something goes wonky in Pullman’s brain.  He can’t cope with the actual information we have about Jesus, so he just makes up a bunch of twaddle, tells us “I like my twaddle better than reality” and then proceeds to build an elaborate fantasy on the reality and declare himself a genius.

In this case, the conceit is that Mary had twins (after a proper seduction, of course) and named them “Jesus” and “Christ”.  Jesus was the good guy, a proper 21st century English leftie who likes the stuff Pullman does. ...READ MORE

Filed under chattering class follies

Reconciliation: Thank God for Priest and Penitent

Monday, April 26, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (7)

The sacrament of Reconciliation, being a sacrament, is a work of God before it is a work of man.  Jesus establishes the sacrament; we just get to be participants in it, and Jesus seems to be so eager to get the ball rolling that he doesn’t wait around until everybody swept up in his gigantic and crazy project of saving the whole wide world is perfectly prepared to play their part.  He is an inveterate risk taker—as his choice of Judas Iscariot profoundly illustrates.

The good news is that so many people approach the sacrament of Reconciliation with good and honest hearts.  That’s a thing to be thankful for.  Indeed, as the sacrament of the Eucharist makes clear, all of life, for all...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

Why Evangelize?

Saturday, April 24, 2010 6:25 AM Comments (16)

A few days ago, a reader wrote asking whether it was possible to hope for the salvation of miscarried children.  I replied with the words of the Catechism:

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church’s call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Let's You and Him Fight

Thursday, April 22, 2010 9:45 PM Comments (29)

One of the more repulsive sorts of blood sport one encounters on the Internet is the cowardly game of “Let’s you and him fight”.

An example:  A recent incident involving my friend Erin Manning aka Red Cardigan.  Erin, you see, periodically contributes to Rod Dreher’s blog over on Beliefnet.  She, like me, doesn’t agree with everything Dreher says.  But she thinks enough of the “Crunchy Con” idea that she contributes to the conversation there.  Well, for some years now there has been a small nucleus of people out there in cyberspace who, for various reasons, just really really really hate Rod Dreher.

Now I think Dreher does things worthy of criticism and, when I think occasion warrants...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Doing Penance for Others

Monday, April 19, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (22)

A reader asks:

My question is, and I am asking you in email because I just am not sure how to word it to pick-up the right stuff through site searches, how are we as Catholics (or Christians in general if that is a more correct way to put it) supposed to feel about sins that we have not committed? One of the priests at our parish spoke about the pedophile scandals and how we should confess our sins (and he said it like that - sounding like it implied we should as a group ask for forgiveness as Catholics for these terrible crimes) and seek forgiveness for allowing this to happen. Even though I think that these are horrible, awful, abominable events, and pray for both those who have been...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

The Rumors of the Church's Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Friday, April 16, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (19)

My friend Gaurav Shroff is in the news, talking about how Gregorian Chant brought him to Christ.  We had a great time wandering around Green Lake with our mutual pal Alex Edezhath and then going to an uber-high Dominican Rite Latin Mass at Blessed Sacrament (my home parish) here in Seattle a couple of summers ago.  The guy is absolutely terrific!

As I read about Gaurav’s story, I realize again that one of the many reasons that the whole “the Catholic Church cannot survive the Scandal” thing is so utterly out of touch with reality is the fact that journalists, being primarily attuned to politics, tend to think of the Church in political terms.  So the notion seems to be that people become...READ MORE

Filed under faith

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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.