Human Toothaches

08/26/2011 Comments (72)

Get a Chance to Celebrate Nothing!!!!

People will go to the first US Army Atheist Concert for the sense of novelty and finger-in-the-eye defiance of theists. If you aren’t into the whole religion thing, it can feel nice to let off steam if you have a Christian co-worker or relative who gets on your nerves and you want to feel a sense of payback. But atheism is intrinsically boring as a social movement. You can only say, “There’s no God” so many times before the thrill of scandalizing the hicks is gone and the hicks themselves are looking at their watches and wondering if you are done with your rant yet. The only people who linger around such social scenes for the express purpose of...READ MORE

Filed under napoleon dynamite with a mean streak

In Criticism of Michael Voris

08/24/2011 Comments (215)

Last week I wrote a defense of Michael Voris and Simon Rafe (a defense I stand by, despite what follows). Catholic News Agency was, I felt, jumping on the story a bit prematurely and critics of Voris and Rafe were, it seemed to me, being rather hasty both in seeing something sinister in his failure to keep up with complicated paperwork and in their demands that a penitent Rafe be punished for writing a role-playing game with a few rather ambiguous naughty bits. I say “ambiguous” because we simply don’t know how the game proceeded. If you write a game in which a character you are playing does something you know you shouldn’t do and you get rewarded for it, that’s one thing. If you write a...READ MORE

Filed under rctv

The Fields Are White for Harvest!

08/22/2011 Comments (6)

A reader writes:

Hello, I am a long time lurker to your blog. Although a Reformed Protestant, my wife and I have been investigating the claims of the Catholic Church for about the past six months or so to discern if it is in fact the one true Church Christ founded. What led us to begin this process are many and would take too long to list out. However I have been advised by several Catholics to begin attending Mass as part of this process, along with the other more theological and historical research that I’ve been doing. So I attended Mass for the first time this week. As a convert from Protestant Evangelicalism I thought you might be interested in hearing about my experience. I wrote down...READ MORE

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In Defense of Michael Voris and Simon Rafe

08/19/2011 Comments (125)

Those familiar with my criticisms of Michael Voris may be surprised to hear it, but I don’t really think there’s much worth getting worked up about over the recent news that Real Catholic TV has been defunct as a non-profit for two years, nor that Simon Rafe has been writing some D&D style fan fiction on the side.

The story is basically about two awkward facts that emerged at the same time. Awkward fact No. 1:

Voris told CNA on August 16 that he had “no idea” his nonprofit corporation St. Michael’s Media had been automatically dissolved in 2009 after failing to file records with the state for two years. An official at the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs confirmed on August 10...READ MORE

Filed under meditations

Caesar and Mammon Don't Love You. Jesus Does.

08/17/2011 Comments (46)

A free market, like a free man, only stays free by losing its life in order to save it. Man is taller when he bows to God. Likewise, capitalism only stays human when capitalists aspire to a kingdom that is higher than the bottom line. When we make ourselves slaves of “market forces” and pretend there is no human being for the economy to be for and about, we become slaves. When capitalism and market forces become gods and not servants to the human person, paganized capitalism becomes utterly inhuman.

Case in point: The pagan capitalism regnant in China, where parents sell their children in order to play online games. It is excellent, orthodox, libertarian, free market capitalism in which...READ MORE

Filed under hudge and gudge

Jittery About Mary

08/15/2011 Comments (700)

A reader writes:

I’ve just started reading your book By What Authority? I like the positive approach.

Thank you!

I’ve been in various protestant churches throughout my Christian journey. I call myself a reformed Lutheran catholic. Several years ago, I discovered the Office of the Hours, and it has become the foundation of my daily devotional life. I read The Imitation of Christ a few years ago and was amazed at how contemporary and applicable it is.


Now, a pastor friend of mine recently told me that he has entered full communion with Catholic church. So now I’m checking Catholicism out seriously. I’m coming to understand Catholic ideas on their own merits rather than the protestant...READ MORE

Filed under mary

I Am a Cosmic Killjoy

08/12/2011 Comments (29)

As Chesterton famously did not observe, when people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing.  They believe in anything.  One of the corollaries of this, in our time, is that loss of faith in the Second Coming and the Last Judgment and Four Last Things and angels does not mean that people believe in sputtering out their three score and ten in the cubicle job and then just being cremated and stuffed in the broom closet in an urn.  Rather it means that our whole culture busily manufactures a secularist materialist myth to replace the reality of the Christian tradition.

Take for instance, this story and see if it sounds familiar: a being descends from Heaven, assumes the...READ MORE

Filed under cosmic killjoy

A Question about End of Life Treatment

08/10/2011 Comments (9)

A reader writes:

Today, after reading your article in the National Catholic Register, I was going to send you a further question, but I think that I just found the answer in this story.

The video is about winning the lottery and giving it all away to charity, but what impressed me was the written story that followed, about the death of Ms. Large after a long struggle with cancer. I was going to ask you: I am now 69 years old, my physical health is pretty good, and my mental health (depression) has made great progress in the last few years. However, supposing that some 10 years or more from now, I was found to have a terminal illness, such as cancer. Getting older, no matter how well my...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

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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.