It'ssss Our Birthhhhhhday

08/05/2011 Comments (9)

... and guess what we gotsss for our Birthday Presssssent?

I have a fishing buddy who got all choked up about this just before he handed it over. You might say I party full throttle on my birthday.

I’m here all week. Try the veal.

No, but seriously folks, birthdays are one of the sane institutions of our culture. They preserve something very sound: the doctrine of grace. Birthdays are the holiday where the main celebrant has the least to brag about. What was my achievement 53 years ago? Getting born: an entirely passive act. My parents (especially my Mom) did all the heavy lifting. All I did was exist, and even that was a pure gift of grace from the God of life and my mother and...READ MORE

Filed under musings

Up Next: Glamorizing Pedophiles

08/03/2011 Comments (51)

From my “Toldja So” files: I dust off this little piece I wrote on my “Catholic and Enjoying it” blog a couple of years ago:

Kate Harding labors to bring our Polanski-adoring elites back to the central point: Roman Polanski raped a child.

I hate being right all the time, but I predicted exactly this years ago. The reality has never been that our elites much care about victims of sexual abuse: They care about having a useful tool to bash the Church, which some pervert priests and (far more) some spectacularly bad bishops have handed them. But the fact remains that, when the Right Sort of Roman rapes a kid, the people who were cursing and swearing about sexual abuse will turn themselves into...READ MORE

Filed under untergang des abendlandes

A Question About Ron Paul

08/01/2011 Comments (153)

A reader asks:

I was curious as to your take on Ron Paul as a candidate for 2012. Prior to my conversion, I was a mega-libertarian, who only had started to become more socially conservative. I now hold rigorously to the tenets of the Catholic Church.

His views are here:

He’s not a Catholic candidate, but I definitely think he’s leagues above Obama.

The reason I ask this is that if we find him solid enough, and were able to get some sort of reply from the USCCB or other official Catholic responder, we could begin making a move in the online front. That is, we could work to get Obama out and Paul in.

I am by no means advocating this standpoint, but...READ MORE

Filed under politics

On Parades

07/27/2011 Comments (4)

As July winds down and August approacheth, we are entering into Parade Season up here in Washington state. Here in my hometown, we are in the thick of our local parade. In nearby Seattle, we are just about to have the Seafair Parade. There will also be (and have already been) parades in various local towns.

Which is curious when you think about it.

One of the things that marks us off from the beasts is that we are alone in the animal kingdom in our peculiar desire to get up, get in a more or less straight line with a number of our fellow homo sapiens and then walk in front of a bunch of other homo sapiens. Oh sure, birds and lizards and other critters will “display,” typically in order to...READ MORE

Filed under thinking out loud

Friends Don't Let Sociologists Do Theology

07/25/2011 Comments (30)

Stephen Prothero writes a spectacularly wrong headed piece for CNN in which he asks and answers the musical question, “Can Catholics abide a saint who had an abortion?”

He is speaking here of Servant of God Dorothy Day, who had an abortion as a young woman and went on to become one of the most profoundly converted Catholic converts of the 20th century. The assumption that lies at the back of the piece is spelled out by Prothero in terms that are alive to the yakkery of the Culture Wars, but stone deaf to Catholic teaching and theology:

Can you be a saint if you have committed the original sin of contemporary Catholicism?

He answers, Yes. But his answer is a travesty of Catholic thought:


Filed under chattering class follies

A Question About Virginity

07/22/2011 Comments (16)

A reader writes:

It’s always a bit awkward for me to email bloggers in response to their work, since I feel like I know a certain amount about you, whereas you know nothing of me. Nonetheless, your Sheavings have been quite helpful in my conversion to the Church. I grew up Evangelical (of the question-asking, apologetics-and-Powerpoint persuasion, rather than the proclaim the Holy Spirit louder and the world will change variety) but was received into the Catholic Church a year ago. Both I and my parents have found your thoughts on Mary to be very helpful in understanding. Your descriptions of the Evangelical feelings and views are, I suppose unsurprisingly, spot-on.

But as my...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Scripture Does not Say…

07/20/2011 Comments (430)

“When the Son of Man comes with all his angels, he will separate the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and to the sheep on his right he will say, ‘Come into the kingdom which my Father has prepared for you from the foundation of the world, for you refused to read or see Harry Potter and bravely condemned all those who did.”

One thing I am grateful for this week is that with the launch of the last Harry Potter movie, we are, at long last, looking at the end of the era of self-appointed inquisitors informing us that enjoyment of Harry Potter signals either spiritual blindness or wilful cooperation with the Forces of Darkness.  We will no longer be treated to specious...READ MORE

Filed under living romans 14

A Question about Euthanasia

07/18/2011 Comments (63)

A reader writes:

I have another question, if you have the time to reply – no rush.
The subject this time is euthanasia, and particularly assisted suicide. I would like some suggestions on the way to explain the Catholic position on this, in case it comes up again in some conversations.

As I was discussing with a friend who is a very sound Catholic, and has been working with intellectually disabled people for many years, it occurred to us that, unless someone has faith, pain and suffering just does not make a lot of sense. If this life is all there is to it, and illness, injuries due to accidents, or just the wearing out of one’s body due to old age, are all there is left to look forward to...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.