Prophets and Priests

06/27/2011 Comments (15)

One of the greatest aspects of our Church is that, while it certainly makes room for the office of prophet, it primarily relies on the office of priest on a day to day basis.  The reason that’s good is because we have a culture that is all agog for prophets and almost wholly ignorant of the need for priests.

What I mean is this:  our culture puts great emphasis on the charismatic individual with the story of personal inspiration and revelation.  That’s good as far as it goes.  We need to hear from people who have had an encounter with the living God.  Such people are, says St. Paul, letters from God with the word of God written on their hearts.  A Mother Teresa or a St. Francis or any...READ MORE

Filed under thinking faithfully

God's Gifts Are Found Anywhere

06/24/2011 Comments (8)

Our Lord gives each of us charisms in baptism, which like merely human talents, can take all sorts of forms. The difference is that our charisms are ordered toward bring the grace of God to our neighbor and helping to rightly order the world to his glory.

Dunno if this kid is baptized. Odds are pretty good that he is. Whoever he is, he is a living demonstration of the fact that God loves to drop bombs of grace into the unlikeliest of people and places. Man asks, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” and the answer of grace is “Absolutely!”

We should all ask for some grace in whatever out of the way corner we happen to be in today. God just may surprise us—or surprise somebody through...READ MORE

Filed under charisms

The Opposite of Love ...

06/22/2011 Comments (25)

... is not hate, according to Pope John Paul II. The opposite of love is use. Indeed, one very serviceable definition of sin is “Treating persons like things and things like persons. So idolatry is treating a think like the persons of the Trinity. Murder reduces persons to things called corpses. Theft exalts a thing above the person who owns it. When people stop being persons and become things to use, we are treating them with contempt and are a million miles from the love of Christ.

Conservative Catholics get this when it comes to the Church’s teaching on sexuality. Pornography is wrong because it reduces people to objects. As C.S. Lewis observed, the lustful man does not want a woman. He...READ MORE

Filed under consequentialism

Against Idolatry

06/20/2011 Comments (6)

The apologetics subculture in the Church is a place with both rewards and dangers. The rewards are plain enough: People write you sometimes and tell you that something you said or wrote helped them “get it” about the Faith and even helped them reach the decision to trust Christ, or enter the Church, or not go through with that divorce or whatever. It’s lovely to see somebody flourish and grow. It’s also humbling because (in my case anyway) I often can’t remember what particular bit of blather I wrote or said somewhere that my reader is talking about. It’s like when some guy comes up to you at a party and starts talking about that hilarious thing you and he did back in 10th grade, and you...READ MORE

Filed under the cult of personality is idolatry

Good for Cardinal Burke!

06/17/2011 Comments (98)

So some organization called Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice was going to hold some conference in England on June 18. They invited Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the most ardent champions of orthodox Catholic teaching and worship to speak at the conference. He kindly agreed to do so. Then, somebody apparently pointed out to the cardinal that the group spent a lot of time fomenting reactionary dissent. So he bailed.  Does that make everything the English bishops do peachy? No. But it did send a clear message that the healthy response to problem bishops is not to foment reactionary dissent.

Response: The conference organizers, either in complete and utter ignorance or sheer stupidity, decided to...READ MORE

Filed under bringin' the crazy

What If ...

06/15/2011 Comments (40)

Abigail van Buren got a letter reading:

Dear Abby:

There’s this woman in my life I just can’t stand. I first met her a couple of years ago. A lot of people seemed to like her, but not me. I know she’s evil. For one thing, she’s got a baby that everybody says is hers, but I’m sure it isn’t. I don’t have any evidence to prove that, but my gut tells me I’m right, so I’m going to keep searching until I prove everybody wrong. (Oh, and by the way, me and my friends have had some real laughs at that retard baby of hers but nobody seems to be able to take a joke!) Same goes for when I laugh at her other disgusting children.  What’s the problem?  People are so sensitive!

So here’s my problem: I’ve...READ MORE

Filed under the purpose of network news is to sell beer and shampoo

Better the Devil You Know?

06/13/2011 Comments (63)

For several years now, I have gotten panicked emails from the sort of people who live in continual fear that the devil is masterminding a vast conspiracy via D&D, backward masking, and subliminal images in Pepsi commercials. These are the sort of people who believe deeply in “reading between the lines,” searching for the vast web of subtle cues that demons apparently love to leave in their wake so that Deeply Insightful Christians can be tormented like Cassandra, knowing that their prophecies of doom will be true, but powerless to keep The Conspiracy from happening since nobody but them can see Emerging Pattern.

So, for instance, I get email from people warning me that Harry Potter is part...READ MORE

Filed under tribalism

Four Reasons I Find the Left Repellent

06/10/2011 Comments (77)

Reason 1: Weineraquiddick

Not just Weiner’s lying, bullying, threatening, self-pity on full display here:

After all, it’s to be expected that a disgusting cad will lie right up until the moment the evidence against him is so overwhelming that he “comes clean” because he is insulting his audience’s intelligence. That’s what liars do: They lie.

No, what’s really disgusting about the Left is not Weiner, disgusting as he is. It is sickening shills like Chris Matthews, who has no burning panic-driven need to cover his sociopathic narcissism in order to keep his job or his marriage, yet who coolly and with deliberation, tries to figure out a way to blame Weiner’s wife for his disgusting...READ MORE

Filed under politics

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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.