Anti-Benedict Media Sharks: Best Friends *and* Enemies?

Monday, April 05, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (5)

My friend Rod Dreher offers two completely irreconciliable propositions over at his blog:

Proposition 1: MSM Journalists are the Church’s best friend.

Proposition 2: In Scripture, God often uses the enemies of His people to chastise them, and to bring them to repentance.

So… what?  The Assyrians who wrought slaughter on the northern kingdom and doomed them to their fate as the Ten Lost Tribes were Israel’s best friend?  Journalists are like Assyrians? Friends are enemies?  Enemies are friends? One of these Propopsitions is not like the other.

Look.  I can grant that *God*, who orders all things for the good of those in Christ Jesus, can use bitter enemies of the Church to bring about...READ MORE

Filed under burying the hatchet in the pope's skull

I've Never Read a Better Meditation on Good Friday Than This

Friday, April 02, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (7)

So I will defer to GKC today:

In this story of Good Friday it is the best things in the world that are at their worst. That is what really shows us the world at its worst. It was, for instance, the priests of a true monotheism and the soldiers of an international civilisation. Rome, the legend, founded upon fallen Troy and triumphant over fallen Carthage, had stood for a heroism which was the nearest that any pagan ever came to chivalry. Rome had defended the household gods and the human decencies against the ogres of Africa and the hermaphrodite monstrosities of Greece. But in the lightning flash of this incident, we see great Rome, the imperial republic, going downward under her Lucretian...READ MORE

Filed under triduum

Episcopal Sin Disproves Humanae Vitae?

Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (58)

The other day a reader wrote:

It seems crazy to me to believe that God supernaturally protects the church against errors in faith and morals in very narrowly defined cases, but allows an almost unimaginable culture of abuse and corruption. That makes for a very very weird, legalistic conception of God, IMO. 

And the idea that we should defer our opinions on sexual morality to a church whose abuses and corruptions are in precisely that area .... That seems even more crazy. 

The depth and extent of the sex abuse crisis is simply astounding. Not in the percentage of priests who were wicked, but in the way the institution covered it up, attacked the accusers, and enabled the abusers to...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Taking a Brief Break from Sacraments for Holy Week

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 3:33 AM Comments (7)

Speaking of which, here’s some resources on how they celebrate Easter—or more precisely “Pascha” in the Eastern Church.

This, by the way, is one of the many demonstrations of the way in which obsession with Rome makes anti-Catholics blind to certain elementary truths about the Christian faith.  People who imagine they’ve really made a shocking discovery when they breathlessly announce that “Easter is pagan!!!!!” need to bear in mind that in large portions of the world, the feast is not called “Easter” at all.  It winds up with that name in parts of the world that happen to derive their Mother Tongue from certain Germanic peoples because it happens to be celebrated around the time of a...READ MORE

Filed under the truth of the faith

Reconciliation: Confession, Contrition, Satisfaction

Friday, March 19, 2010 3:13 AM Comments (0)

In John 20:22-23 we find the record of the origins of the sacrament of Reconciliation:

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

When Jesus empowered his apostles to forgive sins in His Name, he did so with the deep awareness of, and compassion for, our predicament as fallen human beings.  Quite simply, we are the only creatures on planet earth that feel the compulsion to confess (and have need to do so).  Your cat feels no compunction about the mouse corpse he left on your doorstep as a present.  The alligator does not reflect on the...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

Reconciliation: Interior Repentance, Forgiveness, and Conversion

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (0)

In Hamlet, the gloomy Dane lives out a thoroughly pagan vendetta against his uncle Claudius, who has murdered his father.  At one point, he discovers Claudius at his prayers and thinks to go and stab him to death.  But in a move not exactly in keeping with Christian morality he opts not to since, if he rubs Claudius out now…

… he goes to heaven;
And so am I revenged. That would be scann’d:
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.
O, this is hire and salary, not revenge.

So Hamlet, who is nothing if not a dutiful son to his dad, decides to put off the execution until the time is ripe and he can make sure that Claudius gets it in the...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance

Monday, March 15, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (1)

You could hardly find a better description of what is going on in the sacrament of Reconciliation than this passage from 1 Corinthians 5:17-21:

Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

The Sacraments of Healing

Thursday, March 11, 2010 3:00 AM Comments (7)

One of the many Old Testament foreshadows of the New Testament is found in Exodus 15:26:

If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give heed to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I put upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD, your healer.

God’s self-revelation as “healer” comes to fruition in the many ways that Jesus acts as healer during his ministry.  His works of healing are not mere cures, still less are they magic tricks done merely to impress.  Rather, they are signs.  They signify and point to the central truth about who Jesus is and what he has come to do. ...READ MORE

Filed under sacraments

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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.