Pseudoknowledge and the Recent Anti-Benedict Hysteria

05/14/2010 Comments (36)

Some years back, a friend of mine was leaving evening prayer at our local Dominican parish when he found himself confronted by an angry lady scowling at the Dominicans in their habits.  My friend happens to be a history prof at the University of Washington.  The lady started muttering at him about the monstrous crimes of the Dominicans and how everybody (including my friend) was a blind sheep because they knew nothing about the medieval Church and the crimes it has committed.  (Surely, if any subject is taboo in our culture, it is discussion of the sins, both real and imagined, of the Catholic Church).  My friend asked, “What crimes do you mean?”  She replied, “Why don’t you ask your...READ MORE

Filed under the situation

Another Astounding Treasure of our Faith

05/13/2010 Comments (13)

Here's an interesting photo-article about some historical artifacts from Christianity's oppressed past in Japan. The most amazing among them is a series of mosaics made from tens of thousands of butterfly wings, and constructed by a priest, no less!

It's hard to add commentary to something like this. The astonishing labor that went into this, the sheer love of God, love of craftsmanship, love of the art beggars words. Someday, somebody is going to do justice to the story of Japan's Catholics: people who waited for centuries for the return of the Mass after a small number of converts were made and the western priests murdered or exiled. They quietly practiced baptism, year in and year...READ MORE

Filed under the fair beauty of the lord

Another Reason I Love Pope Benedict

05/12/2010 Comments (13)

is that he shares my non-emotive relationship with our Lady.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have a problem with people (like f’rinstance John Paul) who have an intensely emotional relationship with Mary.  My attitude to the readers of Spirit Daily and those who are deeply enthused about Marian apparitions is “de gustibus”.  Far be it from me to get in the way of how God made you and the way in which you related to Our Lady.

Only… I seem to lack the gene for getting all het up about Marian apparitions.  I have found the Eucharistic miracle at Betania to be be very helpful to my devotional life and I believe the approved apparitions of the Church are, indeed, legit.  But I have never had a...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, our lady

As if Ordained by Providence…

05/06/2010 Comments (1)

(which, of course, it was) here is a video that makes the same point I was making yesterday about our civilizational failure of nerve.  The problem is not and never has been “too many people”.  The problem is that we create the roadblocks and impediments to getting earth’s abundance to people who have the right to it.  Something—power, money, comfort, greed, [insert idol here] becomes more important than human beings made in the image and likeness of God and so people are left to starve rather than change the human system that is blocking the supply of food from reaching starving people.  Our lazy and cowardly First World insistence that brown people need to die, contracept and abort so...READ MORE

Filed under overpopulation and other lies

Failure of Nerve

05/05/2010 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

05/04/2010 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…

05/03/2010 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

04/26/2010 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

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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.