Police State Spirituality

06/04/2010 Comments (6)

Over at Catholic and Enjoying It, somebody sent me a link to a new movie about the Algerian martyrs and then jokingly asked if I had seen the action-packed film Into Great Silence.  (If you don’t know, Into Great Silence is a rich contemplative film that takes a long slow look at the lives of some Benedictine monks.  For a really great review of the film, see the Register‘s own Steven Greydanus, who loved it).

As I confessed to my reader, I’ve never seen the film.  However, I did have a small anecdote since a Dominican priest of my acquaintance had gone to see it and, with the cross town high school rivalry one sometimes sees exhibited among the various orders with their various charisms,...READ MORE

Filed under catholicity

Might as Well Face it, You're Addicted to Prayer

06/03/2010 Comments (21)

A reader writes:

My praying the rosary has become an “addictive” habit.  I only do it once a day, but now I feel compelled, in a virtually “addictive” way, to do it once a day, because otherwise I feel deprived.

(An intelligently ecumenical gloss:  I have some Sufi friends - of the Jerrahi Order, “apostolates” of Rumi who I think might actually be a Saint even though he was a nominal Muslim - who have told me that in THEIR order of Sufism, “to forget to pray is its own punishment, because if you forget to pray then you are depriving yourself of God’s company.”)

Anyway, the rosary has literally become a “habit” to which I feel “addicted”, although not in a compulsive way.  I simply feel...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

Prochoice Mystical Rubbish

05/31/2010 Comments (35)

A reader from Australia writes:

Thought you might find this story interesting.

The parents of a 32-week-old (in utero) baby, who was killed when her mother was run over, are pushing for the driver to be charged with murder or manslaughter.

The second line of the story sums it up…

But according to New South Wales law, Zoe Ball was not a human being because, despite spending eight months in her mother’s womb, the baby did not take a breath.

I live in Victoria, the state south of NSW, which last year decriminalised abortion and effectively legalised it up to 40 weeks (on demand up to 24 weeks, with approval of two doctors after that).

Any changes NSW might make won’t impact on us, though...READ MORE

Filed under culture of death watch

Going on Vacation and Thinking about Dad

05/28/2010 Comments (4)

As you read this, I will be heading out with the Fambly and friends to our Hidden Island Redoubt deep in the wilds of Western Washington.  Thanks to the miracle of modern communications technology, I can speak to you over this elaborate device called the Interweb.  I wrote this piece on Wednesday, uploaded it and told it to publish at midnight on Friday morning.  So the machine does the work while I get to go goof off and take a ferry (did I say “ferry”?  I’ve said too much already!) to our Hidden Island Redoubt.

I’ve always suspected that a vast amount of our experience of Heaven is mediated to us through playtime rather than Serious Grownup Adult Work time.  I came from a family where...READ MORE

Filed under meditations

Catholic Church Lets Copernicus Out of Hell!!!!!

05/27/2010 Comments (67)

So the other day one of my readers declared:

Copernicus was so afraid of the catholic church that he waited until he was on his death bed to proclaim that the earth as was believed by the catholic church was not the center of the universe and that it was the sun.

The best answer to these sorts of claims is “Documentation please?”  An even better answer, if you have the time and inclination, is to provide the answer yourself, which I helpfully did since I had the time and inclination.  If you want it yourself, go here.
My reader, daunted by actual fact, replied “Ok, I am not going to debate history with you” and then proceeded to change the subject to “Has any Catholic anywhere ever done bad...READ MORE

Filed under pseudoknowledge

Scavenging the Gospels

05/25/2010 Comments (13)

Here’s a new piece in which somebody projects some good old-fashioned liberal biblical scholarship on Jesus.  It’s the New Yorker, of course, so we can’t expect much.

It’s a common enough thing in our world.  People are continually manufacturing Latest Real Jesuses to suit the cultural priorities of their age.  Albert Schweitzer, the great Social Gospel Protestant, went on a Quest for the Historical Jesus and discovered that Jesus was basically a Social Gospel Protestant.  Frank Barton wrote The Man Nobody Knows in the 20s, just as the stock market was soaring and Calvin Coolidge was declaring that “The business of America is business.”  Turned out Jesus was the first businessman.  In the...READ MORE

Filed under chattering class follies

Fr. Robert Barron on "Agora"

05/20/2010 Comments (12)

Here is a textbook example of how a lie get popularized and becomes pseudoknowledge.  Our Manufacturers of Culture, under the influence of powers and principalities, are slowly and surely preparing our culture to undertake a pogrom.  Again and again, outright lies about Christians and their history get promulgated while we are told that it is “impeccable research” as, incredibly, the Da Vinci Code was described by one reviewer.  Or, we get the ill-informed tracts by New Atheists that would embarrass any real atheist.  But, above all, we begin to get the toxicity making its way into popular visual media like Agora

The reason this matters is that visual media tend to bypass the critical...READ MORE

Filed under at the movies

The Chesterton Academy Could Use Our Help!

05/19/2010 Comment

I don’t normally publish something like this here, but since the Register has such a big readership, and there is so little time, and hey!  I’m a fan of all things Chesterton I thought, “Why not?”

Chestertonians !!

In all of the American Chesterton Society’s good work, one of the most exciting things we have ever gotten involved in is helping to start a new high school. Chesterton Academy is just completing its second year of operations in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. We featured a cover story about it in Gilbert Magazine not long ago, but it has received other national press because of its uniquely integrated curriculum, its comprehensive approach to classical learning, its faith-based...READ MORE

Filed under works of mercy

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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.