HellCo's Corporate Propaganda

10/30/2014 Comments (8)

October is, among other things, the month in which the devil sends out the most press releases about how business is booming, what with Halloween and all. Of course, like any big international business operation, Hell has to maintain several faces depending on the public it is talking to. To secularists, it frequently issues press releases from the Materialist Myth Manufacturing Ltd. subsidiary of Hell, reminding its customers that Hell doesn't exist, that God doesn't exist, and that everything is just atoms and energy, followed by the long long night of death (so be sure to pick up as much sex, drugs, rock n' roll and self-indulgence as your shopping cart can hold in our Life Clearance...READ MORE

Filed under exalted felicitations of the day

Two Kinds of Questions

10/23/2014 Comments (33)

When you spend your time talking about volatile stuff like politics or, in my case, religion (especially that unique species of religion called “the Catholic Faith”) you discover pretty quickly that conversations can move along two tracks simultaneously.

The first track is the “intellectual”. Somebody asks a question like, “Was the gospel of John actually the testimony of John the apostle?”

That’s a straightforward question with a straightforward answer: “Yes.” You can back it up with all sorts of evidence from the text itself, and from the testimony of the early Church, as well as a general consensus of biblical scholars. Usually, such questions and answers can be dealt with quickly--if...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

It Didn't Go Out With Vatican II

10/19/2014 Comments (78)

My pal Dave is a convert like me. When he first began looking at the Church he often had conversations with confident, relaxed, and well-meaning lay Catholics who would assure him that this and that "went out with Vatican II".

"How about those doily thingamabobs on women's heads?" he'd ask.

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

"Latin?"

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

"The Immaculate Conception?"

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

"The doctrine of the Trinity?"

"Oh, that went out with Vatican II."

It was at this point that Dave paused and began to realize that even he, as little as he knew about Catholicism, was reasonably sure that the doctrine of the Trinity had not "gone...READ MORE

Filed under catechesis

Of Hard Heads and Soft Hearts

10/16/2014 Comments (32)

My friend (we'll call him Bob) has a problem with the Church's "authoritarianism." In particular, he suspects the Church's creeds. For Bob, they are secret passwords which, if you say them while stupidly bobbing your head "yes," allow you into the Church. He complains creeds keep people from thinking. He argues they lead to persecution and cause well-meaning believers to be excluded from the Kingdom by rule-bound bigots.

Bob, of course, is not alone. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone complain against "complicated theologies of men" and sigh that "all we really need is to love one another and believe the simple teachings of Jesus." Who can fault such a desire? For indeed,...READ MORE

Filed under creed

Mary, Evolution, and Michaelangelo's Chisel

10/12/2014 Comments (106)

Two of the most controversial topics among Catholics and Protestants are evolution and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Great quantities of ink and electrons are expended in print and on the Internet each day, arguing about these things. "Catholics call Mary the cause of salvation!" complain our Evangelical friends. "Not only that, their Pope caved in on evolution and thereby denied God is the Creator!" Meanwhile, secularists complain of the exact opposite thing against Catholics. Not only do we deny pure materialism and hold that God is the Creator, we also credulously believe in the Virgin Birth, when science has supposedly disproven the miraculous, according to the Richard Dawkinses and Carl...READ MORE

Filed under ponderings

The Meaning of Merit

10/09/2014 Comments (26)

For most of my Evangelical family of faith (I am an Evangelical who entered the Roman communion in 1987), the very word "merit" as a theological term is as sinister as it is (for most lay Catholics) unintelligible and disused. At best, many Evangelicals feel a sort of uneasy truce with Catholic belief since it appears to them that merit "went out with Vatican II" and is therefore no longer really taught by the Church (a misperception abetted by lay Catholic ignorance of the Faith). But the truce is very uneasy. For the fact that merit was ever taught at all by the Church is a cause of deep misgiving and suspicion. And the sickening revelation that merit is still taught by the Church can...READ MORE

Filed under merit

In the Breaking of the Bread

10/05/2014 Comments (13)

A woman I know once suffered amnesia. One morning, her surroundings suddenly looked strange and she found she could not recognize her house or remember where she lived. Fumbling for the phone she tried desperately to call somebody for help. However, try as she might, she could not even remember the phone number of her best friend.

At this point something remarkable happened: Lifting the handset on the phone she found that her hand knew which numbers to press though her brain was at a loss to verbalize them. So she got through to her friend and was able to get help.

I think of this story sometimes when people speak of ritual or liturgy as a meaningless "going through the motions." For many...READ MORE

Filed under eucharist

Fear of the Incarnation and Its Discontents

10/02/2014 Comments (28)

Evangelicals, like all orthodox Christians, vigorously affirm the Doctrine of the Incarnation—the faith of all Christians that God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary and became Man.  Evangelicals, like Catholics, believe this doctrine with every fiber of their being.  But there's more to it than this.  In Evangelical culture "incarnation" has tended to get prefaced with the definite article—"The Incarnation."  It's been primarily thought and spoken of as a single, albeit glorious, historical event that took place in the past, and its application in everyday Evangelical life usually has the...READ MORE

Filed under apologetics

Page 2 of 75 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
  • Get the RSS feed
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.