Some interesting Mark Shea

Read it all here.

But these days I am astonished to see self-proclaimed “Faithful Conservative Catholics”, in amazing numbers, react to the news that Pope Francis inspires trust in unbelievers, not with the cry, “Great news! Let’s use this opportunity to tell the world about Jesus!” but with “This shows how “humble” Pope Francis is all about trying to be a celebrity and ingratiate himself with the world. The fact that gays and ex-Catholics and the media adore him just goes to show you that he is a heretic compromising the Faith and is a danger to the Church! He must be stopped before he destroys it!”

Folly. Such people don’t want the gospel. They want a little system of order that keeps them safe from the radical demands of love Christ lays upon us. They want to keep people out of the Church and it does not even occur to them to see such a cultural moment as an opportunity. It is entirely a threat to them.

There is no other word to say to such people than “Repent!” It is entirely possible that the millions of hitherto disaffected people warming to the Faith because a little flame of trust is being kindled in their hearts by their affection for Francis will enter the kingdom ahead of you if you don’t. Our task is not to keep out the riff raff and repel boarders. It is to go out into the highways and byways and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame so that the wedding feast will be full.

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9 Responses to Some interesting Mark Shea

  1. John Walter S. says:

    They’re not gonna come back. They found their god in their “friends” or their hobbies. That’s why they treat religion like just another hobby. (Or social club) They’re excited when the Church finally “sees it their way” and have no shortage of venom for anyone who says “No, it is NOT okay.” unless it agrees with their world view which, unless it is in accord with God, is not true.

    Salvation depends directly upon the will. We are saved or damned according to what we love. If we love God, we shall ultimately get God: we are saved. If we love self in preference to God, then we shall get self apart from God: we shall be damned. But though in our relation to God the intellect does not matter as much as the will, the intellect DOES matter and these sentimental Catholic theologians who talk about “being welcoming” and “being charitable” do much to neglect the intellect to the great misfortune of the willpower of those people who need the maximum love for God but only have a minimum knowledge of Him. See, this is why when God is portrayed, He is this pleasant fellow played by Morgan Freeman, or some harmless grandfatherly figure who you can conveniently forget when you want to do what you want to do.

    For the soul’s full functioning, we need a Catholic intellect as well as a Catholic will. We have a Catholic will when we love God and obey God, love the Church and obey the Church. We have a Catholic intellect when we live consciously in the presence of the realities that God through His Church has revealed. A good working test of a Catholic will is that we should do what the Church says. But for a Catholic intellect, we must also see what the Church sees. This means that when we look out upon the Universe, we see the same Universe that the Church sees; and the enormous advantage of this is that the Universe the Church sees is the real Universe, because she is the Church of God. Seeing what she sees means seeing what is there. And just as loving what is good is sanctity or the health of the will, so seeing what is there is sanity, or the healthy of the intellect.

    But in thinking about what I’ve read from Mark Shea, it seems like what the Church sees is no different from shapeless clouds being called whatever we want, or that the self-image of the Church herself is insisted by certain members of which Mark Shea is a part, is one where only the destitute and impoverished and rejected are members, rather than the inclusion of inconvenient saints who, alive in Heaven, have no real reason to approve what Mark Shea and the like want to be approved by the Church. For example, Saint Jerome and Saint Nicholas would not be as “diplomatic” and would say out loud that unless homosexuals and other deviants, including adulterers and fornicators, conform to the commandments of God, then any declaration of charity, compassion, and love are nothing more than hot air from hell.

  2. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    Also from the linked article:

    When I made the remark on FB that the admiration of an Elton John for the pope represents an evangelistic opportunity, not a problem, for the Church, a depressing percentage of Catholics responded in ways best summed up by one reader: “Evangelism is Protestant, not Catholic.”

    Everything that is wrong with the Church today is summed up in those words. Everything.

    The words of that one reader are in fact heretical. As the author of the article points out, evangelism is the mission of the church.

    Here, I should mention that the “New Evangelism” envisioned by Pope Benedict, which seems to have been neutered somewhere along the way, was intended to bring the gospel to the baptized non-believers within the church, and even within the ranks of the clergy.

    Also from the linked article:

    Will those attracted to Francis’ beautiful witness and obvious holiness need to repent of things? Of course. Don’t we all? But here’s the thing (and the point Francis tried to make last year in his America interview): You don’t start a life of discipleship with a set of moral precepts. You start it by an encounter with a person. The *real* magnetic force in Francis’ life is Jesus Christ. It is for us to introduce a person like Elton John (or whoever) to Jesus so that they can begin to grapple with his astonishing person. The changes in lifestyle *flow* from that encounter. They do not *precede* that encounter. If you march up to somebody and start demanding that they reorder their entire life because Sez You, you will have no success. If they have an encounter with Jesus, realize who he is and what he has done for them and the universe-shattering implications of that: they are the ones who conclude “I have to re-order my entire life.”

    Yes, the classic problem of putting the cart before the horse. The Christian life begins with submission of one’s life to the lordship of Jesus. All else flows therefrom.

    Evangelical Protestants might have only half a loaf theologically and spiritually (they have scripture but no valid sacraments other than baptism and marriage and their worship falls short of Christian liturgy), but they have pastoral methods that are quite effective even in the current day. As members of the Catholic Church, we would do well to put away our arrogance and have the humility to learn from them.

    Norm.

  3. Kathleen says:

    It does seem that that gays and ex-Catholics and the media adore Francis. But *WHY*. The answer to that question is the all-important one. If Francis’s new approach intrigues them and causes them to explore Christ’s words and hence Christ’s Church, and ultimately to come to or return to the practice of the Faith, then great–no complaints. But if Francis’s approach merely “affirms them in their okayness” (to use Mark Shea’s own expression), then they will NOT be coming back to Christ–they see no need for it, being apparently sufficiently okay already. And that would be a tragedy.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Kathleen,

      You wrote: If Francis’s new approach intrigues them and causes them to explore Christ’s words and hence Christ’s Church, and ultimately to come to or return to the practice of the Faith, then great–no complaints. But if Francis’s approach merely “affirms them in their okayness” (to use Mark Shea’s own expression), then they will NOT be coming back to Christ–they see no need for it, being apparently sufficiently okay already. And that would be a tragedy.

      Some years ago, I was on a spiritual renewal weekend in which one of the leaders made the comment: “Where you are today is okay for today because it’s where God has brought you, or at least allowed you to be, but it is not okay for tomorrow because God is calling you to grow spiritually.” I have never forgotten that comment. In order to come to faith, the unchurched must start where they are in their spiritual lives. If you are in Seattle and you want to go to Orlando, a plane ticket from Chicago to Orlando won’t do you much good because you must start where you are instead of where you wish you were — and the same is true of our spiritual lives.

      But an outreach that says, “You’re okay where you are, and you don’t need to change,” is NOT Christian ministry. Rather, Christian ministry must lead people to a firm commitment of faith that submits their whole lives to the lordship, the reign, of Jesus. Once that happens, our Lord will lead them away from sin, once they submit their lives to his kingship.

      Norm.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Hi Rev22:17,

    You write: “But an outreach that says, ‘You’re okay where you are, and you don’t need to change,’ is NOT Christian ministry.”

    That is exactly what I am afraid of with Francis’s approach. Sure, there is currently a lot of interest in *Francis himself* amongst the unchurched, but I have yet to see any interest in *Christ* or waves of conversions.

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