"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Right now ... I can't think of one contemporary Catholic writer, blogger ...



... who has anything edifying, original, or genuinely worthwhile to say.

Not one.

There is something so packaged and marketed in what is available online and in print - it is so boring. Sterile.  Impotent.  It's about branding, I think.  Or better, labeling oneself, and assuming a title, a job description-persona one feels the duty to live up to and promote - propagate.  Everything one says and does emanates from that. Even those with a real vocation seemed to have turned it into a career.  The soul is gone.  The first fervor has grown cold.

There is nothing so boring as diocesan newspapers, or Catholic news papers, with their stable of writers... and that is what blogging and online magazine-news portals seem to have turned into.

I kind of like it that way though - less to be distracted by.

That said, I think Pope Francis may be the only voice to speak authentically at this time - which may explain why he is so opposed.  

18 comments:

  1. Self-defeating and ironic, no? ;)

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  2. My favorite stories are personal ones but it irks me sometimes that someone that has only been Catholic for a year or so (which is nothing!) can get a book deal, popular blog, etc. I keep going back to the Little Way - God doesn't care how many apologetics books I write or how many hits on my blog. Who do I want to please? The public or Him?

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  3. I agree with you regarding Pope Francis. He is really the real deal! I listen to him not the critics.

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    1. I'm convinced of that as well.

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    2. I listen to him as well but sometimes his tone is too Latino for many who cannot relate. ;) I read AsiaNews and they love our Holy Father. That's always encouraging since they seem to understand what he is saying and always so positive in their desire to follow him. I have yet to read any one on that site being disrespectful or critical of Papa Francis and if they are, they are silent.

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  4. Ha! I think I entered the Church (in small part) to escape the rat race of originality and "authenticity".

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    1. I probably shouldn't have posted this.

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  5. Here's one whose blog I read on a regular basis. I have yet to see her get mired in any of the controversies. She lives her faith and shares it beautifully. We have a lot in common, in that her friends sound exactly like mine. And we are both introverts to the max. No shyness, just means one needs lots of alone recovery time. Anyway, I highly recommend her blog and her books and all of her writings. http://shirtofflame.blogspot.com/p/bio.html

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    1. I think I'm just bored.

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    2. I know Heather, Maggie, and she is the real deal.

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  6. Yes. Heather King and Pope Francis are wonderful. So is Thomas Merton. There is so much to Merton, who was a very complex man. But here is a particular quote I return to frequently these days:

    "The love of solitude is sometimes condemned as "hatred of our fellow men." But is this true? If we push our analysis of collective thinking a little further we will find that the dialectic of power and need, of submission and satisfaction, ends by being a dialectic of hate. Collectivity needs not only to absorb everyone it can, but also implicitly to hate and destroy whoever cannot be absorbed. Paradoxically, one of the needs of collectivity is to reject certain classes, or races, or groups, in order to strengthen its own self-awareness by hating them instead of absorbing them.

    Thus the solitary cannot survive unless he is capable of loving everyone, without concern for the fact that he is likely to be regarded by all of them as a traitor. Only the man who has fully attained his own spiritual identity can live without the need to kill, and without the need of a doctrine that permits him to do so with a good conscience"

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    1. I still think Pope Francis is more interesting.

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  7. I don't often disagree, but I do here. I pray for Pope Francis daily, but I think he is doing serious damage to the discipline of the Church based on fundamental doctrines. The fast tracking of annulment procedures is one example. Here's what canon lawyer Ed Peters says about it.

    "Popes cannot (not may not, not should not, not aren’t likely to, but cannot) change fundamental Church teaching on these matters, and—even granting an impossible premise—not once have I heard a Catholic defender of marriage ruminate about going into schism if the impossible happens. That is not to say that the likes of Cdls. Kasper and Marx, to name but two, have not done serious damage to the clarity of Church teaching on these issues.... But the chances of a formal reversal of fundamental Church teaching on marriage (or on anything else that the Church holds from Christ) are and forever will be zero..... But... I suggest that Church discipline (that small, vital place where doctrinal rubber hits the pastoral road) is seriously threatened by parts of Mitis Iudex and that a major stepping-back from implementation of its most radical norms (especially the fast-track annulment option) needs urgently to be requested by bishops.....

    "Let me be clear, the current annulment process, like any deliberative process devised by human beings, is not perfect. Some things in it (e.g., mandatory review of trial court affirmatives) could be reformed and, if eliminated (as Mitis directs), would speed things up. But most of the rest of the annulment process is, purely as a matter of natural law, required for the reasonably reliable pursuit of justice. What tribunal critic after critic after critic cannot see or refuses to admit is that the annulment process is a legal (not a theological, not a pastoral, but a legal process) designed to answer an important legal (not a theological, not a pastoral, but a legal) question, namely: did two capable people offer correctly their consent to marriage. It’s a Yes-No question on which everything, and I mean everything, else that annulments are and mean in the Church, flows. Get the answer to that question wrong, and everything that follows from it will be wrong."

    Pope Francis has introduced a tremendous amount of confusion into the thinking of many Catholics who are being told that those who uphold doctrine are rigid, throw stones at sinners, are unmerciful, etc. It's the same type of slander pro-lifers have dealt with from pro-aborts for decades. One surely doesn't expect it from the pope, but that's exactly what his final discourse after the Synod implied. That is a real injustice to many of the most courageous clerics in the Church not to mention faithful laity.

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    1. I'm a bit troubled, I must say. I've been reading things online. I have to admit I don't like Peters - so I try to avoid him. I read Douthat's letter today - to the 'credentialed' and he makes sense. So I think I need to imitate Our Lady and continue to ponder these things in my heart.

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    2. I'm with you Terry on Peters. I like the way Dr. Jeff Mirus clarifies it all for me, good or bad. I have yet to be confused by our Holy Father but then again I would probably be labeled "a pope idolater" and be dismissed outright. Whatever.

      I have followed Papa from the beginning much like when St. JP II was pope. Benedict, not so much but I was lost during those years.
      I have a renewed sense of hope and faith in the Church now with Francis's example. I am well aware of his critics as well as his supporters and pray for them all. If I lack understanding, I pray for the grace to discern rather than get worked up thinking the Church is in complete chaos and about to be plundered of her fidelity and her teachings.

      The Bride of Christ prevails to the end no matter what. She belongs to Christ and we her children must pray always for unity like Jesus did.

      I'm no expert in theology/doctrine but the simple enduring faith of my grandparents, my parents, is a fine example to me of faith in Christ and His Church and those chosen to lead us all.

      Let us not forget our many brothers and sisters in the many foreign lands who are crushed, persecuted and killed for the faith. They don't have time to take offense with our Holy Father let alone spend time online to criticize him.

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