Friday, October 19, 2007

Attached and Attacked

[W]hat we need is the heroism of life, not because it is against banality, but because it illuminates it. Like a young man who is in love with his girlfriend and she says “yes” to him: the world is the same, but different; the light is different, food tastes differently, relationships are different, what he does is different, his struggles are different. Therefore, the difference that makes it possible to live the ordinary lies precisely in affection, which means to be attached and attacked, attached to the truth and attacked by it, living reality intensely.
-- Giancarlo Cesana

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where else shall I go?

A fellow blogger used the occasion of San Francisco's archbishop giving Holy Communion to two transvesite men dressed as nuns to state the following:

"Wake up, folks! This is the reality of the Church of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Conservative Catholics longed for change, thought that these men would bring it, and what have they received? This."

Said blogger (a former Catholic) proceeded to quote Revelation 18:1-5, implying none too subtly that the Catholic Church is the Babylon of St. John's vision.

Here was my comment in response, which (for reasons inscrutable to me) didn't make the moderation cut:

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

I stopped fretting about the sins and failings (real & perceived) of popes and bishops a long time ago... it's not my billet. I am confident that the Catholic Church is the fullness of the Body of Christ, despite the faults of her members, and there is no where else for me to flee to, no utopian ecclesial community that will be without fault, if for no other reason then as soon as I joined it, it would cease to be such.

The teachings of the Catholic Church are the teachings of Jesus Christ, and I know that I receive Him and His grace & life when I dwell in her... that's good enough for me.
Warts and all, the Catholic Church is the place where I encounter Christ, in the fullness possible this side of heavenly glory.

Update: Said blogger now compares yours truly and other convicted Catholics to the people of Jerusalem who ignored the warnings of the prophet Jeremiah. But here's the thing: there's been plenty of sin in the history of the Catholic Church, which has been around now for much longer than Jerusalem was the capitol of Judah prior to its fall, and God hasn't destroyed it. Why? Because He promised that the Church would be pillar and foundation of truth, the place where His disciples would encounter Him even after His return to the Father. To compare the fall of Jerusalem to a supposed fall of the Catholic Church commits the crucial error of placing the Old and New Covenants and their promises and exactly the same level, when the very point of Christianity is that the New fulfills and completes the Old.

To posit that the Church can fail is to assert that Jesus cannot keep His promises.

Besides, if God didn't destroy the Catholic Church after Alexander VI, he won't destroy it because of John Paul the Great and Benedict XVI.