Thursday, January 16, 2014

stumble into somersault

One of Mark Shea's readers told him some good news, and Shea does the rest.  Ten (almost eleven--the Globe first reported the scandals in January 2002) years ago things were bad.  Shea:

A decade ago the Church was on the mat, bloodied and beaten down by the horrors of the priest scandal, never to rise again. 

 Now, with almost a year to enjoy the papacy of Francis, Shea declares, a new day has arrived.

This is a Catholic Moment. Grab it and make use of it. The dumbest thing we can do is fret about whether the “right” or “wrong” people are listening to Francis. We are *all* Wrong People, especially those who thing they are the Right People. That’s why Christ died for us. Get going!

Absolutely, and nicely done with the Augustinian rejoinder.  Everybody's broken, and thus we're all redeemed by God through Christ, not through the myriad constructs, plans, dreams, and schemes we broken people concoct.  Saying this, and Shea would agree with me, does not constitute an endorsement of "I'm OK, You're OK" relativism.  (The conventional wisdom seems to hammer Augustinianism for being too strict, but the constant reminders of fallenness likewise could fuel a certain licentiousness. "We're all fallen, so what does it matter?"  As the Scorpions sang, "What is wrong with another sin?" That's a great song, btw.  Lots of 80s metal memories there.) 

No, these are the days of Mark 9:38-41.  "Whoever is not against us is for us."  However, as recent days have shown, there are those are against us.  Was it for them that Matthew 12:30 states "Whoever is not with me is against me"?  Shea (with Augustine, Calvin, Barth, Aquinas, Merton, et al) recognize that's God's purview, not our own.  Better to keep a good sense of your own limits...and evangelize, which not can use, but actually can thrive among, our fallenness.  We're always stumbling, but sometimes we actually land right-side-up.

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