Wednesday, June 11, 2014

slaking the CATO thirst

CATO:  Catholics Addicted To Outrage.

H/T  Greg Kandra and the Te Deum laudamus blog cited by Deacon Greg.

Yep, that pretty much nails it.

First, I should acknowledge the admonishment from Ms. Korzeniewski about the (mis)use of "porn" in blogging!  A very good point I will seek to follow.

Second, with some different language these posts discuss the foundational themes here at Spiritual Diabetes:  the binge/purge cycle--in this case spiritual, not merely physical or appetitive--which is self-fueling and by which we feel better about ourselves. "Look at this awful situation--share my anger at it/them!"  Te Deum laudamus:
Outrage addiction, which some refer to as outrage porn (a term I prefer not to use2) is where we seem to get our "fix" by getting fired up over something. By it's nature it is addicting, so the more we get through reading, watching, and discussing, the more we seek.  Anyone can suffer with it for a period of time. Some eventually pass through and are purified of it, while others seem stuck there for many years.
Those who pass through the first phase of outrage addiction might suffer from a second phase where they become outraged with everyone else who is chronically outraged (think: ex-smoker syndrome).  Others skip the first phase and have their only experience with it in the second sphere.  In reality, such behavior changes nothing.

In either case, outrage addiction becomes a sport, giving rise to adrenaline. Perhaps that is what makes it so addicting.  Often, the outrage-addicted yield to imprudence by shooting first and asking questions later. Things are seen in black and white and the subjective becomes objective for them.

 That's a brilliant connection to ex-smoker syndrome;  it could also be called 'convert zeal' "Why doesn't everybody see the importance in this issue as I do?!?!?!"  (this coming from a convert....) In fact the faith's newness (either discovered or rediscovered, as Korzeniewski notes) sparks the initial outrage.  Often another's rigidity becomes the target of such ire, but we are admonished, rightfully so, to realize that more than just the "traddies" suffer under such ailments.  The flush of outrage perpetuates its own return as we not become accustomed to, but actually come to desire, the presence and heat of self-righteous anger.

Not mentioned here but perhaps generating the conversation stand issues/internet media narratives such as 800-dead-babies-in-an-Irish-septic-tank or decoding Pope Francis' finger-wagging or even who the next canonized pope might be. (Not these particular blog sources, please note, but the stories and issues they address....)  Korzeniewski notes:  "Chronic outrage is not a fruit of the Holy Spirit and it opens a door to diabolical influence, making it more difficult to hear that still, small voice of our guardian angel.  Satan is a great imitator who knows how to mix 9 parts of something holy to just one part of something evil in order to bring about corruption."

She then spells out a theme also discussed here on Spiritual Diabetes:  the sources readily at hand throughout the Catholic Church's traditions that remedy spiritual thirst (and/or outrage):  reflection before the Blessed Sacrament, reading Scripture, discuss with a good confessor (whom, Te Deum notes, isn't suffering from outrage addiction himself!), and reading, however briefly, from the Church's broad and deep pool of spiritual authors.  It struck me as almost perpetually Lenten, but perhaps that's OK.  Cultivating the Pax Christi in Regnum Christi (Pope Pius XI's motto) takes time, effort, and patience...and, of course, the Holy Spirit.

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