Monday, December 29, 2008

A Catholic Writer for National Catholic Reporter Goes Agnostic

Read her article (With Age, My Catholicism Holds More Uncertainty) and tell me what you think.

Fr. Z had a brilliant response to her in his entry, National Catholic Reporter: undermining your faith yet again. Here is a snippet and a classic example of why I so admire Fr. Zuhlsdorf. (Note: Fr. Z's comments are always in red and at times, he will emphasize the writers' words to draw attention to them.):

"His message focused on loving one another, without reservation, not on explaining the Trinity. And whether or not he is the Son of God seems a pointless discussion. [A "pointless discussion"? Lady… if Christ is not the Son of God, then you and everyone else are probably going to hell. Also, what circuit is missing from the brains of some lefties that keeps them from understanding that we can love one another and… AND... explain the Trinity? They are not mutually exclusive. This is not a zero sum game: either love or explain… you can’t do both. This so typical of most liberals: you can’t be smart, or intellectual or make distinctions or admit authority and still be nice.]"

I was truly saddened by this woman's article. What a shame. After all the years in Catholic church, she comes away with her faith in shambles?

We are all responsible for our Christian growth. Maturity doesn't happen overnight, nor does it happen isolated. We need one another and for Catholics, we definitely need the Mass and all of the sacraments. I could not help but respond on the site although I'm not sure what her response will be. I'm not sure if the comment will be reprinted, but here it is:

Dear Rose,

I have read your article with great interest, and also sadness. It would seem you have come to the conclusion that a critical thinker can't possibly take Catholicism seriously. I am returning to the Catholic church after being involved with non-Catholic churches for 25 years. What has impressed me, since my return, is the caliber of minds that have embraced Catholicism. Not only do we have the austere Doctors of the Faith, we have modern saints who have consistently set before us standards of excellence I aim to reach. I have been doing extensive research of my faith since returning since much of my spiritual formation was rather weak.

What is faith? Are we to only believe if we have everything figured out? (Which of course, isn't faith.) And is not the Catholic Church separate from all other religions? Or is it simply another "face" worn by an ambivalent God? Of course we have questions. Who wouldn't, if they were seriously pursuing God?

What has saddened me is how many Catholics believe that Mass and the tenets of faith should adapt to their own preferences and beliefs instead of the other way around. I didn't come back to the Catholic Church in hopes of changing it. I came back because I needed changing. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is to remind us all of that very sacred (and yes, I'd suppose you'd call it radical) act that occurred over 2000 years ago that released man from the bondage of sin so that we may live eternally with our Heavenly Father.

Mass is not to entertain me, stoke my persuasions about cultural mores, or make me feel good like a nice cup of hazelnut coffee laced with real cream. Our faith is to be strengthened during Mass, because as you've already pointed out, we live in a tough world. Jesus Christ didn't come to bring society justice - His primary purpose was to redeem mankind from sin. All these other "causes" I hear about are truly secondary. If a man or woman really understands their salvation, they'll treat the poor better, work to end racism, and generally treat their fellow man a heck of a lot better.

What you have become, Rose, is an agnostic. In which case, you probably shouldn't write for a Catholic newspaper. However, I can sympathize with you because I understand disillusionment. But since I spent decades in the desert, all I can say, my dear sister, is that it's not one bit better 'out there.' The Catholic Church is a fortress and I pray your eyes will be opened once again to the treasures within and hear once again, His voice. God bless you.


Lynne said...

You have such a nice, non-confrontational way of phrasing things. :-)

Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle said...

Very nice, Mary Rose.

God bless you!


Unknown said...

Your response was excellent. I also responded to her. All I can feel for her is pity. I was where she is some time ago. It is only God's grace that took away the blinders.

X said...

If she was writing for the "DIStorter" it's no wonder she's lost her faith.

Angela said...

Powerful!! you are such a blessing and a beautiful daugther of God's..((hugs))

Shirley said...

"I didn't come back to the Catholic Church in hopes of changing it. I came back because I needed changing."
This is exactly why I came back after so many ters of living life "my way".

Shirley said...

Sorry, that's supposed to read, years, not ters!

ReturningBeliever said...

It's a strong refection of the strength of your faith to show understanding and reasoning in her article.

Redtabby said...

How about some prayer AND FASTING for her and those like her?