Monday, May 20, 2013

That Nagging Voice of God

This is from an article I wrote for an upcoming issue of The St. Austin Review

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Reaction against Catholic teaching is very strong, perhaps no stronger than among the laity within the Church itself.

As I wrote elsewhere, our attitude in today's culture is not simply I-Want-What-I-Want-When-I-Want-It but, "I want this, and therefore it must be morally good, and if it ain't, well, a little Mental Hopscotch will fix that!"
In other words, I want to do it so it must be good!

This sleight of hand we play in our minds tells us two thing, two very opposite things
1. We all want to do stuff that's bad (this is the Catholic doctrine of Original Sin)
2. We are all driven to rationalize our sins and convince ourselves that what's bad is good - so that we may do it and feel good about ourselves.
While such a one-two punch could easily send any observer of human nature into a kind of
despair, there is something very telling about Number Two.
If Fact Number One proves Original Sin, Fact Number Two proves the existence of God - or at least comes pretty darned close.  For if we didn’t have a Conscience, we wouldn’t need to keep appeasing it.  And Conscience is nothing less than the Voice of God within us.

The Church writes, in Gauduium et Spes, and affirms in the Catechism (paragraph 1776)

"Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.”

Thus I have noticed what stands as the single most frustrating thing within the Catholic Church in America.  It’s not bad catechesis, bad bishops, the sex scandals, or the liturgical wars.  It’s lay Catholics behaving badly and spending their time convincing themselves they’re the True Catholics and all the others are False.


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4 comments:

thewhitelilyblog said...

Dear Kevin, I just found your blog due to it being linked by another, and I wanted to give you the link to an essay on Flannery O'Connor that I wish you would read, as it gives a perspective you might appreciate. Here: http://thewhitelilyblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/saint-flannery-not/

I have another essay on Flannery's Revelation that you may want to read if you like the first one.

Also at the blog, the first post (some years back) was about truth telling. It's not as profound as this one but it might tickle you. I'm afraid I didn't look up the link, so's not to put you off, but if you're interested I think it will pop up if you google 'Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil White Lily Blog'.

I am a long time pro-life person, but I no longer stand outside clinics with the other Catholics because we had a falling out over the work. They do not offer the Faith to the women, just material help and vague 'Christian' advice (really pagan) and in the end another woman and I wrote a brochure that we hope is Catholic. Again I'm not putting the link, google will give it if you put 'Catholic post-abortion brochure' or some such.

The pro-life movement is terribly compromised, in a hundred ways, due to the Council and its poison teaching.

Dear heart, too much about me, but I give the links in love, as you are suffering, in your search, and I might have some medicine. You will perhaps see from my posts that I too am struggling. My chief area of concern is the heresy of religious liberty. I am writing a science fiction novel right now, set on the first space colony, and I'm stuck on the very point you raise in this 'Lying' debate. They have to escape and they have no means except to steal a ship. They also benefit from a Muslim blowing up a black box in a company ship.

I plan to return to your blog often to read through it all! Thank you for caring about these issues. I too think it all breaks down to, 'Stop F****ing lying!' (please excuse me!) Especially liberalism!!!!!

I go to SSPX chapel in Chicago, and I take cheap TAN Catholic booklets in a basket to offer riders on the CTA. So you know some people, even my fellow traditionalists, think I'm totally crazy. And of course it hurts! I'm praying for you at mass tomorrow. Animo! Mexicans say it, means, be tough, be strong, don't give up.

By the way, the site linking to yours is Father Brian Van Hove's, a Jesuit, and he is a very well-read fellow, sometimes so much so I can't understand him. I have to think of it as high praise to you.



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