Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Heather King: Avoiding Both the Catholic Right and the Catholic Left

I just want to share this for anyone who might stumble upon this little blog.   I just want to keep this here, for my children to read.   I just want to keep this here to refer back, time and again.   I just want THIS:

This is one of my favorite written pieces from any Catholic author, or otherwise for that matter.   It expressed what I longed for when I first read it.   My heart hurt so when I read posts by a pro-lifer which began with, "Oh, yeah, well, if you think that then you..." directed at those who commented in disagreement on a post.   The standard justification for such a  lack of civility was "I just tell it like it is."  I had to hide the posts from my Facebook newsfeed. 

I almost cried when a Catholic posted on Facebook that he had to sit by a gay couple and included the comment, "Gross." in his post.   I'm pretty certain that if you believe that homosexuality is a cross--a burden--and one must live a chaste life, that you wouldn't call a person with such a cross, "gross."    Another set of posts hidden from the newsfeed.

After my conversion--actually re-version several years after my conversion--to Catholicism, I was on fire for the Church.   I read apologetics almost exclusively because that's where I was as a convert from an anti-Catholic background.   When I first became a user of Facebook, I posted every article I thought was great and commented as often as I could on other posts, seeking to defend my lovely Church.   I  always did so in a civil, logical manner, but that doesn't change the fact that my objective was more about scoring points than winning hearts or minds.   It was youthful enthusiasm.   It was wrong.   After all, I was immature and new in this Catholic faith of mine.  

As I lived more and experienced more--joys and trials--I wanted less debate and more action.   I wanted less division and more unity.   I wanted less condemnation and more empathy.   I yearned for fewer zingers and more substance.   More God, still with no compromise.    

I'm southern enough that bad behavior is offensive to my sensibilities.   I'm Catholic enough that a lack of Christ and charity is hurtful to my heart.   I've matured.   I am still maturing.   I can benefit from people like Heather King who are ahead of me on the journey.  And I am always in need of much prayer.

from Heather King:

And write this in blood, on your heart:

“To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda or even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery; it means to live in such a way that 
one’s life would not make sense if God did not exist.”
--Cardinal Emmanuel Célestin Suhard, Archbishop of Paris 1940-1949

Another more recent post by Heather King:

 The mark of the follower of Christ is not cogent arguments or airtight apologetics--I'm thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas's "All straw"--but  a heart that bleeds.

I am not talking about sentimentality. I am talking about what Flannery O’Connor meant when she observed:“The Catholic writer, in so far as he has the mind of the Church, will feel life from the standpoint of the central Christian mystery: that it has for all its horror, been found by God to be worth dying for.”

Mama painted this and it hangs by our door.


  1. So true, Terri. I had an incredibly eye-opening experience this year when a good friend converted from agnosticism to Catholicism. She is now a faithful and active Catholic and it was truly something that could have never come from anything but God, and certainly not from social media. Watching her conversion was watching a true miracle in action. And my job- just to love her through the whole thing as a friend.

  2. You're one of the people who come to mind, Elizabeth, when I think of quiet--but powerful--witnesses. My friend Regina was my first peer-age (ninth grade)Christian witness and I just remember I wanted what she HAD and I figured out it was her faith. And like you with your friend, she loved me through my conversion and she's never stopped. Thanks be to God for all the people through whom He works in our lives!


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