Long, long ago, when I was wise and you were not, when I was saying stuff like the Legionaries are too into upholding worldly standards (for Christ), you know, way back in the 90s when no one would listen to me...
Okay, I exaggerate. Some of you actually did agree with me.
But I still see some of the fruit of that bad tree elsewhere.
First of all, what do I mean?
I always disliked how in their literature (which showed up at my door, year after year, without having requested it) they would always 'brag' about the priestly vocations they had who 'used to be lawyers, or doctors, etc.' They would boast about their connections with important politicians, business leaders, etc. I even recall one of their friends was the President of Mexico, or some such place.
I don't mind any of that as long as they also tell me about their vocations who used to be garbage men, long-haul truckers and waiters, you know, men who know how to work for a living.
Too often we talk about how lovely Saint X was, that men (often Roman Senators) desired them so severely or some such foolishness. Frankly, whether St. Bernadette was attractive or not doesn't mean anything to me. A blogger recently referred to how beautiful a certain modern saint was. To what end, I ask? Another tells me recently how ugly Blessed Kateri was. Okay, fine. But I have no intention of making a calendar of beautiful women saints to hang on my office door to inspire my male students, or my female students. What a messed-up way of thinking this ends up to be, the sort of ends-justify-the-means thinking on saints. Everyone within ear-shot must have heard me by now, raging about poor Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who is only ever depicted skiing. To my mind someone who spent his whole life skiing is not a saint but a very selfish person. That's equivalent to my kids saying at my funeral, "He spent his whole life surfing the web."
And, by the way, St. Thomas Aquinas, did not have the whole Bible memorized. Anyone who has read him to any extent is aware of that. The smartest person who ever lived did not have to be Catholic for me to believe it is the true faith - nor the greatest playwright, as another Catholic blogger has recently written, echoing perhaps the most common instance of 'all the greatest were Catholic' mythology.
Yes, Augustine was sure that if Plato were alive in his time he would become a Christian. I never said that Augustine was right about everything...
Humility is the way of Christ. The moment we buy into a little bit of worldliness, we end up with a whole lot of it.
Catholic schools - you know who I am talking to - stop putting your most attractive students on your promotional material! I want to see the buck-toothed, four-eyed, goofballs, the ones with their trousers pulled up past their navels - that's the school I want to go to, the one truly committed to the Gospel of my Lord. There's a place I can truly feel comfortable.
As the great, modern Doctor of the Church, Friedrich Nietzsche, wrote, "Christianity is a religion for losers," or something to that effect. Keenly observed.
In the end, whenever you venture down the 'let's show them that it's cool to be Christian' path, you alienate someone for all the wrong reasons. Show a pretty Christian girl, you alienate someone with low self-esteem; show a muscley one, you alienate one who is not; show a successful one, you alienate a poor one. If we are certain that Christ did not choose His Apostles for such reasons, why do we chose ours this way?
Some things just leave me speechless.