Saturday, July 05, 2003


No. Thus concludes Sandra Miesel in her article in Crisis magazine. Actually the article (not online yet) was a “debate” between 2 authors of books on the subject. Both authors are anti-Catholic bigots and do not deserve mention but Miesel’s article was interesting. What stuck out most in this issue was not this article though but a book review also written by Miesel, a frequent commenter at St. Blog’s. The review was of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-earth by Bradley J. Birzer. The last line of the review has been rolling around my head (where there is plenty of space) since I first read it. It is said that the book

“exemplifies a worrying trend among younger ‘orthodox’ people: They play in the approved Catholic sandbox only and ignore the catholic beach beyond.”

I consider myself a “younger orthodox people” and since my reversion I have had a nagging feeling that I am concentrating too much on Catholicism in whatever I read or see, to the exclusion of other things. Here is how I look at it: Most of my life was not steeped in Catholicism despite 16 years of Catholic school. When I drifted from the Church it had nothing to do with the Church herself but with the many horrible people I was meeting in my life. This lead to much examination and that lead to the internet which led to good apologetic websites and organizations such as Ignatius Press and EWTN and Tan Books, etc... These things in turn made me aware of a mass of great stuff: intellectual, cultural, social, historical, spiritual, political, etc.. This stuff has astounded me with its depth and beauty and now that it has been a few years, I have not grown the least bit tired of it, but am more interested than ever. It does kind of consume you so that everything you see and read and experience is seen through certain lenses. It is not like I have been unaware of non-Catholic things, it is just that the Catholic world seems so deep and incredible that I want to explore more, and have no interest right now in examining much of the “non-Catholic” world, except through Catholic lenses. For instance the books and magazines I buy and read are almost exclusively Catholic in nature, although I will scan other types at the bookstore. I only read Catholic blogs and not any other types. I don’t know if this would explain some or all of the Catholic sandbox thing but I think it does. I sometimes hear older Catholics talk of not having any non-Catholic friends when they were growing up in the “Catholic ghetto” or not being exposed to much non-Catholic stuff but the past 25 years have been nothing like this. I think my generation wants to explore Catholicism since it was never presented to them at all. While the older people run from the ghetto, we are trying to rebuild it. Perhaps ultimately it is not a matter of totally ignoring the beach beyond but rather chilling on the sand in a nice comfortable spot, keeping an eye on the larger beach and utilizing it when necessary or desirable. Or is this just trying to justify laziness or small mindedness??

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

The reason I am always glad to see posts on or about converts is that as a cradle Catholic revert I am blown away by converts. They have played a major role in my "becoming Catholic" and I am always amazed at the zeal, intelligence, knowledge, and depth of their discussions and writings. I should mention David Armstrong of Biblical Evidence for Catholicism -his website is loaded with great info. It seems to me that after the confusion of the 60's and 70's the Church is once again enjoying an increase in the number of converts and they are helping cradle Catholics to wake up.

Catholic Pages Convert Page

Some individual Conversion stories

Gerard Serafin at Catholic Blog for Lovers posts a great list of converts and I added two in the comments:

Joseph Pearce: the author of Literary Converts, Old Thunder, Tolkien Man and Myth, and Wisdom and Innocence. He is the co-editor of the St. Austin Review and a writer in residence at Ave Maria.

Thomas Reeves: author of America's Bishop: The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen, A Question of Character A Life of John F. Kennedy, The Life and Times of Joseph McCarthy, and The Empty Church: The Suicide of Liberal Christianity

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Great review of Mel Gibson's film The Passion at Church of the Masses! Great to hear that it is well done. Looks like Gibson is a shining example of how to be a lay Catholic working in the world to bring Christ to people. Ironic that this most Vatican II of ideas is being put into action by someone who basically rejects Vatican II.