Friday, September 24, 2010

Head Butts

Fr. Mark Massa, S.J.
 The American Catholic Revolution: How the ’60s Changed the Church Forever,” describes how celebrating the Mass in English, 
butting heads with the pope on birth control, and priests protesting the Vietnam War opened new possibilities — and controversies — in the church.
Fr. Mark Massa, S.J. dean of Boston College‘s School of Theology and Ministry, spoke about his book; some answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Link (here) to Fr. Z's What Does The Prayer Really Say to read the extensive interview with Fr. Z's frank commentary

1 comment:

TonyD said...

It does seem that most Catholics think of the Church as existing “outside of time”. They should. There are components of the Church that transcend time – aspects of God’s Prophets, God’s Saints, and God’s values. At the same time, there are also worldly aspects to the Church – and the associated positions on worldly issues.

We get to decide how we respond to this ambiguity, uncertainly, partial knowledge, insistence on certainty, and clash of values. In our response we define ourselves before God – and define the lessons that we need.

If God weren’t providing these lessons, then He would not be helping individuals and He would not be providing service. This definition of service justifies God’s response to an individual’s use of free will to choose evil – and this definition of service justifies the poverty, the suffering, and the other consequences of that evil.

God could stop them from doing evil. If he did so, however, He would prevent the lessons and the accompanying movement toward perfection. That would not be service -- that would be harm. As a result, He cannot help them do less evil – it would go against His values.

This means that worldly help is usually spiritual harm.

I realize that this is not a popular perspective. But this is about God – and as you know, his ways are not our ways.

And I am not saying that we should provide less worldly or spiritual help -- though that may be asked of some. But don’t be surprised to find your success limited if you are trying to eliminate suffering, poverty, or other consequences of evil.