Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blogalogue with Paul Brian Campbell: Day Four

Over at People for Others, Paul notes that we're "keeping it 'real.'" More evidence of that in Paul's response to my question, "How is this week different from all other weeks?" He reminds us that our faith calls and re-calls every Christian to generosity and compassion as a commitment, not necessarily a "feeling."


This has certainly been a "different" week. I want to use this post to reflect on what has been happening these last few days. I have been astonished by some of the comments our blogalogue has called forth from readers. Some have remarked that our dialogue is impressive, but others have been less pleased. One commenter expressed the desire to see us rot in hell.*

Yesterday, as you well know, I was pretty worked up about some of the nastier comments and we exchanged a couple of emails about how to respond, if at all, to negative remarks. Before we decided anything, I got word that the father of a fellow Jesuit had a heart attack. Suddenly, I had no time for moral certitude about the correctness of my opinions. My feelings of self-righteous indignation evaporated. Someone I cared deeply about needed my support and this helped me put everything else into a new perspective.

I found myself thinking about my friend's Dad -- a gun-toting (no kidding) rock-ribbed conservative who is also one of the kindest and most courteous men I know. Similarly, a staunch liberal friend came to mind. Never shy about expressing her opinions, she is unfailingly respectful of others no matter how much she might disagree with their positions,

Whether or not they know it or can admit it to themselves, our most strident critics (and perhaps our most ardent admirers) are motivated by fear and/or have been damaged by the Church. They deserve my respectful attention, not my derision. Perhaps the only thing I can offer is to pray for them and wish them well. If I don't resolve to break the cycle of vitriloic point and counterpoint, who will?

My lofty benevolence here makes even me suspicious. Check back with me in a month to see if I'm beginning to "walk the walk."


*Editor's Note: Really? Must have missed that one because I was fixated on being characterized as "boring." Pride goeth, etc.


Today, you can find out what I have to say about vocation (mine) over at People for Others.


  1. Boring AND hell-worthy? Sounds like you've got it just right. Keep on going.

    Thanks to you, Paul, and you, Meredith, for your posts this week. You're a great team!

  2. "I have been so angry at the hierarchy and frightened of impending doom for so long that I have all but overlooked my calling “to walk by faith.” (That's you speaking Paul from a previous post and this is also from you :

    "Whether or not they know it or can admit it to themselves, our most strident critics (and perhaps our most ardent admirers) are motivated by fear and/or have been damaged by the Church
    ( So isn't that you too then ?? )

    You said
    "If I don't resolve to break the cycle of vitriloic point and counterpoint, who will?"

    Well, maybe we all have to get the poison out of our systems somewhere it feels safe to do so because we have been like you, "stuck inside a shell" for so long that we want to poke our heads out for a change.

    Apart from that I agree with you.

  3. I invite everyone who has anything snarky to say/write to re-read one of my earlier posts on this blog, titled "Christian Love Abiding. Not."

  4. Why is it OK for you two to snark and not others ?!

    There are double standards working here and what exactly is a snark please?
    I'd like toknow in case I'm guilty ?

  5. Dear Readers:

    Please note that even though I consider myself a "First Amendment absolutist," I will not post comments that come in anonymously, nor will I allow the comments box on my blog to devolve into a pissing contest.

    My personal email is posted on sidebar, so please feel free to use it to contact me directly. Fr. Paul's email is also public, so contact him directly with personal issues and concerns.

    Prayerfully consider whether your comment advances or shuts down the conversation before lobbing it at either of us.

    Last but not least, let us seek Christ in one another. Amen?

  6. Meredith,
    Are your comments about snarking referring to my recent post?
    If so, I would appreciate if you would say so directly to me because your comment is directly after mine and it looks as if you are referring to what i have written but I am unsure. I am quite upset!!

  7. Dear Philomena,

    There have been a number of comments that I cannot and will not post on this blog. I have no control over the sequence of comments posted, so please try not to let random acts of posting toss you into upset! I'm sure we both seek authentic dialogue.

  8. One of my Episcopal seminary classmates (we were both former RCs) had a button that read, Ordain Women or stop Baptizing Them. She is now serving as rector of a church and is a very good priest. But I pray for (and admire) the incredibly faithful women who feel called to ordained ministry but remain in the Roman Church as part of the loyal opposition. That takes a stamina I and others do not have. I never left the Catholic Church, just the Roman part. And may God bless us in each of our respective ministries in the one, true and holy Body of Christ.


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