Sunday, June 9, 2013

Our bad habit of being forces a recognition

In his most recent piece for the English language version of Il Sussidiario, "The Fundamental Question: What is the Human Person?," Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, one of the best bad Catholics I know, began by quoting Msgr. Giussani: "when... the grip of a hostile society tightens around us to the point of threatening the vivacity or our expression, when a cultural or social hegemony tends to penetrate the heart... stirring up our already natural uncertainties, then the time of the person has come."

This struck me because of something my friend Artur posted today on his new blog Cosmos in the Lost: "all those Catholics (and others) who complain about the compromised bishops, big crisis of the church, the cabal of the clergy, and so on (ad nauseaum) are anathema to me. I embrace my historical continuity with bad Catholics of all stripes, times and ages.

"It would feel extremely uncomfortable (like in the back of a Volkswagen) if everyone were as unalloyed as both the New York Times Catholics and Neo-Conservative Catholics make themselves out to be."

Flannery O'Connor in front of her self-portrait

Finally, this from a 2010 Communion & Liberation statement, Greater than Sin, concerning one of those things that cause many, me included, to complain: "Alongside all the limitations and within the Church’s wounded humanity, is there or is there not something greater than sin, something radically greater than sin? Is there something that can shatter the inexorable weight of our evil?"

Well, is there? If not, then screw it. If so, then "the time of the person" has arrived indeed.

Since I closed my last post with a sentence about hell, it bears noting that Albacete, quoting Georges Bernanos' Diary of a Country Priest, asserts something quite complimentary: "Hell is not to love anymore." Moreover, in one of her letters, Flannery O'Conner wrote, "It takes two to love. It takes liberty. It takes the right to reject. If there were no hell, we would be like the animals. No hell, no dignity."

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