Monday, April 17, 2017

Tell Me Something I Don't Know Already

This is an article I wrote for the Irish Catholic last year-- I've also discovered, just now, that somebody also referred to it in a letter to that newspaper.

It came to my mind again today because, it being Easter and all, I decided I would look at some Catholic videos on YouTube. I gave up after a while, because I couldn't find anything that wasn't old hat to me a long time ago.

Now, don't get me wrong. I realize the Faith is not about intellectual stimulation-- I really do. It's about salvation.

But...does Catholic stuff have to tread the same ground over, and over, and over, and over?

I think this is especially irksome when it comes to argument. You know-- even when I was an agnostic, it occurred to me that Christian faith couldn't be based on Scripture alone, because where did you get Scripture in the first place, and who decided which books were included in the Bible?

Why are there endless hours devoted to making the case against Protestantism on Catholic media? Can't it be assumed that most people watching get it already? Can't we get past square one? Can't this just be revisited every now and again?

And even if the case against Protestantism has to be continually made...does it have to concentrate on the basics all the time? Can't it branch out into some of the secondary debates?

Whenever I watch Catholic TV or listen to Catholic radio, I feel I am being hectored to agree with something I already agreed with a long time ago. It's draining.

Why are they so many lectures about Cardinal Newman? I love Newman, but why can't there be some lectures or panel discussions or interviews about Cardinal Wiseman or Monsignor Ronald Knox or somebody like that?

Why are St. Padre Pio and Mother Teresa, and a handful of others, apparently the only saints that have ever existed?

Why can't there be documentaries or magazine articles about Catholic writers such as Coventry Patmore or Compton Mackenzie-- rather than always being about Flannery O'Connor or Evelyn Waugh or G.K. Chesterton?

And so on, and so on, and so on....


  1. You could say the same about a lot of things in the Church. Perhaps it's the need for "active participation"but hymns and other church music always seem so limited nowadays. There are so many obscure Saints that could say a lot to us today. Although I haven't done it myself I can imagine that standing at a holy well or site of an ancient monastery in Ireland, Scotland, Wales or Cornwall can be just as inspiring as a busy or gigantic basilica on the Continent. And not just for us Celts. I knew a Chinese lady who imported cards from Newry-Dundalk. I don't know if that was the reason she used to go to Ireland, but she said she really found something in the ruins there. As long as it was Summer. There were also some Chinese-Singapore ladies were going to a wedding in Sligeach;I or someone mentioned Clonmacnoise. I honestly didn't think they'd be interested as these have a very "business-like" faith(a bit hard to explain!), but I must have mentioned the legend of St Ciarán, that anyone who died there wouldn't go to purgatory. They seemed to have liked it there. And told the guide that they'd 'like to die now' (not sure what the guides at these sites are like?)

    1. "We'd like to die now"...ha ha ha! Come to Ireland, you'll never want to leave!

      Actually I am not much interested in the old Irish saints, perhaps because so much of legend and history are so intractably interwoven in their stories. When I write it like that, it sounds interesting, but I prefer documented saints.