July 12, 2012

Sympathy for the (Modern) Devil

"Doctrine" and "dogma" are dirty words these days, having fallen into greater disrepute than the gal with the plunging neckline and the micro-skirt in the bad part of town. We've come a long way from when rejoicing Christians greeted the bishops of the 5th century after the latter determined that Mary was indeed the Theotokos, the Mother of God. Even some Catholics are doctrinal-allergic, either because of a weariness with apologetics, fear of division, or simply out of anger at those, like Fr. Corapi, who offered vinegary speech while failing to live up to it. (Hey, hypocrites are people too! And how did Corapi attract such a large crowd if offering vinegar?)

It's like shooting fish in the barrel, talking about how bad, old doctrines get in the way of a relationship with Christ, or that it's better to be "spiritual rather than religious." It's really a shame because many doctrines are quite beautiful, in addition to being true. There's the surety, for example, of the sacraments.

Truth, though, has a hard row to hoe and surely always had. Beauty, it's said, will save the world, a slippery concept perhaps. Pretty pictures? (Mark Doty wrote a poem titled Theories of Beauty.)

And so with that parenthetical, I'll quit pontificating.

5 comments:

Steven said...

Dear TS,

I lost the train of thought in the middle of this--did your sentence toward the end imply that Fr. Corapi did not like doctrine or did you mean by it that he is excoriated by those who don't care for it because his mode of delivery is less than sterling. I guess I'm not familiar with the particular event or occurrence you are referring to.

Thanks.

shalom,

Steven

TS said...

Oh I meant that for some doctrine leaves a bad taste in their mouth because some exponents of it don't live it out in their lives, as it appears Fr. Corapi did not.

Steven said...

Dear TS,

Thank you. And if he did not, that certainly doesn't invalidate the doctrine. And if he did not, we certainly all fail at some points. I think sympathy and human (and humane) understanding are called for. None of us is perfect and when trying to live up to the perfect, we'll all fall short--but the perfect should not be faulted for our failings.

Thank you for clarifying. I sitll don't know the particulars, but I honestly don't need to know. I've got a tree removal company coming by to remove the beams I've got installed.

shalom,

Steven

William Luse said...

Every now and then I ask myself: where has TSO gotten off to?

TS said...

I'm here, present and accounted for, after a week in Hilton Head!