October 7, 2007

"the average Catholic is so average"

by Mark Shea...

....What we need to remember is that the Catholic Church is and always has been the vessel of salvation for the world. That means that most of the people you meet are going to be ordinary — like you and me.

They are going to have the ordinary tastes, prejudices, mediocrities, failures and virtues of their time and place. There are, to be sure, great heroes and extraordinary people in the Catholic communion. But to expect that as the norm and then be outraged and disappointed when it is not is, I think, great folly and, in the end, great pride. Remember the hellish “wisdom” of C.S. Lewis’ Uncle Screwtape, who would keep far from our minds the thought, “If I, being what I am, can consider myself in some sense a Christian, then why can’t these people next to me in the pew”?

So, though I have been appalled by some of the sins that have been revealed in the ranks of the Church in the past few years, I’ve never been shocked. What did I expect? They’re just sinners like I am, and I know what I’m capable of.

“Well then,” it may be asked, “if the average Catholic is so average, why bother joining the Church?” To quote Walker Percy, “What else is there?” After all, it is not the Church that is mediocre, but only we, her members.

The Church is, curiously, something that exists before she has any members, because she is founded not by us, but by Christ. The Church is the spotless bride of Christ, made so by the Holy Spirit in the washing with water and the Word. We, her members, are generally nebbishes and schleps.

But she is glorious and beautiful, terrible as an army with banners. And in her all the fullness of the faith subsists. In that faith, by the grace of God, I hope one day to be made perfect in love of God and neighbor.....

"Random Thoughts Sundays"250

Posted by John Weidner at October 7, 2007 5:43 AM
Weblog by John Weidner