Mark Shea’s blog is a constant source of fun and common sense and quirkiness and smart comments and holy rage.
As a layman he can say things and use language and take extreme views that I (as a holy priest) either don’t write at all on my blog or write and then delete.
Although in saying this, Mrs. Longenecker reminds me of the time I was (ahem) shall we say, somewhat short with a telemarketer on the telephone and when I hung up I said “I wish I’d been rude.”
“Funny how wishes come true.” was her droll remark.
Anyhow, here’s Mark on conspiracy theories. I agree with him totally. G.K.Chesterton said somewhere that one of the most refreshing things about the Catholic faith is that it teaches us that usually things really are the way they appear. There are usually no obscure theories, vast conspiracies or secret plans.
The Catholic Church is just as it appears, for better or for worse. We have sinners and saints. Some of the sinners try to cover up their crimes. They usually fail. We have ‘secret archives’ but if they were really secret why would we call them ‘secret archives’?
Kate Shandie’s comment that Mark begins with is ‘conspiracies are history for stupid people.’ I think that’s actually too generous. I think conspiracies are history for crazy people. What we forget is that people are not gathered into two groups of ‘crazy’ and ‘sane.’ Instead most people are on a continuum from the totally sane, well adjusted, compassionate, sensible and honest people (like me and my friends) to those who are genuinely bonkers.
This continuum is represented by a bell curve. If sane was on the left and insane on the right, and sane is one and insane ten, then the bell curve peaks somewhere around 3 or 4. In other words, most people are a little bit off their rocker. In some way or another they’ve got an imbalance, a kink, a distortion in their perception of reality, an emotional or spiritual or mental disorder of some kind. Conspiracy theorists are all along the continuum depending on their obsession.
Anyhow, I’m not throwing stones (and the comment about me and my friends was tongue in cheek to reveal my own lunacy) I’m simply standing things on their head (which is the point of this blog) asking readers to put up their hand and say, “Yep, father, you got me pegged! I’m one of the crazies too!”
Then let’s all of us fall on our knees in hilarious and humble prayer and seek healing and light and a few jokes at ourselves and realize that the only human activity which really brings light and sanity and healing and peace is true contemplative prayer, and let us long to do that more.
Then let us act on that longing.