O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy.
My goodness, I just read an article on Inside Catholic and the comments section was just full of hatred and vileness. :-( The article was about Newt Gingrich‘s conversion to the Catholic faith. Those commenters who defended Mr. Gingrich, or chastised the meanness, or in general showed a willingness to see God’s grace in the conversion story were also treated to sarcasm, attacks, and accusations. (See for example, Ryan Haber’s comment #34 and the response #39) Without commenting on Mr. Gingrich’s politics, his history or the ‘validity’ of his conversion, I will say that one must always rejoice in any lost sheep being found, mustn’t one? I had previously read an article on some Catholic site about Tony Blair and the same type of vitriol was in the comments section. I especially find it appalling that so many ‘in-the-fold’ Catholics proceed to pick apart the past histories, the sins, the public statements of these new converts. My word, I would be devastated to have my community picking apart the blatant stupidity of my youth, my many, many failures, my willful disagreements with Church teachings, my obstinate run headlong into a state of grievous sin where I remained for distressingly too long. Converts, re-converts, lost sheep, prodigals of all stripes–whether famous or not– deserve prayers–our prayers– and our edifying support; not backseat driving, judgments, scrutiny, malicious suggestions and its ilk.
I understand that politics make people agitated, emotional and passionate, but what happens to reason? How can one who is reading a Catholic website, of all things, give in to such debaseness? The very point of reading Catholic material, Catholic websites, Catholic weblogs *ought* to be bringing ourselves into a more perfect understanding of God, of His Will, of His Plan, of His Word–through His bride, the holy catholic Church. It should be lifting us up.
I also understand the difficulty in expressing passion in the written form, that writing may take on an unintended tone. I understand the momentary loss of temper or rationality. Still, I’m shaking my head in true confusion and sadness. I’ll share with you what I left in the comments of the Inside Catholic article:
September 30th, 2009 | 11:32pmI was interested to read this article but like so many commenters above, I turned to the comments and was disheartened by the level of meanness found there.
My Catholic brethren, where is our Christian charity?
I can do no more than offer up my prayers for Mr. Gingrich’s video to be a tool in God’s plan for the salvation of many souls, evangelizing to bring them to belief. In God’s plan, even an imperfect tool can reap a great harvest.
My prayers also for the continual, ongoing conversion of Mr. Gingrich, myself and indeed all Christ’s body: we, the Church.
May He lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of His mercy.
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned greatly
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault.
Therefore I ask Blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God.