The Eleventh Day of Christmas!

Matthew 11:16-19

"But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places and calling to their playmates, 'We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds."

Chesterton once observed that if you see something condemned loudly for being too tall and too short, too black and too white, too round and too square, too fat and too thin, you may be sure that it is very good.  The Catholic faith comes in for a great deal of this sort of criticism and it always has.  Beginning with the Pharisees who complained that Jesus was too gluttonous and John the Baptist too ascetic, the Church has been attacked for every contradictory reason imaginable.  It's too liberal/conservative, too masculine/feminine, too spiritual/earthbound.  It refuses to change and it's constantly changing.  It idolizes/despises the Bible.  It's too flexible/inflexible, etc.  What the critics fail to grasp is that the eleven Apostles who saw the Resurrection  were piping a tune that answered exactly to the rhythm of life, not laying out a neat diagram that fits the theories of ideologues.  The Church, as a result, is always at cross-purposes with the best laid plans of mice and men.  Yet her wisdom eventually prevails.

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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