Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Weigel Gets Something Right

You know, I don't often agree with George Weigel. I don't. I know some bishops like him and blah, blah, blah... but his Catholicism isn't necessarily my own. And that's OK, because George isn't the Pope and, as we know, neither is Rock. I may be an oracle, but white is not my color.

However, when Weigel's right, I'll give him credit. And he has done one of our regulars here quite well today. So with thanks to him and congrats to our own Lickona, here's some good stuff from this week's column:

[T]he art of “making ‘Catholic’ make sense” has been recovered in a distinctive way for these unique times.

Matthew Lickona’s Swimming with Scapulars: True Confessions of a Young Catholic (Loyola Press) is a sometimes funky, sometimes lyrical explanation of how a cradle Catholic, who buys the whole package, thinks, prays, struggles, and manages to have a lot of fun while being self-consciously counter-cultural. Lickona, a staff writer for the San Diego Reader, loves wine, movies, “alternative rock” (don’t ask me...), and the Church. He’s frank about his spiritual limits — “In times of suffering, I look first to myself. God is the backup, to be called upon when I find myself insufficient.” Yet he has a firm grip on the faith and a keen insight into what apostasy has done to contemporary society: “We’re living in an awful middle ground. Some might call it Christ-hungover. He lingers, a painful leftover presence that punishes the conscience but brings no comfort. People are left with the sad thrill of transgression: the enraged bumper stickers, the endless appeals to sex that is ‘perfectly natural’ but still sold as ‘naughty.’ Such may be the penalty for knowing His rules without knowing Him....”

Amidst the confusions of post-modern America, Lickona... ha[s] discovered what Benedict XVI intuited as a boy: that the Church is everyday life and soaring speculation, liturgy and art and music, all at the same time. Learning the connections is a lifelong project, full of adventure and beauty.
Couldn't agree more with that last sentence -- a succinct description of this work, my work.

I'm a younger Catholic writer, too, but I don't expect getting any love from Georgie anytime soon. And that's OK, because he's not the Pope, and neither am I. Thank God.



Blogger Cheeky Lawyer said...


What is the deal? How has Weigel, who has contributed in innumerable ways to the Church, burned you so bad? What has he done to earn your ire?

Think of just three recent projects of Weigel that establish him as one of the Catholic luminaries of these times: Witness to Hope, The Truth of Catholicism, and Letters to a Young Catholic. Each of these in its own way does much to convey the truth about Christ and man to the modern world. Witness to Hope needs little introduction but these other two, in my mind, are minor classics and demonstrate Weigel's great gift to make the dense and complex accessible to the lay reader.

In my mind you do yourself a great disservice by not showing Weigel more respect.

10/8/05 22:57  
Blogger Matthew Lickona said...

Thank you kindly for the nod. As I said, I am both grateful and humbled by Mr. Weigel's kind words.

11/8/05 00:48  

Post a Comment

<< Home