Sunday, September 02, 2007

My Point of View

Joseph Fromm, at his encouragingly entitled blog, “Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit” (I, his recent post seems to imply, am one of the latter), says of me, “People read his blog and can get confused to his point of view.” Well, many of you have been reading my blog much longer than Joseph, are you confused? He cites as evidence that among the top links on my blog are ones he deems incompatible—DotCommonweal (for which many of my friends write, and on which I frequently comment) and A Little Battalion (for which, along with several friends, I am one of the contributors). Maybe he'd think it confusing that I have friends in both places, too. But they're good ones, and I'm afraid I'm not giving them up just to avoid the possibility that some might be confused. ( Just to add to the confusion, I’ve added a few more links to that top links section).

You see, I’ll admit to having a bias against swimming in one “theological stream,” as he put it, because, frankly, Catholicism does not and never has had only one theological stream. Jesus somehow finds a way to speak to us in all streams, and if we only go looking in one, we’re only going to get part of the message. That’s my point of view, anyway. Indeed, I think there is ample evidence to show these days that people who swim only in one stream—and I don’t point to any particular one—often seem to miss out on the part of Christ’s message which has to do with charity. So, part of my point of view (if it can be said to be a point of view, it’s probably more of a mission) is to point that out, and when I do the response is sometimes far from charitable—yes, bad, bad Jesuit.

So, how, in general, can I characterize my point of view, so as to be less confusing? I know! Let’s just say my point of view is a Catholic point of view. It may not be your Catholic point of view. It may not be what you consider to be the Catholic point of view. But it’s a Catholic point of view from the perspective of one who dares to read Commonweal, First Things and America, and who sees no inconsistency in encouraging others to do the same.

So, I hope you're not confused. But I also hope that you're not so familiar with my point of view that you're bored. And I especially hope, whether or not you think you have me figured out, that I still have the capacity to surprise you once in a while! And, for that matter, I hope Jesus does too!

Note: The above referenced post seems to have disappeared.


Blogger Jason nSJ said...

Interestingly, the article bearing your name seems to have been removed.

8:07 PM  
Blogger Amy L. Cavender, CSC said...

Nope, I'm not confused. Though that might be because I think of myself as more or less on the same page....

9:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...


So it has! Must be a plot to further confuse my readers!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Susan Rose, CSJP said...

No confusion here either! Seems to me you just a) think for yourself, b) pay attention to what the Gospel has to tell us and c) live compassionately. That's why I read you!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Joseph Fromm said...

Dear Mark.
I apologize for having offended you, I am sorry and ask you to forgive me.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

Dear Joseph,

People in the blogosphere have said worse things about me, so I guess I was not so much offended as annoyed. What bothered me the most was that you took something that was good news (my friendship with Dale) and turned it into something bad and, further, used it to tear me down. People can be confused about me if they want, but I’m not going to let artificial lines of ideology rule my life, or my friendships. It seems to me this is a message that Jesus is trying to communicate over and over in the Gospels, but still (and I include myself here) we have a hard time getting it. One consequence of original sin, it seems to me, is that we find it a lot easier to hate those we disagree with than love them. That’s an inclination that I try very hard to resist, and I don’t always succeed. So, I’d be more of a hypocrite than I already am if I didn’t accept your apology. So, I do, and thanks for offering it. As for forgiveness, there are two things that God has given me the gift of being terrible at—lying and holding a grudge. So, forgiveness had already been given even before you asked. But, nonetheless, thanks for asking. It serves as another instance of good news for me, and for the blogosphere!

God’s blessings on you,


9:00 AM  
Blogger Kat said...


Given I hang around Jebbies 40 hours a week (+/-). If they can't confuse me, you have no hope of doing it!

What Sr. Susan said, you think for yourself. If people have a problem with it, then it is their problem not yours.

6:51 AM  
Blogger John Michael said...

So, now I am confused. Do you obey the teachings of the Catholic Church on faith and morals?

John Michael

12:42 PM  
Blogger Mark Mossa, SJ said...

John Michael,

Did I say I didn't?

And I'm not sure "obey" is quite the way to put it. It makes it seem as if Church teaching is a set of commands. "Obey" seems to indicate that I am constantly struggling with acting contrary to what the Church teaches, and that I refrain from doing so because of duty or obligation. The truth is , however, that when it comes to most things Church teaching merely affirms what I already know to be right.

So, I guess you could say that I act in accordance with Church teaching, or am "faithful" to Church teaching.

This, of course, is not always true because, try as I might not to, I do sin from time to time, and occasionally have doubts about things. So, there you go.

I hope you're not scandalized by that.

1:34 PM  
Blogger simon said...

well written, interesting, and beautiful blog.
I thought about including a link to your site on my blog.

if you ever get the chance, come visit me back


my blog is (not nearly as superficial as it sounds ;-) )

2:15 PM  

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