As some readers of Paul's Masterful Blog may have detected in my comments, already: I have some rather large issues with anything that smacks of "cooperation", "compromise", or even (a particular weasel-word, when used with moral absolutes) "negotiation" with the culture of death. Do I dialogue with other people? Absolutely... and charity (note: "charity" = "self-sacrificial seeking of another person's best good--not to be confused with "niceness", "mildness", or any other oft-synonym of Political Correctness) certainly should be the rule, there. But a great many Catholics in the USA, at least, have gotten rather muddled on this point, and can no longer tell the difference between the obligations of God, and the demands of a secular culture that's making corrupt demands.
Perhaps a refresher course of basic terms would be in order. It's a big refresher course. "Twelve credits might not be enough, it's so big..." (Okay, name the movie!)
Here are what I "affectionately" call "The Three Hollywood Lies (TM)"; those who are even passingly familiar with St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, will pick up a pattern to these, rather readily...
Hollywood Lie #1: "Faith is a feeling."
Hollywood (and its ilk) says, "Your faith in God is a function of the feelings you can whip up; if you're feeling distant from God, you are distant from God, and you'd better get that fixed!"
Reply: Hogwash. Faith is a *choice*--an act of the WILL--and it has nothing especially to do with "feelings". No, not even the "deepest feelings of your heart" (and no denigration of those is meant!). How about the old (and all-too-common) dodge of, "No, no... I don't mean just superficial, fly-by-night feelings; Like, I mean the... (*insert sounds, words and gestures that imply emotionally "gushing" over something, here*)... really DEEP feelings, like, at the very core of your very BEING, y'know??" Sorry... wrong answer. Those feelings have a real and good place in life (God made them, after all), but they no more belong in the "driver's seat" of your faith than would a 5-gallon can of gasoline belong in the driver's seat of your new Prius. Emotions (e-motion) give you needed energy to cling to the good, or to fight/flee from evil. They don't do your choosing for you. Your free will, informed by a non-secular intellect, is still on for that job.
Hollywood Lie #2: Hope is a Feeling.
This is a particularly timely item, given that the main slogan of the Candidate of Death has been "HOPE" [sic].
Hope is not wishing (no, not even on a star--sorry, Pinocchio fans!), nor is it fervently, fervently wanting something to happen reeeeeeeeally badly. Hope is--you might have guessed it--a *choice*--an act of the will, by which we can be assured that God will keep His promises, because He is all-able to to keep them, He has promised them, and He can neither deceive nor be deceived. God is the *only* true basis of hope; no one else is. (Sorry, "Catholics" [sic] for Obama, and Vox Nova: the Secular Messiah doesn't count, and the Catholic Catechism--to which you allegedly adhere, as faithful Catholics--says so. The secular messiah *does*, however, make a very schnazzy Antichrist; point to ponder?)
And the deadliest of all three (which will be eminently predictable, by now... though usually the hardest for secularists to swallow):
Hollywood Lie #3: Love is a Feeling.
From the top of the highest roof to the bottom of the lowest valley, let this be shouted: LOVE IS NOT A FEELING!!! IT ISN'T, IT ISN'T, IT ISN'T!!!! NO!!! NEVER WAS, ISN'T NOW, AND NEVER WILL BE!!!!!"
Love (a.k.a. "charity", mentioned earlier) is a *choice*--an act of the will--to sacrifice oneself for the best good of another. That's it. That's how God loves. God gets nothing out of the bargain that He didn't already have (except aggravation), when He loves us; just so, are we to love others. "Love one another,", Jesus the True and Only Messiah says, "as I have loved you."
Is that quite clear? Love is not an emotion, or a collection of emotions... no, not even the "deepest" ones. Those are called "affections", and they're good and proper, in their place... but love is far beyond that. (That's a helpful hint to those in relationships of any kind; if you think "love" lasts only until you stop feeling a certain way, I pity your relationship's life-expectancy. Feelings come and go, and then come back again; that's just what they do. Love, on the other hand, never fails.)
More to come on this...