The provocative title of this post obviously refers to the masterpiece which Saint Thomas penned against the Gentiles. Saint Thomas not only leveled a devastating critique but more importantly, he gave a beautiful exposition of the Catholic faith. So, I would like to take up the first part, a critique, against Catholic Bloggers and as a result, me.
Often Catholic Blogs are very much concerned with the latest “News” or the finer points of liturgical praxis and history. In fact, there is nothing wrong with a sensible desire to know what is happening in the world or to have care, concern and interest in the rubrics, ceremonies and external elements of the Sacraments.
However, there is one great danger to which Saint Paul alludes in his letter to the Collosians. The Holy Spirit writes through Saint Paul, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines?” (Cor 2:21-22) This sarcastical strike against the contentious agitators within the Christian community at Collosae is a reference to the Septuagint version of Isaiah 29:13 where the Holy Spirit writes through the prophet Isaiah, “And the Lord said: Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips glorify me, but their heart is far from me, and they have feared me with the commandment and doctrines of men” (Is 29:13)
This deviation of the Jewish people of Isaiah’s time is the result of paying more attention to the human traditions associated with Judaism than to the Torah. How often we Christians are so wrapped up in the traditions of our history - neccessary and as important as they are! - that we forget to pay attention to the weightier matters of the law, like justice and mercy. How often we forget about the true Torah; the Torah in Person, Jesus Christ! I fear that blogs are producing a certain type of Catholic - whether a so-called “liberal” or “conservative” - who has the depth of dime and an eye for the contentious and “news worthy”. We are losing our ability to positively propose our faith to others in a coherent and synthetic manner as the great doctors and Saints of the Church have always done because of an unbelievable amount of ecclesiastical navel gazing.
If we spend more time on the blogs then we do with Sacred Scripture, the Catechism, the great Ecumenical Councils and Doctors of the Church, then something has gone seriously wrong.
I am not saying that blogs are in principal wrong or that someone must never read a blog; only that we need to have a purification and examination of conscience in the “Blogosphere”.
This is only my critique, so please feel free to disagree with me or set me straight in the comment box!