I love Mark Shea. I don’t agree with everything he says, and I don’t always agree with the way he says the things I agree with. But when he apologizes, he apologizes. Take note, everybody who’s ever sinned! I also know through personal experience that he is a generous man to the core. I understand that sometimes the Holy Spirit makes our sins stand out to us in high relief; but I hope that Mr. Shea will also have his merits shown to him. His clarity, honesty, and perseverence have converted my heart more than once.
Also very interesting was this passage in his mea culpa:
I mentioned things living under the rocks. One of the things that lives under the rocks in my heart has been a deep and abiding fear, a kind of heart conviction about the universe that long predates any conscious relationship with God I formed as an adult (recall that I was no raised Christian). I’m not saying it’s a truth about the universe. I’m saying it’s something more like a broken bone in my soul that never knit right. And what it comes down to is a pattern of assuming that I am, at best, a tool of God, not a son of God and certainly not somebody God loves. And with that has been a fear that, at the end of the day, once my utility to God is spent I would be tossed away like a candy bar wrapper.
Do you remember when “six word autobiographies” were all the rage? It can be either a lark or a searing experience to try to distill your life’s story into six words. I came up with a few that made me laugh, but it was a turning point for me when I came up with this one:
It wasn’t anger; it was fear.
That doesn’t excuse bad behavior, but it does help explain it; and understanding why you do the things you do is a huge step toward starting to stop.
Anyway, whether you love Mark Shea or can’t stand him, check out his mea culpa, and say a prayer for this courageous and good-hearted man who has been put into an outrageously demanding field.