instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just Say Yes to Nonisity!

Terrence Berres, Amy Welborn, and Sherry Weddell are critical of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's reported plan to, er, energize their vibrancy. (I suspect William Strunk and George Orwell might also have words for anyone who proposes energizing vibrancy.)

And all we need to "energize the vibrancy" is energy. So isn't the question the source of the loss of energy? One possibility that comes to mind is asking what might be at stake if a Catholic routinely skips Sunday Mass, or, for that matter, if a Catholic leaves the Church. If the answer is "everything", that's probably more energizing than "not much".
Because, see, that's not the Catholic way, either - the way of evaluating the health and future of the Church via schematics and diagrams and planning packets either. The Catholic way is to imitate the saints, it seems to me. To preach, to teach, to gather the lost, to heal the sick, to be with the poor - to plunge into it.
Christian culture is not self-sustaining. Christian culture is the fruit of personal faith. Without the preaching of the kerygma and personal conversion which is the source of renewal in every generation, Christian culture ultimately withers away and dies.
I've been using the term "nonisity" to mean "the state of being satisfied with nothing less, and nothing other, than God." (From St. Thomas's answer to Jesus' question of what he would like: "Non nisi te, nothing but You.")

I can't see anything wrong with extending the use of the term to include "the state of having nothing less, and nothing other, than God." And if we do that, then we can say that the Church, qua Church, has nonisity. In spades.

Which is to say two things:
1. All the Church has to offer is God.
It has other stuff, yes, but that other stuff and a cup of coffee will get you a cup of coffee. Has the Church given the world the hospital and the university and the Pieta? Sure, but if (per impossible) the Church disappeared tomorrow, there would still be hospitals and universities and (for a little while, at least) the Pieta.
2. The Church offers GOD!!!
How do you sweeten that deal? Why would you try to sweeten that deal?