Thursday, September 25, 2014


I've been seeing the above acronym with increasing frequency. For those who don't know, it stands for "Do I look like I give a flip?" except where "flip" is an obscenity instead of "flip."

It strikes me that the ability of people, especially young people, to use this phrase is one of our major problems. It's almost as though we are raising whole generations to have little or no idea of things like modesty, scandal, or the feelings of others.

It's on every talk show. "Whatever! I'll do what I want!" It's in the resigned "Whatever..." that makes up about 85% of the teenaged lexicon. It's in the vulgar dress of the masses. It's in the words of prelates willing to proclaim their opposition to the Magisterium. And so forth.

Now, it's good to have a detachment from the world. We certainly don't want our faith life governed by others' opinions. However, like with anything else, this can be twisted to the ends of The Adversary.

What has happened is that we have completely forgotten the concept of scandal. Nobody pays any mind to the sorts of stumbling blocks they set up for their brothers and sisters in the world. Whether it's a refusal to dress modestly and shrugging off the temptation of others as "their problem" or the raging would-be apologist who casts perpetual pearls before swine and serves to do nothing more than give atheists or anti-Catholic bigots opportunities for blasphemy and insult to God.

We have forgotten humility in all this. At some point, we have to be willing to constrain our fashion sense out of love for others. We should consider how our words and actions might damage the faith of others or even drive them to despair. We have to be willing to shake the dust from our feet and leave those poor souls to the mercy of God, hoping that we've planted a seed that can sprout with the Holy Spirit's assistance.

Remember Our Blessed Lord's words:

And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.
Matthew 24:12

And we definitely seem to lean to the chilly side these days. Perhaps this is another case of losing our understanding of the essences of things. True charity is love for others FOR THE SAKE OF GOD. Love is the willing of good for another, with the highest good being God Himself, of course.

Sometimes the things we prefer are not good for these others and certainly aren't for God's sake. 


Anonymous said...

One of your very best posts.

Throwback said...

Thank you

Boniface said...

Can you give me a hypothetical example of the would be apologist casting pealed before swine?

Throwback said...

The scenario I have in mind is one where the apologist is asked a question or is involved in a conversation that touches on the Faith. He provides a response or information to the non-Catholic (or ostensibly Catholic) parties that is sound, reasoned, and practical.

The other parties do not listen. In fact, they respond with scorn, sarcasm, and insult. The apologist continues and is met with the same hard-heartedness.

This would go on for a while, but eventually, my experience is that a couple of things wind up happening.

A. The apologist finally loses his cool and says something uncharitable, which to the other parties, confirms their opinions of the Faith, hence my use of the word "raging."

B. The apologist becomes more concerned with winning an argument than the well-being of souls.

C. The apologist's own calm is disturbed, leading to guilt about not being able to convince the other person or to an increasingly dark view of the world and perhaps an unwillingness to share the Faith anymore.

D. The other parties use these conversations as occasions for blasphemy against God, His Church, and His saints. This almost seems to be a given in these days, and to me, is the biggest danger in all this. The activity of the apologist actually becomes an occasion of sin for those he is trying to convert. Think Bill Maher or Richard Dawkins and any other such individual.

At some point, the apologist must be willing to step back and understand that the conversion of the other is going to be God's work and that allowing them opportunities to increase their sin is a bad call.