On Crisis

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I have decided to let my subscription to Crisis Magazine lapse. There are many things that go into this decision. (1) I have an unfortunate propensity for packratism. Once it enters the house it may never again leave. If it weren't for the fact that I have a six year old about I would probably be one of those people you read about that have narrow tunnels winding through their house between piles of books and papers. (2) Generally I read the reviews, some letters, and one or two columns. All of which are enormously entertaining, but hardly worth the money. (3) I've decided, quite arbitrarily, that it is constitutionally bad on my psyche to be reading a magazine that every months announces to me that I and all I hold dear are in Crisis. That may well be. However, I don't feel particularly in Crisis. I see the bad things around me and recognize them for what they are but when Jesus promised that the church He would build would be such that "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it," I made an assumption that the reason for that is because of Him and not because of me running about worried about the latest Crisis.

All of that said, I must recommend both the erudition and the depth of the articles in Crisis. For those whose moods and attitudes tend not to be so easily swayed as my own, it is a wonderful periodical and I have enjoyed much of it for the last five or six years. And here's really the final reason. More and more recently, I find the Deal Hudson, who edits and contributes to the magazine, seems to criticize every motion the Bishops take. While there is undoubtedly much to criticize and we do need watchdogs and people willing to sound the alarms, I have grown tired of the constant barrage of intimations that the bishops don't know what their doing. Perhaps this is more prominent in the e-newsletter, and perhaps it is simply a mistaken impression on my own part; however, I find this perception dismaying and not conducive to increasing my faith life. I fear I may have grown past the place where Crisis Magazine was a help to belief to a place where it may be distracting or delaying further progress.

So all of these conditions come together and I must make an evaluation about how to spend my money. For the price of crisis I could buy two or three really fine books about Carmelite Spirituality, or other aspects of contemplative prayer. It seems better to pursue this course.

Now, talking out of the other face, I do recommend to you all attention to and purchase of one of the finest Catholic Periodicals out there. Crisis along with First Things and sometimes Touchstone (most particularly when our own Mr. Luse is present) present a high point in Catholic journalism and commentary. I almost regret my decision, but I think it a good one for my present state in life. Perhaps there will come a time when the magazine will again hold a place of importance in my reflections on life in the Church. My real hope is that I can attain to the state of our own Ms. Knapp and Mr. Disputations who both espouse an ideal of what it means to be Catholic that I should take to heart--Crisis or no crisis.

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you can also choose to read Crisis on line if there is an especially compelling topic. I have recently decided to let lapse my subscription to Reader's Digest and possible also Catholic Digest and Guideposts....

Since my conversion to Catholicism in '97 I've subscribed to New Oxford Review, Crisis and First Things -- I gave up on the first, and may renew my subscription to the second if I can afford it. (Every now and then Deal Hudson will circulate a $10.00 subscription offer via e-letter -- quite a deal for a year's worth of good writing). .

Getting to the point -- First Things remains my favorite, for the variety and depth of articles discussed (by the writers as well as its readers), and for Fr. Neuhaus' excellent montly review "The Public Square". It's a little costly as far as subscriptions go, but one for which I'd willingly sacrifice a few meals.

I'll have to look into Touchstone based on your recommendation. Another good publication I've come to appreciate as of late is the St. Austin Review.

No one can ... oops, make that no one should second guess the journey of a sincere Christian soul following a godly Catholic path. Examining your conscience, you know best, Steven, what will lead you closer to the ideal to which we are all called: "Be ye perfect as My heavenly Father is perfect."

The life of the interior is integral to the active life, pace Dom Chautard's Soul of the Apostolate—an addition I recomend to your library, if it does not already reside there.

But the truth remains that our world is in a crisis largely because Holy Mother Church Herself is in crisis. The scandal lies in those who have abandoned the faith and the faithful in so manyh ways, not the scribes who note it inn the hope that we might return to the Faith of our Fathers with new zeal.

Now is not the time--holy monks and hermits aside--for the faithful remnant to withdraw to the catacombs. Balance by all means, for that is the Catholic way, but battle as long as God gives us breath as confirmed soldiers of the Church Militant for Christ's standard is ours to defend or surrender . . . and God knows that it has been abnandoned far too often by those charged to defend it.

May God bless all pens whose points are honed on Truth! And may the Holy Ghost grant us all wisdom and courage in the days to come.

Dear Mr. Appleby,

Agreed. Now is not the time to retire from the battlefield, and if I gave the impression that it was my intent to do so, I must correct that impression now--it is not the case. We need to be aware and ready to defend the Church from agressors inside and out. Thank you for point that out--it is extraordinarily important to keep in mind. But honestly--I get more ammunition and hope from reading your blogsite and others than Crisis currently affords me.

Dear Mr. Blosser,

First Things will remain on my subscription list. I love it. I also used to do New Oxford Review but found elements of it too abrasive for my taste. I've seen the online bits and pieces of St. Austin Review, but I've not yet seen an entire issue. I will have to look into that one because it was most interesting to me.



I like Crisis a lot, but then I don't read Hudson's criticism of the bishops. Like you said the watchdog aspect is surely helpful but I find that there is much more to Crisis than those articles.

I've been lately sorely tempted to subscribe to "Gilbert! Magazine" devoted of course to Chesterton.

Well Steven, you could trade Crisis for a subscription to America (my favorite). Mix a little Jesuit with some Carmelite and see what happens ;)



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 5, 2004 6:21 PM.

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