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Living In Apostolic Mission: Conversation with Monsignor Shea at SEEK 2023

Jason Jensen
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At the beginning of this year, I got the chance to sit down with Monsignor Shea from the University of Mary. It had been three years since we sat together talking about the Catholic imaginative vision and what it means to live in a post-Christendom world. After a few years and the publication of From Christendom to Apostolic Mission, we came together again to talk about the apostolic mode we find ourselves in today.

While at SEEK 2023, we recorded an episode of the Speak the Unspoken Podcast (shoutout to Spoke Street for hosting us).

These are highlights from our conversation.

“We were under this long span of time where Christian thought and the principles of the gospel really did inform society, and now we’ve come out of that and it’s been a long and deliberate process to which that has happened, and now we find ourselves in a new apostolic age.” - Monsignor Shea

“What’s different about the age in which we find ourselves in now is it’s not just about converting pagans; it’s about bringing back people who have believed they heard the gospel and convincing them that they should see it again for the first time, and that’s a very different task.” - Monsignor Shea

“I wonder if we’re entering into the age of God as Father. Because if we look at the wounding and results of the culture shifts that we’re upon, a lot of it is this broken understanding and dynamic of the gospel that we are deeply loved as sons and daughters.” - Jason Jensen

“The ultimate design of our hearts is to firmly attach to God as Father.” - Jason Jensen

"In the same way that humans need to partake in a particular regiment of therapy in order to emerge from trauma or heal from it... We have in the course of the past 300 years, and especially this past century, seen significant trauma in the Church and a lot of trauma in the culture and society as well, and people are crying out for a sense of belonging and a sense of God’s fatherhood.” - Monsignor Shea

“In every single age, the Church catches whatever disease is out there. The Church finds itself invaded and filled with all of the stupid ideas, all the worst errors, all of the most treacherous human wickedness. In every age, the Church finds itself beset in this way, a great battle takes place within the Church, just as a battle took place within the body of Jesus Christ.” - Monsignor Shea

“The divine life means that the Church always overcomes, and we see that all throughout history. And if we’re ignorant of history, then we’ll look at our own time and we’ll say, "look out how bad things have become. I’m losing hope, I’m losing faith" ... That’s to go from utopia to dystopia. The Catholic Church is not a utopia… It’s not a no place; it’s a real place full of fallen human sinners. It is within human history. It is fortified by the holy spirit. In every age, there is an internal battle for the souls of human beings, men and women, which will take place within the Church. And we shouldn’t be surprised by that battle. We shouldn’t be scandalized by that battle. We can be grieved by it… We can be motivated by it… [but] in every age this happens and in every age, how does God answer? He raises up saints to be his warriors to fight for him within the Church. And then the church builds up the immunity for the good of the Church and the good of the culture.” - Monsignor Shea

“The saints canonized in the next 50 years are the ones who got infected by the disease of the culture and then they allowed Christ to transform them personally, and it’s the collective doing of saints becoming saints that are [the] antibodies.” - Jason Jensen

“The accuser wreaks havoc on the hearts of men and women with [the] questions of shame, presumption, and self reliance. And the answer to that is of course to reject them. And say no, I am enough and God has given me everything I need to fulfill my purpose in this life, what He has placed me here to do… He hasn’t given my mission to anyone else.” - Monsignor Shea

“Dark time are when Christianity is supposed to show up. Christianity is made for times like this. This is the time for saints. This is the time for us to come into who we are.” - Monsignor Shea

Watch the full conversation below.

Stay tuned for the full podcast episode by subscribing to Speak the Unspoken podcast wherever you listen.

You can also find From Christendom to Apostolic Mission here.

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