How to Be a Good Catholic, by David Warren

Humility and the Mysterious Work of God, by Joan Watson
June 4, 2021
Saint of the Day for June 4: Blessed Angelina of Marsciano
June 4, 2021

*Image: Beaune Altarpiece (or the Last Judgement) by Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1445-50 [Hospices de Beaune, Beaune, France]

By David Warren, The Catholic Thing, June 4, 2021

David Warren is a former editor of the Idler magazine and columnist in Canadian newspapers. He has extensive experience in the Near and Far East. His blog, Essays in Idleness, is now to be found at:

Note: We have two good things to report this morning. First, our longtime contributor David Warren is back and up to his old tricks after a serious medical problem. We hope that we’ll all be enjoying his wit – and barbs – every other Friday again for years to come. …


David WarrenI am not a good Catholic; and if I ever was, I was not aware of it. I suppose the best Catholics all claim this, though we should credit them with telling the truth.

You might know whether you were a good Catholic after your death, assuming the Catholic account of reality is true. But many of us aren’t dead yet, and haven’t the ability or the audacity to predict the future, or read the mind of God. Those who try may be dismissed as not good Catholics, by Catholic standards.

That the individual believer may be vain, smug, and pleased with himself, is a fact frequently noticed. But none of these qualities offers a very convincing imitation of a good person of any kind. Modesty, honesty, and discomfort are more likely qualities, and sometimes earn praise. But for that, they may be easily simulated. …

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