Not a lot of reading going on--too many other claims to my time--but I have mushed along a little at a time with Fr. Neuhaus' book, and I'm liking it just as much as when I started. It resonates with me. Here's another good quote:
Protestants on the way to becoming Catholic frequently want to be assured that their school of theology is agreed to, or at least permitted, by the Catholic Church. That is, I believe, an understandable but finally misguided concern. The Catholic Church is not in question. The Catholic Church does not have to pass the test of ways of thinking that occasioned schism from the Catholic Church. If one is a Lutheran, a Calvinist, a Wesleyan, or whatever, one does not become a Catholic only to continue to be the Protestant that one was. Of course, people bring with them whatever is worthy in the traditions by which they were formed. Again, all the grace and truth to be found outside the boundaries of the Catholic church gravitate toward unity with the Catholic Church.
As somone who attends an Anglican Use parish, this spoke to me. When I talk to Anglicans now, some of them are all het up about "Well, you've got to promise that the Anglican Use will always be available, blah, blah, blah......." And the Anglican Use is BEAUTIFUL, LOVELY, WORTHY. But if it went away, I would still be a Catholic. Now, until my last breath. (And beyond, since we'll all be Catholics then!) Even when it's hard. And even when I have to sing nasty mass music at other parishes. Yes, even then. I did not become Catholic to remain the Protestant that I was. And oh, yes, my Episcopal parish growing up was as Protestant as they come. High-flying theological arguments about some middle way and all that aside, they were NOT CATHOLIC. And neither was I.
Further on in the book, Fr. Neuhaus has a chapter called "Proposing the Story of the World", which is about the mission of the Church.
To put it simply and boldly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the story of the world. The great problem is that the world does not know its own story. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not an imposition on the world but the proposal to the world of its own true story. For the Catholic Christian, the world is not alien territory but a creation of love that has tragically alienated itself from its Creator. The mission of the Church is to call the world home.
In the mission of his Church, Christ is inviting, cajoling, urging, wooing--calling the world home to itself. And yes, he warns of the consequeences if the call is rejected: A wayward world that rejects the invitation, that prefers darkness to light, and that turns against its own true story in vicious hostility. Yet Christ and his Church are persistent. "Love your enemies," he says. "Do not return evil for evil." Never tire of engaging them, of persuading them, of pointing out in their lives the signals of the transcendent glory for which they were created. ever weary of proposing to them the true story of their lives.
That, my friends, is good stuff.