The ‘Hard Sayings’ Line
As most readers of this magazine and virtually all visitors to our website know, since 2005 we have operated what we call the NOR Gear Shoppe, where various items bearing NOR-themed logos and designs can be purchased, such as T-shirts, hoodies, boxer shorts, baby bibs, bumper stickers, wall clocks, greeting cards, coffee mugs, beer steins, tote bags, etc. The Gear Shoppe is hosted by CafePress.com; the NOR’s profit margin is very slim for all products, never more than a few dollars per item. Nevertheless, we figured this would be a fun way for readers to express their appreciation for our apostolate, not so much by flooding us with greenbacks but by bearing on their person — or their cars or walls or kitchen table — a physical manifestation of their support of orthodox Catholicism as presented by the NOR.
We have, to date, been pleased by the response. We are humbled whenever anyone finds our magazine worthy of support. The most popular line in the Gear Shoppe is the one showing a couple at a barbecue with the slogan, “I’d Rather Be Roasting Heretics.” The briskest selling item is, naturally, the “Roasting Heretics” BBQ apron. (It makes a great gift, for those thinking ahead to Christmas.)
A distant second would be our classic NOR logo, found on the front cover of this magazine and in the upper left-hand corner of our website. Yes, you can now sport this striking symbol on, say, a golf shirt, while sipping your beverage of choice from a vessel bearing its image. There are three styles to choose from: encircled with a red background (“Logo Cerchio”), encircled with a gold background (“Logo Gold”), or without any border (“Logo Uno”). Also contesting for one of the top spots is the “Catholic Attitude” line, which bears the image of a crusader, one we’ve used for the past couple years on the cover of our direct-mail advertising packages and in display ads.
Recently we were contemplating the current state of our beloved Church and the unease many modern Catholics feel toward the hard line our Church takes, and has always taken, toward various matters, whether practical or theological. This unease often develops into a failure to submit to, much less embrace, some “difficult” teaching of the Church, usually in the area of sexual morality or social justice, repentance, obedience, rejection of earthly desires, etc. Individual Catholics’ unwillingness to submit to the Church’s hard teachings has led to a severe weakening of the faith in our time. And this weakening of the faith has had a detrimental impact on the world at large. As Fr. John Corapi explained in our interview in the July-August issue, Jesus gave us the Church to “hold the world in being,” and when the Church is faithful, this is what she has done. But when the faith of her individual members is weakened, the Church no longer has the corporate strength to hold the world up, and the world “sinks into Hell under the weight of its own iniquity,” as Fr. Corapi put it. We’ve each got to place some of the blame for the catastrophic state of the world on ourselves: “Just imagine if we had sixty or seventy million fervent, vibrant Catholics in this country. It would be a vastly different place,” Fr. Corapi said, “a better place.”
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