Nothing is really sacred in the Church of Nice — most especially Our Blessed Lord. We can worship Him dressed immodestly, with no real education about what Mass is really about — show up a few minutes late, or bolt out right after we've gone up and grabbed the "bread," sung emotionally whiny, "fingers on the chalkboard" music, and felt like we are all very nice people.
And the leaders will neither say nor do anything about it. They like the Church of Nice because, since they are the leaders, they are perceived as nice as well. "Nice" is the most disgusting language in the lexicon of modern Catholicism.
"Nice" means never being objectionable, always agreeable, never taking a stand. It is an apt substitute for the word "coward" — which is fitting, since the etymology of the word "nice" comes from the Latin word meaning "stupid like a cow" — as in coward.
Let's get something clear: Our Blessed Lord was most assuredly not nice. He was filled with zeal and passion and upset the status quo of those leaders who were content to let souls be damned so they could be perceived as nice. The nice gang is the gang of the lukewarm, the ones who never venture too far this way or too far that way, the guardians of the middle of the road — the ones everyone likes because they are nice.
Love is not about being nice. It is about being charitable, which has noting to do with the social convention of being nice. Love is fiery, passionate, totally absorbed in the beloved for the sake of the beloved. It does not care about itself; it throws itself with reckless abandon headlong into danger for the sake of the beloved.
It's fitting that when there are two people and one has a romantic interest in the other, but the other isn't interested at all, the supreme blow-off line is "I'm really not interested. I mean he or she is nice and all, but ..." Nice is a cheap substitute for love. It never has passion; it will never bleed for anyone or anything. It couldn't spell "zeal" if it tried. Nice is boring and conventional, uninspiring, and, frankly, for spiritual losers.
Why are Catholic parishes closing up faster than lemonade stands at the North Pole? Because they're all so flippin' nice — and nice (meaning lukewarm) is what Our Blessed Lord promises in the book of the Apocalypse He will vomit out of His mouth. The Church Militant is not about being nice. Even God can't tolerate nice.
Watch the panel discuss the difference between true and false charity in "The Download—Nice vs. Charitable."
Article adapted from June 20, 2012 "Vortex" titled "Church of Nice!"