Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Pastoral Minister. Fan. Writer. Ninja.

Twenty years of pastoral experience plus more than forty years of fandom equals a faith/fun mashup. Join me as we journey through a life of faith while engaging the things of this, and the other worlds that we love.

On a Hero’s Journey: Where Christianity and Nerd Culture Collide

Growing up, it wasn’t easy for me to fit in. I was always “weird.” (I still am.) I liked what I liked regardless of whether it was popular or if anyone else liked it. The two topics I was most interested in were my Catholic Christian faith and nerdy things, but it’s hard to find an adult with the fortitude to have an in-depth conversation about cartoons or comic books. Until recently, it wasn’t easy to find friends in either of those groups who are fans of the other, especially as a full-time pastoral associate at a large parish. Amazingly, I’ve found (or been found by) small pockets of folks whose interests intersect each, and surprisingly, they are people in ministry, too!

Read the full article on Busted Halo!

To Be Great, Serve | Breaking Open the Word at Home

In the readings for Sunday, Oct. 21, Jesus reminds us that if we want to be great and have authority, we have to become a servant. Our Gospel makes it very clear that it’s a baptism of service; one of sacrifice — possibly even the sacrifice of our lives. Jesus asks James and John if they are prepared to accept that baptism, a baptism of danger, when they ask him to give them places of honor in heaven. He tells them that they will, in fact, experience what Jesus will experience.

Get the full reflection and questions for the family here.

ONE-PUNCH IN THE FACE OF JEALOUSY | GEEKDOM HOUSE

“OnePunch-Man” | Art by Shumijin. Used with permission.

I don’t know if it’s the ease with which Saitama became a hero, his genuine humility, or the fact that he tears through the hero ranking system like gangbusters is what upsets the other heroes, but his presence inspires big feelings in the people who meet him. Some are happy to work with him and see his value, and one, a cyborg named Genos, even becomes his disciple. Others are determined to take him down a peg. Right off the bat, as they’re wrapping up Saitama and Genos’ orientation to the Hero Association, Snakebite Snek wants to put Saitama in his place. It backfires, of course, because Saitama is ridiculously strong, but Snek makes it his business to cause him trouble.

Read the full article on Geekdom House.

Their Hearts Are Far From Me | Breaking Open the Word at Home

Beware overly religious people! That’s one of the many lessons in today’s readings. But, how can anyone be overly religious? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? No. Zealous faithfulness is good. People who are so consumed with the strictness of religion so that it obscures their relationship with God is a problem.

Get the full reflection and discussion questions for the family here.

Finding Christian Themes in Today’s Superhero Sagas | A Review of Comic Con Christianity

A beautifully woven tapestry with nearly equal parts faith and culture, “Comic Con Christianity” has something for nearly everyone. Contributor Ryan Langr, admitted lover of all things nerd, reviewed “Comic Con Christianity” by fellow contributor Jen Schlameuss-Perry.

Ryan writes, “As a lover of all things “nerd culture,” I jumped at the chance when author and colleague Jen Schlameuss-Perry asked for a review of her book “Comic Con Christianity.” A passion of mine has always been combining the faith with points of secular culture. I was not disappointed.”

Read the full review here.

THE WONDER TWINS AND UNDERVALUING OUR CHILDREN | Geekdom House

The Wonder Twins and Gleek!

It’s not easy feeling small and undervalued; not in real life, and not in heroic stories. Being overlooked is the constant lot of sidekicks, a reality they probably expect—they’re still in training, after all. The Wonder Twins have to deal with this underwhelming attitude in the 70’s cartoon, Super Friends, and other DC shows they appear in. Most of the time, it seems like they are tagging along with the real heroes, even though they are part of the team. They’re kids, they’re only effective if they’re within physical reach of one another, and by most accounts in the fandom world, they’re fairly lame. I’ll be honest; if I was in need of a hero and the Wonder Twins showed up, I’d try to be polite, but I’d be super disappointed. And worried.

Read the whole article at Geekdom House.

I am the Bread of Life | Breaking Open the Word at Home

In the readings for Sunday, August 12, frustration abounds, but Jesus remains faithful and gives us food for the journey. Elijah — God’s greatest prophet ever — is ready to give up his prophetic ministry in the first reading, Paul tells us not to “grieve the Holy Spirit,” and the people who have been listening to Jesus continue to be confounded by his claims. They knew him as Joseph’s boy and the son of Mary — and they are murmuring!

Read the full reflection and get discussion questions for the family here.

Give Us This Bread Always | Breaking Open the Word at Home

In the readings for Sunday, August 5, God gives us good food so that we can accomplish his works. Are we there yet? I’m hungry! I’m thirsty! He’s poking me! She’s thinking about me! Long trips are hard. It was no different for Moses taking the Hebrew people from slavery to a home of their own than it is for parents taking children on an nice vacation or day trip. Traveling can make people cranky. The Hebrews were so cranky they blamed Moses and said they’d rather be slaves than be on that trip. God took care of them and gave them a food called manna so that they wouldn’t give up.

For a full reflection and discussion questions for the family, click here.