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.
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!
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.
Some of the best ways to learn about God is by teaching your kids to see God in what they like to read and watch. Here are ways to help teach your children about God through the power of stories. My new book, “Comic Con Christianity,” makes an attempt to do just that. It takes the truths of our faith and illustrates them using stories from the Bible and my favorite samples of nerd culture. Besides the Bible, my favorite stories are from sci-fi, superheroes and fantasy stories. Not only are they lots of fun, but they speak the same language as Christian theology — talking about destiny, purpose, sacrifice, justice. Catholic elementary school and my Jesuit graduate training helped me to see God everywhere, and nerd culture is a natural place for me to see God.
In the readings for Sunday, July 29, we’re reminded that God’s grace is extravagant and never a waste.
For a full (but short) reflection on this weekend’s Scriptures and discussion questions for the family, click here.
As the niece of Rohan’s king, Eowyn is a leader of her people, one who is loved and respected. When their city is under attack, it is her responsibility to lead the people to Helm’s Deep for safety. Shouldn’t this be enough responsibility for her? Shouldn’t she realize how much her uncle and brother value her leadership by putting her in charge of the people, and how much they value her life by forbidding her to ride into war with them?
What does this have to do with women’s ministry in the Catholic Church? Click here to find out.
In the readings for Sunday, July 22, God reminds us to try and find balance between living lives of leadership and finding some rest.
My new book, Comic Con Christianity, is available for delivery on August 7.
From the earliest days of human culture, superheroes have inspired us to look deeper and raise questions about how we live in community. Every generation had its heroes from Beowulf to Siegfried to King Arthur, and our more recent heroes given by Tolkien, Lewis, Stan Lee, and Gene Roddenberry. Comic Con Christianity is a gateway to faith for young, unchurched nerds who do not currently have the vocabulary of faith which, incidentally, is the same vocabulary as most superhero, sci-fi, and fantasy media. For the seeker—young adults and nerds of all ages—this book is an introduction to Catholic Christian thought using media that already speaks to them. For the faithful, considering these stories from a Christian perspective offers a challenge to the way we live our faith.
Comic Con Christianity, a natural expression of Catholic faith, invites the reader to look at Catholic Christian spirituality within the context of some of the most compelling stories of our culture. The stories in this book, which resonate with many, is a bridge between this ever-growing demographic and our Catholic faith.
It can be ordered directly from Paulist Press by using this link.
When Elastigirl says she has to “save the family by leaving it,” her words hit me right in the feels—my heart broke every time I left my kids to go to work when they were small. Of course, that was mostly because they would stand at the window screaming and crying. I later found out that as soon as I was out of sight, they would go about their business like I never existed. Little monsters. But, that’s what kids do. Elastigirl knew that in order to make a path for herself, her husband, her children, and all supers to have the option of a super future, she needed to be away from her kids for a time. And that’s where Mr. Incredible comes in.
In the readings for Sunday, July 8, we see that when God speaks, people don’t always listen.