Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Recovering Catholics–Haters Gonna Hate

My first (and probably last) blog to ever have a wide viewership was called “My Top Ten Favorite Excuses People Give For Not Going To Church (and my snarky responses to those excuses).” Not only did it get read way more than I could have imagined, it received more comments than I think worthy of it. Some of the comments were really nice and supportive. Some were voicing their hurt or distress at the content and tone of the blog. I did my best to respond to each of those comments because I believe each one was written with sincerity and great feeling. As confused as I was at the volume of readers, I was even more humbled by the reaction it caused. To the Catholics that I offended, I am sorry—it was formed with a loving attitude and a desire to do good. I only used the word “snarky” to grab attention, and then believed that the tone would reveal my true intent.

Now, the title of this blog has the same purpose—to surprise and draw folks in. There are many people who refer to themselves as “Recovering Catholics,” as in; they are recovering from having been Catholic. While it probably shouldn’t, that term makes me chuckle—I think it’s pretty clever—I get that need to “recover.” I could have used that term myself at points, except that I did not leave to do my recovering.

Photo Credit: Flickr/f1uffster (Jeanie)

Photo Credit: Flickr/f1uffster (Jeanie)

[Read blog on Catholic365 website]

Marvel’s Agent Carter: Self-Worth and Street-Cred

The first season of Marvel’s Agent Carter came to a close last night. I sincerely hope they make a second season—they certainly left the door open to it. Since the first episode aired, I eagerly awaited each new one. I loved the setting (post-WWII), the costumes, the storyline and the cars…so many pretty cars… And I also loved the themes they dealt with; reconciliation, knowing your worth, seeing the worth of others, ambition, honor, camaraderie, trust and putting yourself on the line for the truth. It was inspiring to see, in particular, the way that Peggy dealt with the nonsense in having to establish street-cred with the other agents in the SSR. She had already more than earned her stripes in her service during the War and in dealing with the whole Captain America scene—and the guys who fought along-side of her in the War knew that. But, now, back in the day-to-day life of post-war crime-fighting, she finds herself (like so many of our military upon their return from extraordinary circumstances) struggling to find her niche in her new situation.

Travel Mugs Of Death

Life is like a travel mug. You can give it the old college try with the best resources you have and hope it all goes smoothly, or you can try to control your circumstances so much that you’re really sacrificing more security than you’re creating. We have a lot to hope in when God is part of our lives. It can be difficult to step out in faith, but when we believe that God doesn’t call us to anything that He won’t help us finish, it makes it a little easier. Things certainly get messy, surprising and unpredictable, but we’re never left to deal with anything alone. When we have thrills, spills and excitement, God also gives us stain-remover, washing machines and dry cleaners* (*read “sacraments” here).

[Read the blog on Catholic365 website]

Dracula: Doing The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason

I finally got to see Dracula Untold the other night. I’ve been wanting to see it since I saw the first trailer months before it was in the theaters. I thought it was pretty good—it included the proper history of Vlad and included some very interesting moral questions.

I’ve always been sympathetic to Dracula. Don’t get me wrong—vampires are the worst (besides European dragons—I don’t get all this Hollywood propaganda to make dragons attractive to kids. Train dragons? To do what? Steal your gold, burn you to death, eat you and then sit on your treasure with lust in his heart for eons?). But, the story of Vlad, imprisoned as a young boy and hardened into a vicious warrior is sad. It doesn’t require a lot of imagination to understand why he became so nuts later on; with all the impaling people and then inviting his buddies to dinner only to lock them in the room and murder them, and other crazy antics that eventually earn him the legend of being a blood-drinker.

[Read the blog on The Rogue website]

Fifty Shades of Gross

They call it “Mommy Porn.” So, what does this mean? Mommies are nice. They are cuddly, nurturing, loving and sweet. They care for others and instill values of sharing and fairness; they teach their little ones right from wrong and give them a foundation on which the rest of their moral development will grow. They are the primary teachers (with their husbands) of what it means to love and to be loved. So, if something is for “Mommy,” how bad could it be?

But, then there’s the other word. Porn. This is not nice. This is not cuddly, nurturing, loving or sweet. It is degrading, isolating, immoral and gross. Even late night TV show hosts and very liberal sitcoms refer to it as “shameful.” Not because the Catholic Church says it’s shameful—they don’t care about that—but because that’s how it really makes people feel.

Photo Credit: Flickr/RAFTWET Jewell

Photo Credit: Flickr/RAFTWET Jewell

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Scarier Things Than Scarecrow

I enjoy Gotham without shame. I look forward to it every week. I like seeing the development of the supervillains and of little Bruce Wayne. Monday’s episode showed the beginnings of one of my favorite villains, Dr. Jonathan Crane; aka Scarecrow. Last night, I inadvertently became scarier than Scarecrow after watching the show and getting the idea for this blog. I tried to text myself this line from the show so that wouldn’t forget it by the time I had a chance to write: “Imagine the thing you fear most in the world. Imagine that’s all you see. Every waking hour.” But, the text did not go to me. It went to the grandfather of one of my kid’s friends. I’ve only met the guy once. I can’t even imagine what he must think…

[Read blog on The Rogue website]

I Believe…In An X-Files Reboot!

About a year ago our parish had a visiting priest saying Mass who had one of the most astonishing homilies I’ve ever heard. It was all about The X-Files. Yes—I said about a year ago. My first thought was, “Wow! I LOVE The X-Files! How cool is this!” My second thought was, “Wait…that was on like 20 years ago. Did this guy just pull out a 20 year old homily and lay it on us like it was nothing?!” I’m going to go with a third thought that I had a few days ago—that dude was prophetic. Because, hooray for all of us—they are trying to bring The X-Files back to TV! Rejoice and be glad! I hope there will be more homilies about it (although that is very unlikely) when the show comes back on!


[Read Blog on The Rogue Website]

My Top Ten Favorite Excuses That People Give For Not Going To Church (and my snarky responses to those excuses)

As a Pastoral Associate in a Catholic Parish, I have heard it all. People find ways to justify their lack of Mass attendance and believe (momentarily) that their justification will convince the pastoral staff of their correctness. Here are my refutations of these excuses—meant not to isolate further or hurt the feelings of those who don’t go to Mass, but as a playful invitation to reconsider and come back to the family that misses them.  This is an updated version of a blog I wrote for my parish website.

[Read Blog on]