Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Our family’s papal pilgrimage: A little hunger, a little crankiness, and the Vatican City flag man

My little family and I went to see Pope Francis in Central Park yesterday. As you can see from the picture, we were blessed with a pretty good spot in the crowd (thanks to my husband’s cousin, Tim, who got us the tickets!).

This was no casual day trip to the city. This was a pilgrimage, with all that that word implies.

‘Flags, flags, flags . . . ‘
It was a super-long day. We left our house to catch a train to NYC at 7:00 a.m. (my husband led us in a quick prayer as we set off), and when we got to the train station later than we wanted, tensions were running high. The train ride was better—it was a first for both of my boys—and everyone relaxed and watched the sights (mostly run-down buildings with interesting graffiti).

As we walked through the city, it was discovered (through whining and grumbling) that everybody was hungry and needed to find suitable “facilities.” We found a neat-looking restaurant and everybody was happy.

[Read blog on PBGRACE]

The Right Use of Authority: Breaking Open the Word at Home

Sunday, September 27, 2015 (26th Sunday Ordinary Time, B)

Today’s Readings offer us two themes:

  1. That anyone who is working for God, whether we think they are fit for it or not, is welcome by God and
  2. That people who are too focused on wealth or prestige are heading for disaster. God clearly calls all of us to properly prioritize our values, making God and serving God’s people number one.

In fact, the Gospel warns us that if anyone in any kind of authority (i.e., community leaders, teachers, parents, older siblings, or clergy) leads someone smaller than themselves (that could mean younger, less experienced, less educated, more impressionable, or even someone under that person’s authority) into sinful behavior, that the person in authority is responsible. If we model good behavior like welcoming, sharing, caring, protecting and loving for the small ones than we will be rewarded. These two themes are dependent on one another—if our priority is God, we will not begrudge anyone else who is trying to do the same. And if we are welcoming of everyone’s efforts, then we will always be modeling good behavior by encouraging others toward a higher good.

[Read article on PB&Grace]

That Thief, Lust

In The Lord of the Rings, there are two characters who lose their names. Their names are stolen from them, really. Stolen by that thief, lust.
That poor, little dude Smeagol is the first of lust’s victims. Smeagol is the embodiment of lust. The way the power of the Ring works on him is so clear, so apparent, he should be under the definition of lust in the dictionary. It’s downright obvious.
And sometimes lust is downright obvious. Smeagol becomes Gollum almost instantly. His lust is so transformative, he kills his best friend within minutes of finding the Ring. His lust is so revolting that it serves as an immediate warning for anyone who meets him.
More often, however, I think lust is subtle, more deviously sneaky—and that’s when it is the most dangerous.
Both Gollum and Wormtongue lose themselves so completely to lust that they become someone else.
Take our second character, Grima, for instance. He’s slimy, he’s creepy, and he makes no bones about what he wants. Like Gollum, by the time we meet him, it’s clear what he’s about and nobody likes or trusts him… except for King Theoden.

[Read blog on Geekdom House]

Mabel’s Identity Crisis

Warning: Potential spoilers for folks who don’t get to watch cartoons in a timely fashion (a category in which I would normally be included).
Gravity Falls is one of my favorite cartoons currently on TV. This week’s episode, “The Last Mablecorn,” tackled an important issue—morality. While I’m seriously disappointed in the writer’s choice to have Mabel learn from her experience that “morality is relative,” there was a lot that was very useful in the episode, too. The Pine’s family needed unicorn hair to protect themselves from Bill Cipher, so someone of pure heart had to go retrieve it. Mabel, looking for adventure and known to be of particularly pure heart, went on the quest.
Candy, Brenda and Wendy went with her to collect it and they were willing to use evil means to accomplish their goal (they got involved with an illegal butterfly trade to get ill-gotten faerie dust needed to knock the unicorn out to steal its hair) when met with a disingenuous unicorn. This particular unicorn lied to Mabel, saying that it could see into her heart, and that she was not pure. Mabel was surprised, but accepted it—looking to fix her heart by doing good deeds. Nothing she did was good enough for the unicorn to acknowledge that she was a good person. When push came to shove (and actually, it did eventually come to fisticuffs), Mabel wasn’t willing to let her friends steal the hair.

[Read blog on The Rogue]