Catholic Inklings

Musings and sharings on my devotion to an ancient religion.

Category archive: Uncategorized

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!

He Emptied Himself | Breaking Open the Word at Home

In the readings for this Sunday, March 25, we move from offering Jesus with a hero’s welcome to yelling, “Crucify him!” and putting him in a tomb. Jesus shows us what God is made of with his compassion, love and complete self-giving. We take everything he offers us gladly. And then, when things get tricky, we turn on him. The Apostles did their best to stand by him, but they couldn’t understand that what was happening to Jesus was in God’s hands. It can be very hard for any of us to remember that, no matter how bad things get, God is on our side. It’s hard to remember that, God only wants good for us. And it’s especially hard to remember that God will never let evil win. Our readings today can be a help for us in times when we might be tempted to second-guess God.

Get full reflection and discussion questions for the family here.

The Black Panther: A Course in Social Justice | Bigger on the Inside

Movie poster from Black Panther

The latest installment of Marvel Comic movies, “Black Panther,” is timely, beautiful and an important commentary on our responsibility toward one another — particularly those who aren’t directly related to us. Go see it. Bring your teens. Bring your youth group.

The question of “what is my responsibility to my brother?” is a constant companion in this movie, each main character struggling with it in their own way. It challenges our use of the resources that we control, and how protecting our own freedom and stability to the exclusion and detriment of others is faulty policy; both morally and practically. Women and people of color are depicted in relationships of equality, respect and dignity that could serve as a model for us any day. If you’re looking for a way to introduce Catholic social teaching to young people, I strongly recommend using this movie as a catalyst for conversation.

For full review and themes for discussion, click here.

In Three Days I Will Raise It Up | Breaking Open the Word at Home

In the readings for this Sunday, March 4, we see God’s unbalanced mercy (unbalanced in our favor) as we’re given the Ten Commandments. Only people who care about you will give instruction and boundaries for relationship; and the Ten Commandments are just that. Three are how to relate to God, seven are how to relate to one another. All of them together are how we live out our gratitude to God for all that we’ve been given, and to show respect to God and all the things God loves.

When we step out of those boundaries, we step into sin — sin that makes us forget who we are. Jesus, when he visited the temple, came face to face with people who forgot they were in service to God and God’s people, and forgot the purpose of the temple. They forgot to put their relationship with God first, and made a mockery of God’s invitation to relationship. Jesus, rightly angry, made a point to correct them so that they could change their ways and return to God. Jesus also foreshadowed that an event was coming that would make the Jerusalem Temple obsolete — that Jesus would become the place of sacrifice once and for all.

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

WE’VE CREATED A MONSTER | GEEKDOM HOUSE

“Godzilla” | Art by sandara. Used with permission.

Thankfully, most of us don’t literally mean it when we shout, “Oh, no! I’ve created a monster!” In the Toho movie franchises, however, when the Japanese say it, they mean it. The world of Kaiju, the “strange beasts” of Japanese cinema, include attacks on the world and are often the result of humanity making a very poor choice or unfortunate mistake. Godzilla: King of the Monsters introduces us to a highbred dinosaur born from the radiation of atomic weapons testing. Godzilla ravages Japan, bringing further devastation to the nation after the horror of what spawned him in the first place.

[Read article on Geekdom House.]

For This Reason I Have Come | Breaking Open the Word at Home

In the readings for this Sunday, Feb. 4, we see a very busy Jesus. He moves quickly from healing Peter’s mother-in-law, to healing the sick and people with demons, to going around the countryside to preach the good news. Following in his footsteps, Paul talks to us about becoming “all things to all.” That means that we need to make ourselves relatable to everyone we meet. We’re never too smart, too cultured, to popular, to busy; too anything to make time and make ourselves available to anyone who needs us. Job reminds us to be mindful of those who are experiencing emotional unhealth, too — depression, grief, burnout, or even a sense of being overwhelmed — the Jobs of our world need our help, too.

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

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA AND THE VIRTUE OF WAITING | GEEKDOM HOUSE

Breaking News! The original Battlestar Galactica series is going to be on a local TV station near me this summer! Whoop-dee-do, you say? It’s been on Netflix for years, you say? Well, pardon me, but I’m somewhat elderly (42!) and don’t remember things like Netflix when I’m wishing to see my old TV shows. I still “tape” the shows I want to watch on my DVR. As much as I try to live in the brave new world of technology—with some small successes—my brain is wired for the 1980s. So, when I heard that BSG was going to be on, I was very excited. I bought the theme song on iTunes and have been listening to it frequently in my hype.

[Read article on Geekdom House]

A Few Good Men | Breaking Open the Word at Home

“Mommy, where do deacons come from?” Today’s first reading tells us that very thing! We get an idea of what it means to live “diakonia”; Christian service, and how to let God build us into “a spiritual house”; shelters for the poor and needy. Jesus tells us that besides us being a home for others, he built a home for us in heaven.

Click here for a short reflection on this weekend’s Scriptures with discussion questions for the whole family.