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.

Ripped From The Womb, Not A Person

A woman who was preparing for the birth of her child responded to an ad on Craigslist to purchase clothes for her baby. Upon her arrival, the person who placed the ad, a deranged woman bent on kidnapping the unborn child, attacked the expectant mother, cut her open and removed the baby; leaving the mother in serious danger of death and ultimately killing the infant. The assailant is being charged with the attack on the mother, but will not be charged in the murder of the infant. Colorado state law does not consider a fetus to be a person because it cannot live on it’s own outside the womb for an extended period of time; hence the death of the baby was not a murder—because a person wasn’t killed. (See article on CNN here.)

I have often noticed that in news reporting, when discussing abortion, reporters would refer to the unborn child inside as a “fetus”, but when they were reporting on a story where a wanted unborn child was killed as a result of an accident or an attack that the child was referred to as an “unborn baby.” A distinction is made according to the intention of the mother. That’s bad enough. But now, in a case where a mother was actively preparing for the birth of her child, she is not even being given the dignity of the state acknowledging her little lost one as a person.

How wounding, how disgraceful and how inhuman the law is becoming. In an effort to “protect the rights of women” in their reproductive choices, we have come so far as to not even protect the lives of unborn children that are wanted. I believe all abortion is wrong—I can’t understand how in this day when we have so much information about what happens in the womb, the way a child develops and the absolutely clear humanity of these tiny ones how anyone could not see the evil of abortion. But this takes our disregard for human life to a whole new level.

[Read blog on Catholic365]

The Battle Of What Seemed Like Five Hours

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I am the parent of a teenager. This puts me in the weird new reality of my humongous child now venturing away from the house without me; going out with his friends instead. He gets to go to movies—in the theater. I used to do that… He has already seen two movies that I wanted to see before I got to. The first was “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and the second was “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies,” both of which I had to wait to see when they came out on demand.
The Hobbit just became available this weekend, so my husband, this particular son and I watched it together. Before it started, my son declared that it was a “one star movie—and it only got one star because you can’t give zero.” My husband said, “Don’t ruin it for me.” My son replied, “I don’t need to. That’s what you have Mom for.” I would have had a retort, but the child knows me, and he was right. That movie was so bad—there could have been no fun in watching it with me. The campy lines (“you should have stayed dead”…really?), ridiculous fight scenes and lack of fidelity to the book made it an awful waste of time. It felt like forcing the story to be three movies stuck them with having to fill time (2 hours and 24 minutes worth!). I hadn’t been so disgruntled about a movie since “The Two Towers” and Peter Jackson is to blame for both.

[Read the blog on The Rogue]

Eight Questions Non-Catholics (and many cradle Catholics) Almost Always Ask When They Attend Mass

Whether it’s non-Catholics who attend Mass with their Catholic significant other or folks who are inquiring about the faith; if you weren’t brought up with Mass, your first (and second and third…) time can be very confusing—making people feel like they’re, “around a secret that I’m not in on.” Here are some answers to some of the really excellent, frequently asked questions that newbie’s bring with them.

What’s with all of the sitting, standing and kneeling?
We call it “Catholic Aerobics.” It’s how we stay fit. Just kidding! Each posture during Mass has function and meaning. When we sit, we are engaged in active listening, giving our attention to the readings, the homily and some of the prayers. We stand for a couple of reasons—to listen to the Gospel (we sit for the other Bible readings) to acknowledge that we are in the presence of Christ. The Gospel is the Word of God speaking to us in the present. We hear stories about Jesus and the words that He spoke and so we stand in honor of this. Sometimes our standing together shows our unity in prayer (like when we pray the Creed or the General Intercessions) as the Body of Christ, and we stand together as a community preparing to receive the Body of Christ in the Eucharist (see #4). Kneeling is a penitential/reverential posture. We acknowledge our sinfulness and need for God’s healing, so we kneel in God’s Presence (mostly while the prayers regarding the Eucharist are being prayed) asking for that healing.

[Read the blog on Catholic365.com]

Does Top Gear Stop Here?

Mondays are…well, Mondays. Garfield hates them; most people in the workforce hate them. But, for me Mondays were a good thing. Sunday is the first day of my work week, so there’s that, and I have karate Monday night. I love that. Then, I had the great joy of looking forward to a nice cold beer and some beautiful escapism while playing the jewel game on my phone and watching the eight billion episodes of Top Gear that would record on my DVR (I’m talking the British version here…).
This is probably going to be no more. Jeremy Clarkson, one of the three (but not my favorite—I love James May) members of the Top Gear group has assaulted verbally and physically a producer on the show and was fired. What now? This is too much to handle since “James May’s Man Lab” has inexplicably disappeared already. What now?

[Read blog on The Rogue website]

You Didn’t Say It, You Didn’t Do It

The Princess Bride was on TV the other night. No matter what else is happening in my life, if I’m flipping channels and I come across The Princess Bride, that’s as far as I’m going. I have the movie on DVD—I could watch it any time I want—without commercials. But, if I see it on TV, I’m watching it. It was playing in the background while I was working, and while I wasn’t paying 100% attention to it, it didn’t stop me from saying the lines along with the movie. When the wedding scene came on, however, I began to pay attention. It’s hilarious.

 

 

Everybody knows; and I’m sure Prince Humperdink would have remembered if he wasn’t so rushed and stressed, that this was not a valid marriage. But, poor Buttercup was so distraught that she lost sight of this fact. Thankfully, Buttercup has Westley to put it in perspective.

[Read blog on The Rogue]

Rural Juror–A Lenten Journey

Photo Credit: Flickr/j

Photo Credit: Flickr/j

The week before Lent began, I was cordially invited to spend some time in my county court for jury duty. I live in a country setting, so naturally, all I could think of when I saw the summons was Jenna Maroney singing the “Rural Juror” song from 30 Rock.  Good times… Anyway, I thought the idea of serving was pretty cool…I had never actually been able to perform this particular civic duty and was looking forward to having the opportunity—expecting, of course, that I would never in a million years get called for a jury. I spent my first hour quietly reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Bram Stoker’s, “Dracula.” The wifi was squirrely so I was essentially off the grid and I knew no one there, so I didn’t have to talk to anyone. Since I thought it was to be a short time, it was heaven. I really felt like God had plucked me out of the chaos of pre-Lent prep (which is a lot when you’re the director of the Catechumenate for a parish) and gently placed me into a pre-Lent retreat. That was the first hour…

I was in the second group called up for jury selection. That’s fine, I thought—there are like sixty people in this group. I won’t be chosen. The selection took all day, and we had a nice long lunch where I got to read, pray and be quiet some more. At the very end of the day I was selected. It shouldn’t take long, though, the Judge told us. My one-day retreat turned into a full-on trip into the desert. By Wednesday of the following week—Ash Wednesday—we were still hearing witnesses. And the trial even went into the following week and then an additional day.

[Read the blog on Catholic365]

Dragon Baptisms

For almost half my life it has been my job to work with individuals who are converting to Catholicism through the RCIA process. During Lent, as is the case with all Catholics, we focus very much on our sinfulness and our need for reconciliation with God and one another. The whole 40 days of Lent is dedicated to this and have we rituals to assist in it.
Everybody is always super jealous of the Elect who will be Baptized at Easter because everything bad they ever did in their lives is drowned in the waters of Baptism and they get to totally start over. They go into the water their old, broken selves, and come out a new creation in Christ. But, first they spend all of Lent really scrutinizing themselves to see what needs to be left in the water—what they need to die to in order to rise to Christ.

[Read the blog on The Rogue]

Happy Little Accidents

These days, when I think of the things that were formative to me in my youth, I get a little sentimental. Maybe because I’m old, or because it’s Lent, or because I’m making major changes in my life, but I’m feeling very reflective. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my family, my faith, the people I’ve met and spent lots of time with, various good and crappy circumstances…and TV. TV was a big influence in my young (who am I kidding…and my adult) life. I continue to make many references to the shows I watched when I was a kid in my teaching, writing and parenting.
One of the shows that made a significant impact is one that most people my age have been affected by—Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting. I came across a video remix a few days ago that reminded me of the lessons I learned from this show and how much I loved watching it.
If you are not familiar with Mr. Ross (or are in the mood for a bit of nostalgia), here is the Bob Ross Remix put out by PBS:

[Read blog on The Rogue website]

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.