Tag: Catholicism

Federal Government Admits Catholicism is True

Well, not really, but indirectly, through PBS’ Flannery O’Connor documentary

I greatly enjoyed PBS documentary, American Masters: Flannery O’Connor, on PBS last night.

I thought the producers respected her intense Catholicism. I’m sure they could’ve found critics to say sacrilegious things like, “Her dark humor emanates from a religion based on a Jew who had a bad afternoon,” but they didn’t. Her Catholicism came up frequently but always as a fact, never as a jab.

There were two forays into her correspondence with a bisexual and a lesbian (couldn’t leave those things out), but I didn’t interpret either as an attempt to portray Flannery as a repressed lesbian, and I’m sure they could’ve found critics to say things like, “Her dark humor emanates from her nascent lesbianism birthed from her Catholicism,” but they didn’t.… Read the rest

I Found C.S. Lewis Reincarnate in a Flimsy Paperback My Parish was Giving Away Free

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

A few years ago, I stumbled across a video by some guy with an Australian accent. I listened for awhile and thought, “Man, this guy has a thorough grasp of what he’s talking about.” That guy, I learned later, was Matthew Kelly.

Whenever I pick up one of those flimsy Matthew Kelly paperback books that seem to proliferate and litter the back of churches, and read a few pages, I’m normally edified.

But I’ve never been a Matthew Kelly fan.

I guess I’ve never been able to get past the self-promotion, the pop “Dynamic Catholic!” trademark, those exclamation points, the relentless “be-the-best-version-of-yourself” admonition that sounds like it came from Tony Robbins.

To be honest, I have always kind of looked down my nose at his works, like they’re pablum.

I then picked up I Heard God Laugh. It was lying on our kitchen counter, stained and wrinkled because my wife just grabbed it while walking out of church one day and tossed it in the backseat of her minivan, to be ravaged by the exigencies of being a housewife.

I read a few pages and liked what I read.

It then hit me. “This guy is C.S. Lewis for the 21st-century Catholic.”… Read the rest

Where Did Modern Catholic Literature Go?

writer working on typewriter in office
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The twentieth century saw a lot of great Catholic literature. Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy are the most-immediate examples, but there are others, like Sheila Bosworth and Shusako Endo.

Did it disappear after 1980s?

I’m afraid it did, at least as a literary form that had mass-market appeal. There are plenty of popular authors out there who are Catholic, some are serious Catholics, but they’re not writing Catholic literature.

O’Connor and Percy first and foremost told stories, but the stories were laced with a Catholic worldview.

I don’t think you can say that about any of the popular Catholic authors today. Every piece of literature contains at least a little Catholicism (Catholicism is universal; if a story is true, good or beautiful, it’s Catholic to some extent), but you’re going to have to plunge deep to pull the Catholicism out of, say, a Dean Koontz book.

So, is there no Catholic literature today?

Yes there is, and it appears Angelico Press is bringing it out. Consider, for instance, this collection of short stories: In the Wine Press, which is briefly reviewed here.

The reviewer says the “book is an important marker for Catholic fiction. The airy moment of ‘beauty will save the world’ is over. The world is more hideous than we imagine, and only the wrath of God, which is a function of his love, will save it.”

I’m not a huge fan of fiction, but this book has me a bit tempted. … Read the rest

These Micro-Habits Can Improve Your Life. Plus: St. Francis, Rudolf Steiner, and The Relentless Leftist

The wedding hiatus starts now. We’ve married off three kids in 16 months. The second two were planned, unplanned, and replanned under COVID restrictions, which made them particularly brutal.

But the married kids seem happy and the single kids are doing well so I’m happy.

Someone once said you’re only as happy as your least happy kid. I’m not sure that’s true, but it might be . . . and there’s definitely something there.

The Relentless Leftist

Marie marvels about a liberal friend who is incapable of saying anything without exuding politics from every pore of her skin.

When, for instance, the friend recently asked her, by all accounts, conventional and heterosexual teenage niece about her new boyfriend, she enthused, “So what’s he, or she, like?”

I told Marie it could just be the leftist political playbook: politics must inform every corner of life. Or maybe it’s a constant fear not to be woke, lest people think you less intelligent. Or maybe it’s just relentless virtue signaling.

Given that the left has sought the complete transformation of society, and given that such wholesale change is bound to come up against the resistance of ordinary people who don’t care for having their routines and patterns of life overturned, we should not be surprised that the instrument of mass terror has been the weapon of choice. The people must be terrified into submission, and so broken and demoralized that resistance comes to seem impossible.

Lew Rockwell

What’s that? Why do I say it’s a play from the leftist playbook?

Because it is.

Socialism, including its manifestation in certain forms of liberalism, wants to re-make society and the world along atheistic lines. It’s not just political. It’s everything, a real creed or religious worldview. But because socialism is first and foremost a political

Read the rest

Are We Going to See Naked Hobbits?

Amazon’s series about Middle Earth is apparently going to be sexualized. That’s unfortunate but perhaps not unfair to the narrative.

Photo by Thandy Yung on Unsplash

Amazon is hiring an “intimacy coordinator” to assist women who are doing sex scenes in Amazon’s upcoming series about Tolkien’s world. They have also put out calls for background actors who are comfortable with full or partial nudity.

Tolkien? Sexualized?

Fans are fuming.

I don’t blame them. I detest gratuitous sex and nudity on the screen or in books.

But here’s the thing: The Amazon series is supposedly going to cover the Second Age of Middle Earth.

The Second Age revolves heavily around a place called “Numenor.”

If that’s the case, the sex and nudity probably aren’t gratuitous.

Some Background

In the First Age of Middle Earth, a god named “Morgoth” fought the elves for centuries, eventually beating them. The elves appealed to their kindred in the Undying Lands to overthrow Morgoth, which they did in the War of Wrath.

In the War, many men fought with Morgoth instead of the elves, but some fought with the elves. These men were called the “Dunedain.”

For their reward, the gods gave them a large island between Middle Earth and the Undying Lands. The men who accepted the gift and sailed to the island were blessed. They had great resources and were relieved from all illnesses.

The Dunedain (or “Numenoreans,” as they came to be called) grew wise, then powerful, then rich.

And then they started to enjoy it all.

Tolkien tells us the Numenoreans “turned the more eagerly to pleasure and revelry” and that “they drank and they feasted.” The Silmarillion (Ballantine, 1979), 329.

That’s probably the closest Tolkien ever got to a sex scene, but it’s not a leap of imagination to assume … Read the rest