Writing Right Now # 7 Easter and Other Catholic Joys

Writing Right Now # 7 Easter and Other Catholic Joys April 26, 2022
In this issue of WRN, I decided to look at what some of my favorite Catholic speakers and writers were putting out in terms of online content.
I also looked to some other people I have on my list of Catholic authors in which I have talked about in some other articles and some I have not.
I have also included some material from Catholic sites I generally disagree with that also have some good content that is worth looking at.
Finally I ran across some other great content I just wanted to share.
There’s a lot here. I went crazy with finding stuff.
But perhaps you’ll run across something that will make you smile, laugh, pray, ponder or put into practice.

All Dogs Go to Heaven?

Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World@mys_world: Many people have wondered or hoped that beloved animals that die continue to live on in heaven, but a common opinion is that they don’t.
@JimmyAkin3000 & @bettnet look at that claim and ask if there is any evidence that animals do, in fact, survive death. 

America’s First Mass

The first Mass celebrated in America may have been celebrated in Eastertide in Florida in 1513. Tom and Noëlle Crowe tell the story of Ponce de Leon’s expedition to the unexplored land, which first brought Catholicism to these shores centuries before independence.

(The) Batman

If I propose the thesis, “Hyper-wealthy people can definitely be trusted to channel their dark, vengeful impulses into constructive actions, use violence for good and not to oppress the weak, and be nobly self-sacrificial in the pursuit of justice–to the degree that they should be allowed to hide their identity as they exact vigilante vengeance on whoever they will and the police should call on them to do so without any accountability whatsoever” in its naked form, you would probably respond with justifiable skepticism. But when every Batman movie ever sells exactly that claim, people swallow it hook, line, and sinker. Mark Shea April 22 at 1:42 PM  ·

Be Patient with the Scruples of Others

St. Paul teaches that we must be patient with the scruples of others. This is good advice.

Boxless Catholic

Abigail Favale@FavaleAbs: Mar 30 – Mar 30:

Too trad for the feminists too feminist for the trads, watcha gonna do.

Answer: go to choir practice! See y’all later. �

I’m a politically nomadic tattooed devout Catholic who veils, swears, loves praying in latin (especially to Mary!) and–get this–loves JPII, Benedict XVI, AND Francis. Don’t try and shove me in a box, people.

Catholic Women Support

Anonymous Carmelite:  Catholic women need support from other Catholic women. Priests are there for general advice and spiritual counsel, but can’t really be there for women the way religious sisters can. I encourage all Catholic women to regularly visit the local community of nuns for friendship.

Completed Easter

Low Sunday is the Octave Day of Easter. Every day of this past week has been Easter Day relived. The antiphon “Haec est dies quam fecit Dominus; exsultemus, et laetemur in ea,” from Psalm 117 (This is the day…”), is uttered multiple times a day in the Divine Office, and even at the blessing and thanksgiving that accompany our meals. “This day” of the Pasch is repeated throughout the Octave. Today it has been completed, so it can rightly be said — using the perfect tense, which denotes a completed action — that we “have celebrated” the Paschal Feast.

BROTHER ANDRÉ MARIE What’s in That Prayer? The Collect for Low Sunday –  (Catholicism.org

Eucatastrophe

Eucatastrophe is the antithesis of catastrophe, which is the sudden devastating turn which leads to tragedy. Begging to differ with Tolkien’s use of his own invented word, we might venture to suggest that eucatastrophe is not merely a good turn, the opposite of catastrophe, which is merely eutrophe, but a “good-downturn” (eu = good; cata = down; tropos = turn). It describes the good that God, or the storyteller, brings out of evil; it is the good which could not have happened without the evil that preceded it. A eucatastrophe is the felix culpa, the blessed fault or fortunate fall, from which God brings forth unexpected blessings.

Thus, the catastrophe of the Fall brought forth the eucatastrophe of the Redemption, and the catastrophe of the Crucifixion brought forth the eucatastrophe of the Resurrection. It is in this eucatastrophic sense that we can see the Resurrection of Christ, and the Redemption wrought by Christ, as the historical archetype of which literary depictions of resurrection, redemption and the restoration of life are types. Joseph Pearce| Literature and Resurrection ~  (April 20th, 2022) The Imaginative Conservative

(The) Examen

The wisdom of the Examen is that it widens our gaze to see more of the whole—the whole of our lived experience, our context, our world. At least as much as we humanly can see. I like to think of the Examen like looking at the jigsaw puzzle of our lives (or our day), and examining each piece, placing it within the larger picture. This is how the Examen gives meaning to events that can at first seem insignificant. This prayerful reflection can focus us in on a certain puzzle piece, naming it with specificity and nuance.

Only God sees the entire picture. The spiritual life is to see through God’s perspective, to widen our narrow gaze so we can see a bit more of the whole.

Andy Otto Seeing the Whole – (Feb 21, 2022) God In All Things 

Fr. Stu (More Reviews)

“The profanity was not superfluous, it is a true part of who Fr. Stu had been before his conversion. He actually had a swear jar in his nursing home room for his visitors to contribute to when they swore as he did not swear after his conversion. Do not be afraid of other people’s words. The language is not a reason to not see this beautiful movie. Life can [be] and is gritty, be not afraid.” The surprise behind Fr. Stu’s swearing (aleteia.org)

Sacred Scripture reminds us, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” While Mr. Ruse’s review raises some valid concerns, by highlighting only defects with little to no reference to everything great that is in this film, I think he ultimately does the average Catholic a disservice. This story is not concerned with protecting our Catholic sensibilities. This is about showing how God can take the most wretched of sinners, condescend to their brokenness, raise them up from their depravity through grace, and make them a beacon of light to similarly fallen men—a theme not uncommon in Scripture.

We may choose to wag our fingers at a more mainstream, gritty approach and roll our eyes at the simple story, but that would be unfair to what is a good film. May our eyes and ears be opened as we continue to extol the resurrected Lord in all He has accomplished through men like Fr. Stuart Long.
David Hahn, Father Stu: A Beautiful Story of Redemption (April 22, 2022) crisismagazine.com

Historic Path to Sainthood

This slipped under the radar last week, when the Triduum was kicking off, but this could be very big news.
Deacon Greg Kandra  Blessed Augustus Tolton? –  (April 20th, 2022)| (thedeaconsbench.com)

Representatives from the Vatican are currently present in the United States investigating miracles related to the cause of Venerable Augustus Tolton, according to reports.

Tolton, the nation’s first openly-Black Catholic priest, is one of six African-American Catholics on the path to sainthood. His cause was officially opened in 2010 and he is now at the second stage, having been declared “Venerable” by Pope Francis in 2019.

There are presently no beatified (or canonized) African Americans in the Catholic Church, meaning that Tolton could be the first, should a miracle be approved. Beatification, requiring just one, would accord the title “Blessed” and the de facto status of a saint, usually including the construction of an official shrine and the possibility of becoming the namesake of churches.
 Nate Tinner-Williams  Report: Alleged miracles by Fr Tolton under investigation  (April 18, 2022) blackcatholicmessenger.com

Inexpensive Academics

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Confirmation

(The) Least of These

The message is clear. Whatever you do for the least. There are times when we avoid the least among us, times when we begrudgingly attend to their needs, times when we judge and resent them, and times when we are so caught up in ourselves that we don’t even notice them. In none of these instances are we the-best-version-of-ourselves. When we are at our best, we don’t just tend to them as they cross our paths, we lovingly seek them out. –Matthew Kelly Whatever You Do for the Least (April 22,2022) matthewkelly.com

Live Easter

This year let’s find this freedom, this wealth, this new life in Christ! He offers it every Easter. And while we celebrate it once a year, it is offered every day through His walk from the Upper Room where He instituted the Eucharist, to the Garden of Gethsemane, to the Cross of Calvary, to the Empty Tomb. And finally, to His Ascension on the Mount of Olives to prepare a place in heaven for us and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to empower us on our earthly journey. We have what we need for our journey.

Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed! Let’s dare to believe it, and really live it this year!- John Michael Talbot

Look of Divine Mercy

On this Divine Mercy Sunday, a reminder that sometimes mercy looks like this.⁣

I was delighted by this icon at Mass today, this slightly raised eyebrow of a Jesus who often calls me out with some gentle sass. I began imagining it as a reaction image to post on people’s sketchy takes, thinking of all the (possibly) well-meaning nonsense people share and the ways *they* could benefit from Jesus looking at them like this. I had a good list going in my head of all the people who needed this loving, no-nonsense correction.⁣


Then for the closing hymn we sang, “Your Grace Is Enough.”⁣

I sang “Your grace is enough” over and over (and over and over) while Jesus gave me this look.⁣

Let me tell you, that was the mercy I needed. I needed Jesus to let me list all the ways other people fall short and then call me to the carpet with that look.⁣

“My grace is enough?” he said. “Really? That’s an interesting claim. If only you believed it….”⁣

Oof.⁣



Here’s the thing: it wasn’t a condemnation. Or even an accusation. Just a wry observation that I talk a big game (and throw all kinds of shade at all kinds of people) when I could use some deep conversion myself.⁣

It was sweet and loving and cutting and honest.⁣

It was mercy.⁣

Sometimes mercy is arms flung open, racing to the prodigal. Sometimes mercy is blood and water pouring over sinners. Sometimes mercy drags you back from a horrifying precipice.⁣

And sometimes mercy raises an eyebrow and smirks a bit.⁣

Today, I’m praying that you get just the mercy you need today—tender or severe, dramatic or subtle, sweet or salty.⁣


Jesus, I trust in you.⁣

(For real. Mostly. I’m at least trying to. Stop looking at me like that!)

Meg Hunter-Kilmer – Speaker on Facebook

Petite Maman

Not long ago, reviewing, of all things, Spider-Man: No Way Home, I remarked on my abiding love of time travel for its power to speak to deep human longings to undo past wrongs and heal incurable wounds: to offer, in a word, an imaginative picture of redemption beyond anything we experience in the ordinary flow of time. There’s no place in a film like Petite Maman for world-bending sorcery or flux capacitors, but the elegant simplicity of what Sciamma does with an unexplained wrinkle in the fabric of reality speaks as eloquently to those longings as any film I’ve seen.

Steven D. Greydanus Petite Maman: A quietly powerful fairytale about childhood, loss, and ties that bind –(April 22, 2022)  Catholic World Report 

Pray the Divine Mercy

Let us pray on this Divine Mercy Sunday that the Sacred Heart of Jesus will pour out His saving peace and love to all the world. We pray especially for all of those struggling with mortal sin, addictions, traumas and sufferings of any kind, that the Mercy of God will pierce their souls and open them to the freedom of His sanctifying grace. Jesus, I trust in you!Fr. Blake Britton 18h 

Pray the Liturgy of the Hours

Word on Fire@WordOnFire: “Word on Fire Liturgy of the Hours” booklets make it easy to pray the ancient prayer of the Church: wordonfire.org/pray.
The Church, especially since Vatican II, has encouraged the laity to take up the discipline of the Hours and many of us have answered that call. I still find Evening Prayer a bit annoying since it comes at a time of day when I am tired and more interested in dinner and my post-dinner evening bourbon than I am in raising my mind to God.  But that annoyance is exactly what the discipline of the Hours is meant to tame:  First to browbeat me into prayer (it is NOW the time to pray you procrastinating fool), and then to soothe my soul with the psalms – – especially the ones about sybaritic louts like me  getting their heads smashed in by the Amalekites as a punishment. The genius of the Hours is that it turns the very act of not wanting to pray, into a prayer. I need this discipline since my seemingly bottomless capacity for distraction and sheer lassitude (“oh look, something new on Facebook!”) knows no limits.

Pondering God in Nature

R Bratten Weiss@Prof_RBW (Apr 25, 2022)
If you believe that nature gives us a viewpoint into the divine will, let me tell you, the more time you spend in nature, the more you will conclude that the divine willed life to be diverse, multi-faceted, varied, and weird.

The idea that goodness and “satisfactory to God” means everything gets crammed into narrow boxes, fitted into set roles, sorted into sharp binaries – is not borne out by nature. If looking at nature that way is your jam.

MNichols ��@MNicholsUSA: I know Jesus told Faustina that Mercy is His greatest attribute but I think being artistic is right up there too.

Proclaiming the Gospel

Fr. Larry Richards@FrLarryRichards 4/23/22:  Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15 Am I obeying Christ’s command? Peace

James Martin, SJ@JamesMartinSJ 4/23/22:: Gospel: Today Mary Magdalene proclaims the Resurrection to the disciples, but they “did not believe” (Mk 16). Then two disciples who have seen the Risen Christ tell the others “but they did not believe.” Signs of God’s presence are around us. We only need to notice and believe.

Go and share in his redemptive work of healing and reconciling, seeking justice and making peace. This is how we will know that he is alive, risen from the dead, the source of life to anyone who believes in him.  Only when we commit to the revelation that love does indeed overcome death are we are able to then cross the threshold of faith to celebrate him as “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

Netflix Sharing

Netflix has seen the amount of audience interest in faith-related stories. And it has consequently invested in producing and distributing dozens of projects. You love what Pope Francis is serving up? Netflix has three different films about him. (I highly recommend “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word,” which is basically a series of interviews with the pope. He talks right into the camera about his life and faith, and it is really uplifting.) You’re looking for a new take on the Gospels? How about “The Young Messiah,” which has a 7-year-old Jesus and his parents on the run (and stars Sean Bean), or the Rooney Mara- and Joaquin Phoenix-vehicle, “Mary Magdalene.” Maybe you want to figure out why your grandma is always talking about Fatima. Netflix has a biopic about the three kids who were at the heart of it all.

 

Netflix is the service that has most invested in building a library of faith-based stories. And isn’t that worth supporting? Plus, the next time your parents interrogate you about how you practice your faith, you can tell them, “Hey, I pay for Netflix!” Jim McDermottCatholics: You should pay for your own Netflix account April 22, 2022| America Magazine

R.C.I.A

tommy@theghissilent:Apr 22, 2022·

me: wait, your firing me from teaching RCIA?

RCIA director: we were told you taught, and I quote, “God is like the force He surrounds us, penetrates us, binds the galaxy together”

me: *and* our ability to receive His grace is based on our midi-chlorian count, what’s your point?

Resurrection Confusion and Clarity

The appearance of the Lord was confusing even for those who were with Him uninterruptedly for several years.  As Mary Magdalene and the disciples walking to Emmaus didn’t recognize the Lord until the Lord made a move (saying, “Mary”, or the “breaking the bread”), the Apostles rejoiced to see Him after He showed them His wounds from the Passion: “Then the disciples were glad.”

Christ showed them His hands and feet and side, to demonstrate that He had a real body and that it was also is His Body.  He didn’t pick up some unwounded, perfect Body that He was now inhabiting.  We are our bodies, as we are our rites.  The fact that the wounds remained in His Body’s hands, feet and side provided continuity with His Body before and during His Passion.  He isn’t a mere shade of the Lord.  Nor has he exchanged Himself for an unwounded version.   In this way Christ began to show them the traits of the risen Body, traits which we, too, will share in the Resurrection: clarity (reflecting God’s glory), impassibility (incapable of suffering), agility (ease and speed of movement), subtlety (unhindered by barriers).
Fr. John Zuhlsdorf  “My Lord and my God!” – (April 24, 2022) OnePeterFive

Each Easter season I ponder the mystery of the Resurrected body of Jesus. There is so much more to ponder when it comes to the nature and qualities of the resurrected bodies of both Christ and the saints. I want to make sure that I am clear on this point, I am NOT equating the Resurrected Lord with the powers and abilities of superheroes such as Superman or The Flash—that would falter close to the heresy of Arianism. What I want to stress is that there is something mysterious and attractive about the resurrection of the body. Christians proclaim this belief each week in the Nicene Creed. Matthew Vincent Chicoine Will Our Resurrected Bodies Grant Us Superpowers? thesimplecatholic.blog

Sad Easter

Pope Francis@Pontifex: It is sad that in these days, which are the holiest and most solemn for all Christians, the deadly roar of weapons is heard rather than the sound of bells announcing the Resurrection. And it is sad that weapons are increasingly taking the place of words

I ask everyone to increase their prayers for peace and to have the courage to say, to show that peace is possible. Political leaders, please, listen to the voice of the people who want peace, not an escalation of the conflict.

I renew my appeal for an Easter truce. Stop the attack, so as to respond to the suffering of the exhausted population. Let it stop, in obedience to the words of the Risen Lord, who on Easter repeats to his disciples: “Peace be with you!

Secret to Podcasting

Sin Management

The result of the Gospel of sin management is minimalism. Its model is abstract not Christ. When you go to Rome, you can see the Pietà: possibly the most beautiful statue ever carved. People will comment on how Michelangelo worked his chisel, how he positioned the figures, or how he polished the statue; nobody says, “this is great because it isn’t made of silly putty.”

Or take a saint, any saint you like, and examine his life. I’ll take John Paul II: he preached man’s dignity when communists denied it by force, he taught theology of the body against the sexual revolution, and he brought all the young people together for the biggest festivals in history. Nobody says he’s a saint because he didn’t lie or steal.

Jesus is not satisfied if you fulfill a bunch of rules, he wants you to desire good, which means desiring him, and seeking him out, with your heart. As the Gospel acclamation said: “Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.” A priest who used to be in the Army explained the difference to me: when he was in the army, he could wish the commander burn in hell so long as he obeyed; but when he became a religious brother he had to love his superior.

Matthew P. Schneider, Jesus Asks Virtue, Not Mere Sin Avoidance | (March 27, 2022) FrMatthewLC

Social Media

As a social media addict myself, and a professional content producer, I’m well aware of the pitfalls of our new mode of information sharing, but also of the unique opportunities and value it creates. As I said to my friend Kale Zelden last week on a phone call about his own long-overdue foray into the world of Substack (you can see his new publication, The Underneathright here), “There has never been a better time in history to be a writer than right now.” You could sub in any creative endeavor for “writer” and the proposition holds true. We have tools at our disposal that our forebears could not even dream of. We’ve eliminated most of the gatekeepers, created grassroots mechanisms for self-publication and promotion, and made the tools of the trade more inexpensive than ever before.

But we also have all this damned noise. And the quality signals are getting lost in it.

Steve Skojec Social Media is Ruining Everything  (April 20, 2022)

Three Religious Weekend

This resilience and hope happens to be the message of these holy days observed by Jews, Christians and Islam.

Our Jewish neighbors come together for Passover, recalling the Lord’s liberation of His people from slavery and oppression in Egypt, and then deliverance to Israel.

We Christians revere the paschal mystery of Jesus this Holy Weekas the Lord “passes over” from brutal, unjust suffering and death, to resurrection and new life at Easter.

Our Islamic community observes Ramadan, with fasting and prayer, recalling Allah’s fidelity and mercy.

These three religious observances take place on nature’s stage of Spring, with the darkness and bleakness of winter fading into the promise, light, and life of Spring. Hope conquers fear! Light dispels darkness! Life will always triumph over death!

Seems like the resilience and renewal of those wartime tunes from 1940-45, which I was listening to as I wrote this column, are not just memories, but eternal!

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s Easter message praises Ukraine’s hope (April 16, 2022) nypost.com

Theology

The True, the Good and the Beautiful

Twitter Bought By Musk

Steve Skojec@SteveSkojec: Apr 25, 2022LOL
@elonmusk buying Twitter not trending on Twitter the day he’s buying Twitter is the most Twitter thing ever.
James Martin, SJ@JamesMartinSJ: Apr 25, 2022

(The) Unveiling of a New World –

Bishop Barron’s Sunday Sermon-Friends, Revelation comes from the Latin “Revelatio,” which in turn translates the Greek “Apokalypsis”—which means, literally, “unveiling.” This final book of the Bible, which has fascinated Christians and non-Christians for two thousand years, is not primarily about the end of the physical world; rather, it is meant to unveil something that every generation of Christians needs to see—namely, a new world that God wants to be born out of the ruins of the old.

Using Rude Words

I told him I thought the problem was his deployment of the rude words. (I am serious about this.) He’d used them in places people don’t expect them, so they noticed them more and felt them to be worse than they would have had he used the rude words in places they expected them.
There’s a logic or even a poetry to using rude words that even the prim and prudish recognize. As when you build up to your target and emphasize it with a preceding F’g. You might get away with that, beyond a tsk-tsk or a sadly furrowed brow. But deploy other F words in other places in the sentence, where they are not so commonly found, and your prim and prudish friends will lecture you as they did my friend. David Mills April 19 at 9:02 PM 

What Can Be Blessed?

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys share everything you didn’t know about Catholic Blessings and what you can get blessed! Episode 183:
In this episode, we will discuss:
• What does blessing an item do?
• Who can bless things?
• Why blessing things is so powerful
• Why you should have your house blessed
• The blessings for bacon, wine, beer, & guitars
• and much more

Writing Aspirations and Distractions

Avellina Balestri: I know I should be throwing all my energy behind editing the novel, but the artistic siren song is luring me back to work on the Hussain at Karbala screenplay, and I’m back to research binging.

Charlie Keeble: What is more important to you in your creative energy? Editing a novel or this screen play that needs research?

Avellina Balestri: Well, I guess it’s the age-old question of what we want to do, and what we ought to do �

Charlie Keeble:  Yes it is. I am in the middle of a creative crisis at the moment. I have a book I am trying to write and I also have my autism month commitments to put up post about self-determination for autistics to promote my autistic conservative objective. I haven’t written much on my own personal blog neither because I am split between different writing commitments.

Dave Armstrong@DaveArmstrong58:  I’ve had it with trying to dialogue with atheists. It’s literally impossible. That “chapter” in my apologetics career is over. I’ve done biblical archaeology (next book) and refuted 100s of “Bible contradictions”. Now it’s back to Protestant-Catholic discussion. That’s my plan!

if I’m gonna reach the numbers of people I wish to reach, I’m gonna have to interact with videos. For me that is a written response. I’m a writer; always have been. I’ve done radio about 25 times, but it’s not my passion and talent. I’ll watch the videos and respond in writing.

Everyone’s watching videos nowadays. I’ve discovered several channels from articulate, charitable Protestants. I want very much to try to engage in dialogue with these “new” Protestant apologists & respectful critics of Catholicism. I’d love that so much I can’t even describe it.

Wonder of Science

Have you ever seen the rings of Saturn through a little telescope?

I haven’t, no.

Oh, you’ve got to. And I guarantee the first thing you’re going to do is go, “Wow.” Because everybody goes, “Wow” when they see the rings of Saturn in a little telescope. Naturally, the people in Kenya did that.

It’s only human beings who look at the stars and wonder and go, “What is that? Who are they? Who am I? How do I fit here?” And this is an essential part of being a human being — dance, music, culture, all the things that are more than just putting food in your stomach.

And that made me suddenly understand: That’s why we do astronomy! That’s why it’s so important to do astronomy.

Looking at the universe and contemplating it and seeing that it was good — that is why we were created. Because otherwise, if all we do is feed the poor and help the hungry and help the sick, we eventually ourselves will become poor and sick and hungry because we will have lost sight of what it is we’re doing this for.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, the director of the Vatican Observatory, Explore the Mysteries of the Universe – Grotto Network

Thomas hears first-hand accounts of the Resurrection from his closest friends and colleagues. But he refuses to trust these witnesses. In so doing, he not only falls short as a disciple of Christ but as a scientist. Science tests hypotheses, yes, but it also requires trust. The breakdown of this trust has catastrophic results for science and for society at large.

While science is a different way of knowing about the universe than faith, to be sure, both share this in common. Both faith and science are built upon the testimony and witness of trustworthy people. Thomas did have evidence; he had the testimony of his most trusted friends, women, and men with whom he had spent years and shared a deep bond.

FR. ALEX ROCHE· Faith, Science, and Trust – (APRIL 24, 2022)  Where Peter Is


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