Now Featured at the Patheos Book Club
And Toto, Too
"The Wizard of Oz" As A Spiritual Adventure
By Nathan G. Castle, O.P.
- Think of a time when there was a "perfect storm" moment in your life. What was that like?
- Has anyone ever listened to the story of your heart of hearts?
- In what ways have you experienced the Presence of God or what you call your higher power within you?
- Recall a time you had to have a difficult heart-to-heart conversation. What was it about? How did it go?
Chapter 1 In the Beginning
- What things do you share in common with L. Frank Baum?
- When have you taken big risks? How have you succeeded? Failed?
- What kind of support did you have from people close to you?
Chapter 2 Looking Inside
- Where is God for you? Were you taught to think of God as far away?
- What do you think about the possibility that you and God could overlap?
- How do you start a prayer? Do either one of these ways work for you?
"Our Father who art in heaven? Or, hello in there?"
Chapter 3 Uncommon Common Journeys
- "Would you like to come along with me? Would you feel degraded to be seen in the company of a cowardly Catholic priest?" How do you feel about taking this kind of journey?
- How do you answer the God question, or do you? Are you a believer in Something or Someone? Would you identify yourself as agnostic, atheist or none of the above?
- How comfortable do you feel about self-reflection?
Chapter 4 The Characters
- In looking at your own life, what is it like to consider yourself as God's gift to the world?
- "We're surrounded daily by familiar faces we barely know, some of them in our own households." What is your experience with this?
- "Toto, I believe, is a Christ-figure in The Wizard of Oz."
What do you think about this?
Chapter 5 Watching the Movie
- What do you think about infinity and your place in it?
- Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are busy providing for Dorothy, while not providing for her. Have you ever found yourself in a similar scene?
- How would you feel if you had the opportunity to start over in your relationships? Do you think that's possible in this world or the next?
- Can you imagine a place where there isn't any trouble? Would you go to such a place? Have you been to such a place?
Chapter 6 Going No Place
- Think of a time when you felt like giving up.
- Have you ever felt "they" were all against you? When? Why?
- "God can be found in the oddest places in the oddest forms." Can you think of instances in your own life where this has been true?
Chapter 7 Marvelous Encounter
- How do you recognize a fellow traveler when you see one? What experiences in your life's journey have equipped you to help fellow travelers?
- Professor Marvel helped Dorothy reimagine her circumstance. When has someone done that for you? What was that like?
- When have you felt that you have been understood? On whose shoulders do you stand?
Chapter 8 A Storm's Blowin' Up
- If you've ever been caught in your own private cyclone, what was it like?
- "Love gives her the power to reverse her direction." When have you experienced this kind of power? What effect did it have?
- What events ever caused you to "put down your baggage" and embrace what matters most?
- Have you ever experienced a deep peace in the eye of the storm?
Chapter 9 Over The Rainbow
- Have you ever gotten exactly what you wished for? What was it like?
- What do you think of the idea of latent gifts lying dormant in you? Have you experienced a gift emerging in you exactly when it was needed?
- Glinda advises Dorothy to seek The Wizard's help in getting back home. Was this good advice or a bum steer? How do you feel when well-meaning folks offer you unsolicited advice?
Chapter 10 Spiraling
- Have you ever had to live in ink, where no mistakes were tolerated?
- Have you ever done a major "turning around?"
- Do you think of your life as "something beautiful you're in the process of creating?"
Chapter 11 Life's Way
- When you think of your life, do you consider it as a time line or a circle?
- "Death, like birth, is temporary. Both are followed by new life." What do you think about that?
- How do you respond to these questions: "Can you ever finish loving those you love? Why would you want to?"
Chapter 12 Do You Believe In Dog?
- "I will love you but I must be in control of our relationship at every moment." If you experienced this in your life, how did it make you feel?
- Can you imagine God choosing to be weak in order to love?
- "Believer" and "Beloved" are from the same root. What do you believe about love from someone who considers you beloved?