Friday, December 19, 2014

Pope Francis and Hell



Here are some highlights of a recent homily by Pope Francis, as reported by CNA.  It's noteworthy because the Pope touches on the least popular and most politically incorrect teaching of the Church today.  He doesn't use the word "damnation", but he's talking about it, about the mystery of our closed hearts, for hell is simply the eternal consequence of a a closed heart ...

... many Christians today ... feel “pure” simply because they go to mass and receive communion, the Pope noted, explaining that God asks for more.
“If your heart is not a repentant heart, if you do not listen to the Lord, if you don’t accept correction and you do not trust in Him, your heart is unrepentant,” he said, observing how the Pharisees were “hypocrites” for being scandalized at the attention Jesus gave to prostitutes and tax collectors.

This is a much more unpopular teaching than you'd expect, especially among the sort of Catholics who read this blog.  I call them Devout Catholics, or sometimes sarcastically "Super Catholics".  I know them well.  I am one of them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Elves, Hobbits, Men and DVDs

There are two projects I've done with EWTN that, in my opinion, are the best things the Network has done, from a production and creative point of view.  The first is our Father Brown movie, The Honor of Israel Gow.  And the second is the show I mentioned the other day, Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings": Elves, Hobbits and Men.

It turns out the latter is available on DVD from the religious catalog - for only ten bucks!  Well worth the price.  You can order it here.

We also just found out that Season Seven of The Apostle of Common Sense, another series I appear on, is also now available.  Only $25 for 13 episodes on 4 discs.

These would make great Christmas gifts!

Filming The Honor of Israel Gow in Hanceville, Alabama.  That's me as Father Brown.


Sterility and the Future of the Church



I have not read the Vatican's report on the LCWR, the notoriously liberal, hateful and pro-abortion feminist collective of "religious" women (nuns and sisters) in the U.S.  Anyone who's had any dealings with any of these ladies knows that the Christian Faith is the furthest thing from their minds.  They worship the Pagan Power Goddess - and her name is not Jesus Christ and she does not demand that we carry a cross.  That the Vatican should back down from correcting this group and calling them out - which they apparently did back down from doing - tells you all you need to know about the Church today.

But I'm not commenting on that report, nor do I plan to read it.  Why?  Because these women are - quite deliberately - sterile.  They do not attract new vocations.  They are old, angry and bitter.  They are on their way out and there are no new "religious" to replace them.

But before we get all complacent about their impending demise, we are often in the same boat.

Searching for an Honest Poet

The Poet writes ...

***

Ugh!  Open mike night.

I'm just back from the Poet's Conference.  150 losers who look just like me.  It cost $200 to get in, but nobody paid, as we all managed to sneak in the back door.

It was dreadful.  Everybody kept talking about themselves and their "work".  "Work", however, is the one thing these fellows never do.

Elves, Hobbits and Men

I just saw one of the very best things EWTN has ever done.

"Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Elves, Hobbits and Men", hosted by Joseph Pearce and featuring yours truly as J. R. R. Tolkien, with artwork by Jef Murray, directed by Michael Masny, is a brilliant production.  Sadly, if you didn't catch it or record it yesterday, Dec. 16, when it aired, you'll apparently have to wait until the DVDs come out, as it's not scheduled to be rerun any time soon.

In this special, Joseph Pearce analyzes the Catholic elements of The Lord of the Rings, Jef Murray's illustrations add a wonderful visual flair, the photography is breathtaking, the CGI work very well done, and I even manage to pull off a better acting performance than usual.

All in all, this is a great special - and very profound, spiritual and uplifting as well.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hello Santa!

This year I've been earning a little extra money and having a lot of extra fun by portraying Santa Claus for Hello Santa, a company owned by Jib Jab.



Seasonal Photos

Some photos taken during the fall and winter season ...

Backstage for Transylvania CSI

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What is "What-Is"?



Here's something Flannery O'Connor said,

"What the fiction writer will discover, if he discovers anything at all, is that he himself cannot move or mold reality in the interests of abstract truth.  The writer learns, perhaps more quickly than the reader, to be humble in the face of what-is.  What-is is all he has to do with; the concrete is his medium; and he will realize eventually that fiction can transcend its limitations only by staying within them."

The "concrete" is the spiritual embodied.  "What-is" is the consequential, the actual limitations of reality around us, not the Unreal make-believe that we think we can get away with living in.

But we religious folk don't usually understand that.  We think religion is a fine feeling we get on a Sunday, or a certain thrill we feel watching "Matthew Kelly on a headset" (as a friend of mine puts it).  Christopher West might make a tingle run up our leg, but his version of Theology of the Body has nothing to do with the ups and downs of sacramental marriage as it actually exists and is lived out day to day.

Pope Francis, Remarriage and Flag Burning



Here's a sample of what I've been emailing a few friends lately ...

In 1974, when I was 14, and still an atheist, I served as godfather at my nephew's baptism.  It was my first time inside a Catholic church.  I was neither novice nor professed in the Faith [to be professed in the faith is what the 1917 Code of Canon Law required for all godparents].  Had the parish priest been even minimally vigilant, he would not have allowed this.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New Archeological Find - Report on Aaron's Synod!



Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments and found something he didn't expect.  His brother Aaron was holding a synod!

In fact, they drafted a document, which I republish in its entirety below.

I Grew Up in Ferguson!

I'll be on Mark Shea's Radio Show tonight, starting in about 20 minutes.  While I was sitting here in my office waiting to go on, my dad called me and reminded me that we lived in Norlakes Apartments back in 1965 and 1966, for about six months.  He had me check the address and it turned out it was in Ferguson!

So there you have it.