The Jedi and the Communion of Saints

"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine." ( Episode IV: A New Hope ) In a very similar--though more demure--way, St. Therese of Liseux (the namesake of this blog) addresses her own approaching death: "I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth." [ St. Therese of Lisieux, The Final Conversations , tr. John Clarke (Washington: ICS, 1977), 102.]" St. Therese is a fine and powerful example of the Communion of Saints. In this article, I suggest that the Communion of Saints' action in this world is similar to Obi-Wan Kenobi's helping Luke Skywalker, following his journey from the Jedi netherworld. How does Obi-Wan come back from the dead after Darth Vader kills him? Let's cover a little background. Yoda and Qui-Gonn Jinn answer this question at the end of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith . At the end of Episode III, George Lucas does a lot of connecting the dots f Read More January 20, 2010

Lord of the Rings and the Trinity

Tolkien's stories are nearly bottomless and all of it is rich in theology, so I'll just give a snapshot in the following article. Tolkien was a good and studied Catholic, so the origins of his gods are steeped in solid Trinitarian theology. First off, where did Gandalf come from?? He's the wisest of the Maiar, who are minor Ainu. Huh? The Ainu, which means "Holy Ones," were the first of the creations of Eru Ilúvatar--they were born of his thought. The wizards--Gandalf, Saruman, etc.--were each a Maiar, and existed before Elves, Men, and Dwarves. God the Father Eru Ilúvatar is the Godhead of the Tolkien mythos. He is God the Father, the first person of the Trinity. The name, Eru Ilúvatar , means "The One" (Eru) and "Father of All" (Ilúvatar) in the ancient Elvish language of Quenya. You can make a direct connection between Eru and El , the word for God or "The One" in Hebrew, such as in Elohim ("the all-powerful One") Read More January 18, 2010

Paranormal Activity & The Theology of the Body

I don't treat lightly of demons and demonology, so I may take a different tact than you might expect in this review of the movie, Paranormal Activity. Let's look to the Book of Tobit and Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body. Biblical Demons: Get Down on Your Knees and Pray! [SPOILER ALERT: I give away plot details of the movie!] There is a demon in the Book of Tobit that haunts a young woman. The demon of lust, a king of demons (whose name I WILL NOT mention) consumes the woman's seven husbands one-by-one as they enter the bridal chamber. It's a HONEYMOON MASSACRE ! (of Biblical proportions) Background on Tobit Tobit, himself, is an interesting figure, with an interesting and seemingly boring vocation: burying the dead. He follows his vocation with a martyr's zeal. Providing respect to the bodies of the dead is a sacred duty in Hebrew society.  Tobit (or Tobias) had plenty of work to do, also, because Sennacherib, the prince of the Assyrian Empire, Read More January 01, 2010