Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Warm Bodies Teaches Us Theology of The Body

Possible spoiler alerts!!

This zombie movie is absolutely wonderful because it teaches through using the analogy of zombies as our own impeding deaths due to our disconnection from one another and with our design of our bodies.  We are made for connection, we are made for union and communion and this movie shouts this out using this current craze of Zombie Apocalypse as a modality of entertainment.   This movie teaches theology of the body, our body speaks a language and a zombie body tells us that when we are disconnected from one another, when we use others for our own selfish needs, we are dead.  When we connect we begin to live, our design reveals our creators intentions, union and communion.  

This movie uses so many examples to reveal this truth.  At one point we even see the main character walk past a wall display of the evolution of man showing how we have "evolved" from an animal.  This of course reveals once again to the viewer that we are called to be more than animals, we were made for greatness. 

The movie begins with the lead character, a Zombie feeling "unconnected".  As he starts out desiring connection, he begins to wonders how awesome it must  have been before the apocalypse when people connected to one another.  The movie then flashes back to before the apocalypse and shows a scene in the same airport in which he know finds himself walking and we the audience see the world as it is today, disconnected as we are all on our digital devices, surfing the internet, listening to music or playing some kind of virtual game.  

The Zombie, named R...monologues with inner dialogue about how he wonders why he cannot connect with others then realizes, "oh ya...I'm dead"
He has taken over an empty airplane and listens to records like Bob Dylan and Guns and Roses. He and his "best friend" another zombie he groans with at a bar in the airport, walk into town to get something to eat (yes, you guessed it..the living) he makes several jokes about how slow they are and finally he arrives to the place he meets "her".

Upon seeing her he is smitten in fact, his heart beats as if human connection re-ignites his heart. For so long he existed in solitude and now, seeing her a spark hits him and we see his heart pump showing us that connection of man and woman gives purpose and life.

He helps her escape (not before eating the brains of her boyfriend Perry. This is done because it allows the zombie to experience human connection as the memories  of the deceased are experienced in a living dream experience for the zombie ). It should be noted that this scene really reveals how we long for and ache to fill the void inside of us meant for human connection because ultimately it is supposed to point us like an icon to God.  The only thing a zombie has that can even remotely resemble connection is the eating of brains because the life experiences of the person they are eating are experienced in doing so.  It fills that deep hunger and longing and while it fills and satisfies the hunger, the joy and ecstasy comes with it of feeling and experiencing the human connections of the persons life.  The people they loved, the dreams they had and so much more.  This is the only way a zombie can connect, it is a counterfeit, but it is all they have so they seek out more and more persons to consume, trying to fill the hunger and longing inside of them.  They continue to decay and eventually become "bonies" which are zombies that are much like demons in that they are not even covered in flesh, they are at the point of no return and in fact now hate anything resembling connection.  

After "R" sees Julie (the love interest of R) music plays and his heart beats in chest, just once, but enough to show us that he is changing.  To escape being eaten, R helps Julie to pretend she is a zombie and he covers her in the stink of dead blood. He teaches her to pretend to be a zombie to hide her and through their time together he continues a slow metamorphosis back to life.

She comes to care for him as well and tries to take him to her father to show him (he kills zombies) that they are curing themselves. In fact they are not curing themselves but rather human connection and the relationship witnessed by other zombies between her and Z causes their own hearts to begin beating by witnessing them holding hands. Their body speaks a language and the zombies understand it is a sign of purpose and meaning. They begin to stare at pictures on the wall of couples holding hands.

I don't want to spoil it all but I will say that in a scene where R gives himself as a free total and faithful gift, by wrapping himself around her to jump from a building to save her using himself as a shield for her...the fruit is witnessed in an almost baptismal scene and he is created anew and we see it.  The next scene is even more amazing as she too then makes a sacrifice and faces her own fears for love.

This is a treasure trove of teaching on love and our call to union and communion. The zombies are an analogy of so many who are dead to this truth, that seek the counterfeit and feed on what they think numbs the pain or gives them pleasure rather than ultimate fulfillment.

I definitely recommend this movie but go and see it and talk about it using the lens of Theology of The Body! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Healing Wounds through The 7 Sorrows

The Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary

What if I told you that if you pray the rosary of the 7 sorrows, the one Our Lady of Kibeho says are for this time in the Church, that you would be healed.

Praying the rosary of the 7 sorrows helps to heal us because it untwists the lies of the evil one.  When we see the lies we understand the judgments our hearts have made and even the inner vows we may have made in order to protect ourselves.  

No wonder people are free from addictions when they pray this rosary, it is because when lies are exposed and the vows are renounced the strongholds are removed and we are delivered from oppression. 

Click this link to print out your copy of the Rosary of The 7 Sorrows

The Seven Sorrows of Mary Rosary
Exposes lies, judgments and Inner vows , which Heals Wounds, Which frees people from addictions, Strongholds and oppression.


1st Sorrow: Prophesy/Simon;
Heals idolatry of relationship. She went to be purified.  It undoes the impurities of our hearts.

Heals Wound=Rejection


2nd Sorrow: Flight Into Egypt;
Heals idolatry of fear, mistrust and idol of materialism.  It teaches detachment from worldly goods.

Heals Wound=Mother and Father Wounds (identity or shame issues) that resulted from neglect or abuse


3rd Sorrow= Losing Jesus;
Heals idolatry of control. Rather than being angry, she gave up control and realized that being
powerless was really about allowing God to be powerfully working doing His will.

Heals Wound=Powerlessness and Abandonment


4th Sorrow=Carrying The Cross;

Heals idolatry of fear or desire to use substance to avoid pain or suffering.  He picked up his cross, he did not avoid the pain he embraced his suffering and the task at hand.

Heals Wound=Fear identity issues, abuse in childhood can create a way to self medicate when anxiety becomes overwhelming.  Anxiety disorders are from being unable to face, for whatever reason, that which causes pain or suffering.  


5th Sorrow=Mary at the Foot of The Cross;

Heals idolatry of self.  Mary’s pain was her own as her heart was pierced but her concern                      was not for self but for Jesus.  The shame of being seen naked, the disgrace of our
Savior being killed on the cross did not become disordered in her heart, she did not focus on
self but she suffered at the foot of the cross experiencing what must have been the most difficult
moment in her life to bear.  She knew who God was, she knew her Son was part of God's plan of love and she fully trusted in Him at that painful moment.

Heals Wounds=Shame and identity issues, vanity issues and intellectual pride or importance to allow the self to control value rather than turn to the Father for identity


6th Sorrow= Receiving The Body of Christ;

Heals idolatry of substance for pleasure.  It rightly orders our need of spiritual and physical food to                    
fill the place inside with Him rather than false food, drink or substance.  We are called to Union and Communion, we are called to connections, relationships with others so that we can be seen.  We must be this vulnerable in order to be healed.  

Heals Wounds=Vulnerability Issues, Addictions and dissociative disorders, fear of abandonment


7th Sorrow=Christ's Body is Laid in The Tomb

Heals the idolatry of Status.  Christ was not laid in a tomb for a King, nor was he even laid in a tomb that was prepared for himself.  He had no place to lay his head, neither in birth nor death.  The King of King's and Lord of Lords was given the resting place of another because Christ had no status, he was crucified as a criminal and buried as a common thief would have been, in a tomb shared with others without status. 

Heals=Wound=Shame, Neglect, Identity feelings of not being seen or heard or being valued

 Here is the first of the four videos that pray the 7 Sorrows given to us by Our Lady of Kibeho and prayed by Immaculee Ilibagiza, the woman who survived the genocide in Rwanda and wrote the book "Left To Tell" and "Our Lady of Kibeho"


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Was Downton Abbey's Ethel Parks pro-life?

If Ethel Parks had lived in modern times, would she have had an abortion?  As I watched Ethel reach out to the father of her unborn baby and watch him treat her with distain and disgust, I was reminded of my own experience of being pregnant outside of marriage.

I had just graduated from high school.  I did not live in Ethel's age but I did live in a small town. When I began to show I received all kinds of reactions.  I had some tell me outright that I was a disgrace, or how "terrible" it was that I was a child having a child.  There were some that I encountered that would scowl others that would just stare in disgust. Many would whisper as I passed and still others would refuse to shake my hand in Church or ignore me all together. 

It certainly was not what Ethel Parks went through but it was bad enough.  The irony was that there were several girls at mass that also were pregnant outside of marriage. The difference was I kept my baby and they aborted theirs.  I had a visible sign of my scarlet letter and they had hidden theirs. 

As I watched Downton Abbey, I cried.  Ethel Parks did all that she could to find a way to raise her son and continued to fall deeper into despair and poverty as everyone around her cast her out.   My heart ached for her as she was snubbed and even refused any legitimate work because "respectable persons" would not associate with a woman of scandal.  Finally, after doing all that she could to prevent her and her child from starving to death, she turned to prostitution. 

Mrs. Hughes, was her only friend (and later Mrs. Crawley).  She brought her food when she could, she tried to deliver a letter to the father but nothing could elevate her suffering.  I found myself screaming at the television screen when the Ethel burst into the luncheon in which the grandparents of her son, Charlie, were dining.  I screamed at Mrs. Hughes for not saying that she knew that their son fathered Charlie because she walked in on them doing it! Even Lord Grantham was aware of likelihood, a man that professed to love his servants as family, yet because he could not associate with her scandal, he kept silence to this.  The etiquette of the day and the need to always protect ones reputation was more important than restoring the honor of a "prostitute" or a "slut" as she was also called. 

Justice says we get what we deserve.  Mercy says, rather than give you what you deserve, you will get what you need and it will be done with love, kindness, gentility and it is in fact justice perfected.  This is what Mrs. Crawley showed Ethel, Mercy.  She took her in and loved her despite her sin and gave Ethel hope for the future. 

Ethel decided to give Charlie to his grandparents.  It was very heroic but more importantly it was an example of Trinitarian love. She loved her son so much; that she gave him as the gift that his life was, to another who could care for him. So many women could give their children to families who cannot conceive, yet because they lack this kind of love, or perhaps because we as a society do not value this as love, they have an abortion instead. 

My guess is, although I pray that I am incorrect, I wonder if Ethel would have had an abortion if it where legal.  Today women do not have to struggle to find employment because they are with child outside of marriage. They do not have to bare the weight of scandal associated with carrying a child to term without a husband.  If Ethel had not had to deal with this, I wonder, would she have kept her son or would she have aborted him?

Most likely Ethel would have wanted to hide from the ridicule and ruin of pregnancy outside of marriage. Because abortion was not legal, we see her struggle play out on screen and my opinion she triumphed and transformed because of it.  She went from a selfish and vain servant girl that could not take direction or think of others, to a self-sacrificing woman that thought only of others and never for herself.  She truly bloomed.

Ethel, you are an inspiration to those who find themselves pregnant outside of marriage.  Your courage and strength to give up your son for his better good, is a demonstration of the love of the trinity and it is what we should all strive for.  In the end, Ethel Park's was pro-life and I am sure that Charlie would thank his mum for it. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Are Sufferings Blessings in Disguise?

 Some people are starting to think we need not suffer but just need to keep calling down blessings from God. While I agree we should ask for blessings, I believe we should never turn away from suffering because it is in our willingness to suffer that we will be healed and perfected. It is the fire that refines us it transforms us and makes us stronger, more beautiful and perfected. 

Why are people beginning to embrace the teachings that God wants only to bless us and give us all that will make our lives easy? This is falsehood. A loving parent gives us what we need not what we want. A child in need of therapy to recover use of once broken limbs, must be forced to walk on them,in excruciating pain, to strengthen the muscles and move the joints. If the child screams and cries, a loving parent will console but NOT remove the suffering because it is in suffering that pain that the child will one day be able to run! 

Be cautious of those who are preaching only abundance and blessings and good things without a cross. We are all called to suffer. It is because of sin that has entered into the world that we must suffer. It is because we are at war ( because of sin) with one another, that we must suffer one another. It is because of sin and death that there is illness and disease and so sometimes we must suffer in this way. 

I'm sure you already know this but I've heard lately, some, that are beginning to preach blessings only and it concerns me enough to want to write. It is not because I believe you would begin preaching blessings only because I know that you understand the value of suffering but I write to you rather so that you will pay attention to those who come preaching blessings only.


Peace in Christ our King and may Our Lady of Guadalupe heal, hide and protect you