Friday, March 13, 2015

7 Quick Takes: Favorite Reads on Narnia, Confession, Star Trek, and More


In light of a recent tragic event, the Episcopal church has been having a long-needed talk about alcohol addiction. Before converting, I knew the jokes about "whiskey-palians," such as "where there's a fourth there's a fifth." After converting, I was astounded by the amount of alcohol consumed at Episcopalian events. Granted, some of this was baggage from my evangelical days: I knew people who wouldn't even buy alcohol to cook with because it would "be a bad witness" (that's evangelical talk for "give scandal.") However, I do think that the culture in Episcopal churches makes it unnecessarily difficult for alcoholics in recovery. This article has excellent suggestions for how pastors and other leaders should handle this problem.


While thinking and reading about confession, I came across two excellent pieces. The first, from the National Catholic Register, has a great Q and A with a priest about common problems and barriers to confession. 


And the second references a booklet written by Pope Francis as a guide to confession! I really love the questions for examining one's conscience, especially "Do I want to be served?" 


Also from the Register, I was pleased to see someone explain the proper order to read the Narnia series. Since I own the maligned publication pictured on the post, I read them all out of order. As reparation for this act, I offer you the definitive guide to reading The Chronicles of Narnia. Hint: don't do it in the order that they're numbered.

Hint: don't read this one first


While it's doubtful that the Michael Brown shooting was just a racist act, the Ferguson justice department report makes it clear that racism is a widespread problem in their police force. This Rachel Held Evans post nailed it when she asks "Tell me how it's not about race again?


Speaking of Rachel Held Evans, I was pleased to see that she made the jump to the Episcopal church! Welcome, sister. I know firsthand how hard that decision is, especially when your friends and family think you're siding with the whore of Babylon or something. This is a great Q and A that she did about her conversion. Best quote:

"Millennials have finely-tuned B.S. meters that can detect when someone’s just trying to sell us something. We’re not looking for a hipper Christianity. We’re looking for a truer Christianity. Like every generation before and after, we’re looking for Jesus—the same Jesus who can be found in the places he’s always been: in bread, in wine, in baptism, in the Word, in suffering, in community, and among the least of these. No fog machines required."


On a light-hearted note, I'll round it out with a lovely post at Darwin Catholic on aging sci-fi. My husband was a fan of sci-fi before it was cool. While the rest of my generation watched All That and Rugrats, he was watching Zena Warrior Princess and Hercules. When he tried to introduce me to some of his favorites, I was derisive, even though I enjoy contemporary sci-fi like the Battlestar Galactica reboot and Firefly. I think Darwin is spot on about how quickly futuristic fiction looks retro. 

Happy reading!


  1. Yes to #4! I have been saying this for years with such passion my friends all think I'm nuts. :-)

  2. Thanks for the great links re: confession. Do you know if it's possible to actually buy the guide from Pope Francis? I didn't see a link in the article.

    1. P.S. Love the article by Fr. Schmitz but I'd never be able to go to him for confession face-to-face. It would be an occasion of sin in itself. O. M. G.

    2. LOL same here, bet he broke some girls' hearts when he announced his vocation.

  3. Thanks for all the great links! And treat yourself to listening to the Narnia audiobooks, starting (of course) with The Magician's Nephew. The narration is marvelous.

    1. But you should never start with The Magician's Nephew! (Although, given that I've read them before many times over, I suppose I could)....