Sunday, June 9, 2013

"A Writer Who is Catholic"

My #3 daughter has some of my qualities: and attitudes. For example, a few days ago she vented frustration about writers, faith, and assumptions.

When folks learn she's a writer, they'll often say something like 'oh, good: we need more Catholic writers.'

That's when she says something like, "I'm a writer who is Catholic, not a 'Catholic writer.' "

I know what she means. She isn't writing another 'lives of the Saints,' or book of prayers. She's a Catholic who writes.

"The Book has Not Been Baptized"

The bulk of what she writes is a series of speculative fiction stories.

These stories are not, by any reasonable standard, "Catholic." Religion of any sort isn't a part of the stories. Like the fellow said, "the book has not been baptized."

That doesn't bother me a bit.

Telling the Truth

The 'good guys' in her stories may mean well, but sometimes do bad things: even by their standards. Her 'bad guys' do emphatically bad things, but at least one of them had been forced to behave badly.

This doesn't bother me, either.

She's writing about human (more or less) beings who are not perfect. Her fictional characters cope, or fail to cope, with that ancient wound we call original sin.1

I think there's value in telling stories where people act like people, decisions influence actions, and actions have consequences. Stories can show how reality works without getting 'preachy.'

I think there's also value in discussing original sin, God, and cultural quirks, and that's another topic. (July 11, 2012)

Torment, Angst, and Me

I won't torment myself because labels like 'Catholic writer' or 'Christian author' don't quite fit me.

That sort of angsty approach works for Narcissus-X, a wannabe (and fictional) artist with entirely too much self-esteem. I don't, however, recommend it for real people.

Doing What Seems Reasonable

I also won't claim that being a 'Catholic writer' is wrong. That would be as silly as saying everybody has to speak in tongues.

1 Corinthians 12 makes it pretty clear that we're not supposed to be cookie cutter Christians, and I've been over that before. (June 1, 2011)

There's probably still a need for 'Catholic writers.' Some folks seem to like nice imitations of old-fashioned books, or collections of pithy and edifying sayings.

If I thought that's what I should do, I'd be a 'Catholic writer.' What I'm doing now seems like a better use of my abilities.

It's not that I had some dramatic revelation where the skies opened and a squadron of angels flew by, trailing a banner reading "Brian, Thou Shalt Be A Writer." I love language, enjoy digging up facts, and want to share what I'm learning about God and this wonder-filled creation. Writing seems like the reasonable thing to do.

I could sit around and wait for a 'road to Damascus' experience, but those don't come very often, and that's yet another topic.

Somewhat-related posts, about being:
Background, sort of:

1 Original sin is a fact of life. Each of us is basically good, but deal with fallout from a really bad decision. We're out of harmony with creation and God. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 374, 396-412)

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.