CATHOLICS FOR WEREWOLVES
You have to admit, this is one damn catchy title! I just finished an email to a friend saying that I was about to settle on the couch with our small dog and a good novel. This one happened to be the second in Patricia Briggs' series, Alpha & Omega. At the end of the email to my friend I laughingly typed, "Catholics for Werewolves!"
I bet there are other Catholics out there who love fantasy novels as I do. But why especially this werewolf series? I am not entirely clear on this, but let's explore it together. (Feel free to leave comments at the end of the blog.)
For me, Catholicism is all about transformation: the miraculous transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, (I still get goosebumps typing this; it never gets old.). We see it, we hear the prayers, we go up holding out our hands to receive Christ's flesh in the form of a wafer. Transformation in capital letters!
When we are baptized, we are blessed with Holy Water, prayed over, and received into the community of believers and the church. That little human moves from being "just" a baby, to being a member of the mystical body of Christ. Isn't that transformation?
When I was Confirmed (I came into the church 16 years ago), wetting his fingers with Chrism oil our priest made the sign of the cross on my forehead. I felt heat, a tingle in my skin that traveled deeper into my soul when he traced the cross on my forehead. Somehow the Holy Oil and prayers changed me inside, as if my very bones had changed in substance, as if the cape of my skin was now holy and luminous. I believe that if someone there had had eyes to see, I would have been sending out light like a burning candle. I was transformed.
Here's the connection implied in the title. What do books about werewolves and shape shifters focus on? The battle between good and evil, the struggle to defeat the bad guys and support the good ones. In the dark times we live in--with mass shootings, shredding of ACA & Medicaid, climate change, saber rattling, nuclear brinkmanship and white supremacy--I need books that feature the victory of good over bad.
I believe in evil, that it exists; in Satan, the fallen angel, that he walks the earth; and in free will, given by a God who allows us to choose good or evil; (R. Rohr once said if he had been God, he never would have given us so much freedom to go astray!). As my favorite priest, Fr. Bill, told me, "Annie, it's a battle between good and evil every day." I don't think
he said, "Every damn day," but I am saying it now.
So, when you feel weary and depressed about what is happening in our country and world right now; when you need to have your soul strengthened (besides our go-to Daily Readings, prayer, and worshipping with a faith community), I suggest a nail-biting novel by Patricia Briggs where the werewolves triumph in the end, and evil is soundly defeated.