Monday, July 6, 2020

Apocalyptic Fiction, Nonfiction, and the Saints

Today is the Feast Day of St. Maria Goretti, whom I learned about when I was a child of 8 or 9 years. My mother told me about her, how heroic she was forgiving the man who assaulted her (without telling me any of the details--I had no vocabulary for anything sexual at the time). But over the years, this little saint has accompanied me and taught me so much and how blessed were we to have had the opportunity to venerate her relics several years back. She makes an appearance in my historical, as does St. Joan of Arc and I love having their guiding hands upon my own as I dive into final revisions. As you can imagine, forgiveness is a major theme. This book and this movie remain a favorite--appropriate for kids age 10 and up. 

I just finished A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller. It's in three parts--Fiat Homo, Fiat Lux, Fiat Voluntas Tua--and I enjoyed these three linked shorts tremendously. They all take place in a monastery in the American Southwest centuries after a nuclear holocaust in the 20th century. Since it was man's technology that caused the devastation, all books were destroyed. The monastery becomes a place for keeping not only church history but also a place to preserve knowledge via "booklegging" as well as the memorabilia of an engineer-turned-monk. You get to see the result of man destroying himself, his thirst for knowledge, his desire to transcend his lowliness, and the price he pays for an even greater knowledge. I love science fiction that asks big questions--man simply cannot save himself from his fallen nature. We need God.

Another book that has a feel like that of science fiction is Antichrist and the End Times by Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi. You might recall his wonderful lectures on angels and demons and living in the Divine Will  that I summarized. Well, I read this gem five years ago and am re-reading it again in light of all the crazy things happening in our world and I can't help but think that we are in for some awful trials and tribulations before the era of peace promised in the book of Revelations. This is the best book on eschatology I've ever read. Fr. Iannuzzi begins with Scripture, followed by the visions of saints and prophets, the signs of the times, the warnings and miracles and some thoughts on the final coming of Christ. Contrary to what you might think, this is NOT the end of the world. But the period of mercy is ending soon and with its end comes judgment. What is interesting is that there will be an illumination of conscience, that is, we'll see ourselves as God sees us and will have a chance to repent and come to Christ, begging forgiveness for our sins. And so I beg you to prepare yourselves, both spiritually and physically. Do not put off the good you want to do. Use your time, talents, and treasures wisely because life is short. When I started poking around the internet to see what new insights there might be, I came across Mark Mallett's blog. Wow! He, along with Daniel O'Connor (another teacher of living in the Divine Will), has made several videos on the book of Revelations. I've only seen one but they have one on each of the seven seals and they promise to be edifying. 

And so we pray: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. Amen.


Faith said...

Maria Goretti is amazing. She just came up in a conversation with my daughters a few days ago, on how if she could forgive her attacker, we can forgive small transgressions--all through grace.
I can't wait to read your historical!! Are you close to having it ready?

Mirka Breen said...

You have more fortitude than I to read a post apocalyptical fiction right now... I'm avoiding dystopia like the plague, while doing my best to manage the current plague.

Vijaya said...

Faith, my mother had taken me aside at a neighborhood gathering when I was hurt and angry to tell me about little Maria. She was like that, able to with one glance, demand self-control. I hope to have the historical done by the end of summer, God-willing.

Mirka, I didn't expect to enjoy apocalyptic fiction but it's often prophetic. Also, I have the great desire to assure people that all will be well eventually. I'm actually excited that the signs of the times point to an era of peace. Too bad we first have to go through man-made trials and divine chastisement. But it's so worth it to pray for Thy will be done!

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

My book club just read The Canticle of Liebowitz and we enjoyed it. The language is beautiful and the characters interesting. ;)

Vijaya said...

Bonnie, that's so wonderful you could read and discuss Canticle. We are a bookish family and oddly I was the last one to read it (I had to hide it in the bathroom because my son kept taking it away). Thank you for visiting.