Sunday, March 31, 2013

Христос Воскрес!



But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel; and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? "He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now they were Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James; also the other women with them were telling these things to the apostles. And these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at that which had happened.

Luke 24:1-12

He is indeed risen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

....a great joy....

Welcome to the big house, Francis!

I'm a big fan of the Papacy both in real life and in fiction. I've read a lot of stories and novels based on the Papacy, and can say that of all the books out there, we can say we have three Papal novels with pretty good track records:

Morris West's The Shoes of the Fisherman - E European Pope
Morris West's The Clowns of God - Pope resigns
Walter Murphy's The Vicar of Christ - Papa Francesco I......
All three are brilliant and partially prophetic.

THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN was a brilliant speculation on the Papacy and the effect of an Eastern European Pope--enormously influential in the story; even more so in real life. 

THE CLOWNS OF GOD tell the story of Pope Gregory XVII--a French survivor of WW2 who resigns the Papacy: although the plot of the story is fictional, there are strong parallels between Gregory and Benedict XVI, a German survivor of WW2 who has resigned the Papacy for mysterious reasons of his own.

Then there is.... VICAR OF CHRIST, which is one of my favorite novels, now, alas, dated by its late 1970s origins, ...but is an excellent overview of what would happen if Walter Murphy (the author of the novel) had become Pope after serving in the Marine Corps and in the Supreme Court of the United States. Excellent read, entertaining, but, um, a bit too much of what tvtropes.org calls "Author Avatar." I do like how its three narraitors have such radically different 'voices'--one a Marine Gunnery Sergeant (kinda like a Battalion Sergeant Major), one a Supreme Court justice, and one a highly intelligent but highly corpulent gourmand of a Cardinal--who each describe Declan Walsh's journey from soldier (hokay, Marine) to almost-saint. The description of Marine service, Court workings and the Vatican are keenly carved. Good stuff.

 It's highly unlikely THIS Francis will be anything like the one in Vicar of Christ... but yanno... It's a strange world after all.