Catholic Imagination

The Chronicles of Narnia: A Spiritual Journey

In a world grown cold without wonder, how do you reimagine the drama and joy of Christianity? For C.S. Lewis, the answer was to invite us into a different world that would help us see this one with fresh eyes. That world was Narnia, and when Lewis wrote that world into existence, he created more than a story — he created the possibility for a moral and spiritual journey.

“The Chronicles of Narnia” span seven books, each a narrative unto itself, that come together to form a larger whole. Lewis started writing these stories with “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (published in 1950) because he had this image in his mind of a faun standing next to a lamppost, and he wanted to tell a story about that. In the course of writing that first story, it soon became a Christian story because he imagined what kind of redeemer a world like the one he was imagining would need.

Read more at OSV Newsweekly

Love Is Always Conditional

We want to say that love is unconditional. It seems right. It is equal parts comforting and challenging. It is comforting because if I am loved, then there is nothing I can do to lose that. It is challenging because in order to love, I have to will to be untroubled by obstacles. We do not want to say love is conditional because we fear submitting love to the twisted logic of relationship terrorism: if you do not meet my demands, I deprive you of what is good for you, or vice versa. We think of conditions as qualifications and we do not want to attach qualifications to love. So we say love is unconditional. But that is wrong. Love is always conditional.

Read more at Church Life Journal

Images of Fatherhood to Nourish the Catholic Imagination

We need better images. It has become increasingly obvious that we are starved for trustworthy and reliable images of manhood in our present age. The unreliability of the current popular images of “man” are likely related to the deteriorating image of “fatherhood” in the modern world.

The men felled by sexual misconduct allegations over the last nine months have offered an image of manhood that consists of using others to satiate their own appetites. Perhaps these prominent men show the inevitable outcome of unchecked power, of misdirected authority, of self-indulgent customs that fuel the cults of personality. But this behavior exists in private places, too, and indeed a widespread remediation is necessary to cure our young men of the tendencies that might lead to such actions.

Using others makes everyone a slave of their own appetites. What is missing is the power to fulfill responsibilities, to create life and secure wellbeing for others, and to trade away selfish desires for another’s good.

Read more at Our Sunday Visitor.