Below I have linked my Countess Van Henning books. A Catholic/Christian friendly vampire heroine in a series of flash fiction stories perfect for the modern short-on-time reader.
Yes there is wordplay going on here. “Marvel” is referring to Marvel Universe and “Grace” is referring to my name.
Thumbelina is a phenomenal movie (the only really Disney quality animated movie I’ve found outside the Disney universe), and one I think St. Therese would have enjoyed watching as well. It’s all about loving your littleness and letting Jesus “be your wings” instead of wishing to be big. It also happens to be set in France.
Cornelius comes to her in her loneliness, from a heavenly kingdom far away, and invites her to join his family and become his bride. He gives her his royal ring, which reminds me of the Prodigal Son story, and promises to return to her soon.
Her faith in him does not go untested, though. First she is kidnapped by the toads, who represent the seduction of fame and popularity. She is attracted to this life, but upon learning that it would mean breaking her promise to Cornelius, she ultimately chooses Cornelius and escapes to find her home and her mother (Mary).
Then she is kidnapped by the beetles, representing sexual seduction. They entice her by telling her she is beautiful, but after they have used her she is rejected and feels “ugly”. Healing comes to her when the swallow (the Holy Spirit) reminds her that only Cornelius’s opinion of her matters, and he thinks she is beautiful.
Lastly she is taken captive by the mole, representing excessive preoccupation with wealth and security, and she almost goes with it — especially after being told Cornelius is dead (Good Friday) — but backs out as she realizes nothing should cause her to compromise Love. The brave prince who died seeking to rescue her, who has had nothing else on his mind the whole movie except saving her at all costs, fights off all three rejected suitors as she makes her escape to the warmth of the sun/Son.
The swallow swoops her away to a frozen wasteland that her song of faith reveals to be the Vale of Fairies, and she finally sees Cornelius is alive after all (Easter), then the beauty of spring sets the stage for their royal wedding and the gift of her very own wings (heaven).
This moving story of confidence in the love of our dear Jesus is a must-see, and if you haven’t considered this perspective of the story before, I hope this post enriches your future viewings. Let Jesus be your divine elevator, your “wings”, to the glorious heights of heaven!
(Note: Frequent Spiritual Communion is recommended even for the most frequent Mass-goers. See my other post on the subject.)
(Doesn’t fulfill obligation for Mass.)
- Hymn or song of faith. Ideas here.
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
- Glory Be or prayer to saint of the day. Helpful resource here.
- Act of Contrition: O my God, I am heartily sorry for
having offended you, and I detest
all my sins, because of Your just
punishments, but most of all because
they offend You, my God, who are
all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of
Your grace, to sin no more and to
avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen. (Bless yourself with Holy Water if you have any. The devout use of sacramentals remits venial sins.)
- Sing the Gloria when appropriate.
- Mass readings of the day.
- 10-15 min. meditation or spiritual reading.
- Recite the Creed when appropriate.
- Three Hail Marys or a moment of silent prayer for the Church and the intentions of the Holy Father.
- Moment of meditation on the mystery of the Eucharist. (or Divine Mercy chaplet) “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night He was handed over, took bread, and, after He had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is My Body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My Blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes.” — 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 NABRE.
- 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 evil. Amen.
- My Jesus, I believe that You are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I long for You in my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. (pause) As though You have already come, I embrace You and unite myself entirely to You; never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
- Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
and ever shall be,
world without end.
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
- Hymn or song of faith.
(for short version, say only the parts in bold.)
- Ven. Fulton Sheen recommends it as a special defense and offense against devils. “Let me tell you what the most powerful influences are against the demoniac. ….His Precious Blood. We do not have an adequate devotion to the Blood of Christ. But these are the two great arms, the Holy Name of Jesus and invoking the Blood of Christ.”
- It carries all the benefits of devotion to the Passion, since they are essentially the same thing. Meditation on the Passion Virtues Gained Through Meditation on the Passion
- It creates a spirit of reparation and penance in the soul, so necessary for the Christian life and the state of today’s world.
- It is the secret of our final battle against satan in the last days. “They conquered him by the Blood of the Lamb….”
- It is the means by which Mary shields our world from the just consequences of our sins. “I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering Him the sufferings of the Son on the Cross, His Precious Blood, and beloved souls who console Him forming a cohort of victim souls.….Without attaching too much attention to the form, be faithful and fervent in prayer to console the Master.” —- Our Lady of Akita
- We unite ourselves to the most powerful prayer of all: the Mass, by offering in spirit what the Mass offers in Sacrament, which is the Blood of the Lamb of God.
- It is a humbling devotion because in it we focus on what God has done for us, rather than what we have done for Him, and acknowledge that it is His sacrifice alone that gives ours value. “We love because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19 “The Church has always taught that all our penance without Christ’s passion is not worth a pea.” —St. Thomas More
Those who stubbornly refuse to believe, won’t believe as long as their hearts remain hard, no matter how much proof and evidence are presented to give them reason to believe. Therefore it would be useless to debate them unless they are truly interested in learning.
If they are interested in learning, however, they can start by researching the shroud of Turin, the tilma of Guadalupe, and the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. They can also consider the complexity of the universe and of the human body and how unlikely such things are to be accidents.
St Thomas Aquinas has some interesting things to say on the subject also, and then there’s the personal experience of myself and countless of other persons throughout human history. (Atheism only became a thing recently, remember, another proof in God’s favor.)
Personally, I think an atheist is just a believer who hides his belief, even from himself, out of fear or anger.
After all, it is a common move of the human psychology to convince itself of the nonexistence of a reality it finds unpleasant. People only believe what they want to believe. At the end of the day, though, God’s existence isn’t affected by belief or unbelief, He’s still there.
It would be a more profitable discussion to inquire of the particular atheist why he/she is an atheist and when it started. Perhaps a tragic childhood experience such as the loss of a parent and the question of “Why didn’t God answer my prayer for his/her healing?” left unanswered caused the individual to question God’s goodness and atheism was a subconscious solution to exact revenge on the One seen responsible for the tragedy. Or perhaps on seeing the obligations of religion in the lives of other people, the person in question was afraid of having to answer to God for fear of his/her life being burdened and no fun and atheism was the subconscious solution to being able to live a “free” life. Or again, perhaps the particular individual was simply raised that way in a very strictly atheist environment. Not only is it very hard psychologically to abandon the beliefs your parents or guardians have drilled into you all your life, but the consequences of believing differently could result in the rejection of loved ones or of peers looking down on the individual as “intellectually inferior”. Thus atheists are deserving of our compassion and would possibly be better served by a more therapeutic approach rather than mere intellectual debate.
We will each see the truth at the end of our lives. If atheism is correct, theists have nothing to worry about since their death will be without an afterlife anyway and therefore unaffected by their beliefs. If theism is correct, however, then the atheists who meet God face to face are gonna wish they had given Him a chance.
Yes there is wordplay going on here. “Marvel” is referring to Marvel Universe and “Grace” is referring to my name. “Agent Nunja of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is still the only fully completed work among these. “Agent DARK of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Team Awesome-Nunja and Heroes Inc. versus Villains Inc.” have been started.