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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A Line in the Harry Potter Sand

We feel so blessed that we are not a part of the sweltering heat wave. If you are part of the sweltering heat wave, we feel sorry for you.

Offer it up.

We actually are having to wear jackets around here in Southern California in July. Boo Hoo.

And yesterday we had an earthquake. It was very enjoyable. Some earthquakes are not enjoyable. Some are jolting. Some are shaking. This one was what we call a 'roller'. For a moment, you think it's 'you', as if you are suddenly a bit dizzy. You look around to see if anything is moving and maybe you see the curtains swaying just a little. Then it's as though you are at sea on a calm day.

Some people, who live right in this house, didn't even feel it.

Everyone is still worried about the witches:

Dear Sister,Due to a recent discussion among some good Catholics I know the whole witch/magic thing has been on my mind lately and I'M SO CONFUSED!!!! I feel like everyone has their own adamant opinion of where the line should be drawn with reading that kind of stuff and I can't figure out where the line should ACTUALLY be drawn. Like is Harry Potter okay? What about Twilight? I feel like you have the Bible on one end of the spectrum and the satanic bible on the other and somewhere in between a line has to be drawn but I don't know where! Oh and if witches aren't real then why is this stuff a problem at all? HELP!Clare

I actually think I can clear this up for you! You have to draw your own line. That's the simple answer. But it's not a shot in the dark.

Let's walk you through it.

1. There are no witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires, magic spells, potions or wizards.

There are, however, people who attempt to be these things. That doesn't mean they actually are these things, or that they have any magical, mystical powers.

2. Evil exists. The devil exists. The devil is trying to win your soul.

Now, if you were the devil how would you go about that? If I were the devil, I would work with people who think they are witches and I would work on you to believe that they had some power over you.

The mind is the most powerful thing in this equation. It's easier to believe that the reason you never finish anything is because you are an Aries with Gemini rising, than to believe the truth, that you are a little lazy or scattered or unable to concentrate. The next thing you know, you're checking your chart to see what to do next. Thanks, Omar!

The question is, how seriously do you take this stuff? I think I can safely read Harry Potter. (I haven't, but only because I'm just not interested. I like to read about Abraham Lincoln.) I can do that because I fully understand that it is fully fiction and I can sit back an enjoy the fantasy world because it is just that: fantasy.

As I have mentioned before, "The Wizard of Oz" is all about witches, too, but I don't hear anyone sqawking about that delightful fantasy. Fairy tales are full of magic and sorcery and witches, too. Is anyone talking about banning the Brothers Grimm. Let me answer that: no.

Perhaps the Jehovah's Witnesses, on second thought.

If you want to dress up like Harry Potter or the Wicked Witch of the West for Hallloween, great! Have fun!

But if your interest in Harry Potter causes you to study the black arts, or talk about it as though it were real, or question the Pope, then stay away from this stuff.

The Catholic Church actually wishes everyone would stay away from this stuff, but not because it is, oh, so dangerous. The Catholic Church has to take care of everybody, and everybody can't handle it. Mother Church can't take the chance on telling everyone to have at Harry Potter and then have some poor soul decide he is a wizard and run around in a pointy hat until he finds himself in Hell.

The Catholic Church will always warn you never to open the door to the devil. Isn't that the moral of the story of "Dracula"? Never open the door to a vampire. Evil=the devil.

I can't tell you whether or not to read such things. I can understand why some people are so adamantly against them. People are weak. We must guard the weak.

As long as you understand that witches and the like are not real at all, then they are no problem at all. The giant that lived at the top of the beanstalk is no threat to you and neither is Harry Potter.

Point #3: Do stay away from the "Twilight" series. It's not about vampires. It's about teenage sex. Thanks, devil!


Anonymous said...

Actually, Sister, _Twilight_ is not about teenage sex. It is about an abusive relationship between a teenager and her vampire boyfriend. Faar worse.

-Cody, OSL

Erin K. said...

A slight disagreement about Twilight, sister. While I agree Twilight is worth being avoided, it's not an issue with teenage sex--after all the main character and her vampire beau don't ever become intimate until after they've been married. The issue I think Christians should take with the novels is that the main character is so readily willing to risk her own soul to be with the vampire. (That said, the clearly fantastical part of this series is that Edward, the vampire beau, is so stubbornly unwilling to risk his girlfriend's soul by letting her become a vampire or by sleeping with her. Teenage boys are rarely that concerned with their girlfriends' souls. Usually they're concerned with other parts of their girlfriends.)

Claudia's thoughts said...

There are some people who would believe anything they read or see. Back in the 1950's my grandmother would watch soap operas.

She would get so mad and say "That SOB,see what he did." I honestly think she thought it was real....Being school age I even knew it was not real.....

I read Harry Potter for the entertainment but frankly "THE EXORCIST" really scared me because it is in the realm of reality.

Mary said...

Oh Sister, you never let me down!
God love you.

Mary said...

Sister, you might what to get rid of the voodoo ads on your blog!

abishag said...

If it helps in evaluating whether it's worth reading, Harry Potter was written by a Christian (Anglican) woman, and contains themes about sacrifice, equality, good and evil. And while I'd hate to spoil the books for you, I will say good is rewarded and evil is not glamorized as in many current popular literature.

As long as you don't use them as an alternative to the Bible, I can't see where the harm is - much like not mistaking an ice cream sundae for an actual nutritious meal

Anonymous said...

I agree with Abishag. I see little difference between the magic of Narnia & Harry Potter. (And of course, Narnia is accepted by the Church, having been written by C. S. Lewis.)

cathmom5 said...

An aside to Mary--the ads are chosen by Yahoo. They somehow pick up on the subject matter of the blog and choose ads accordingly. They must have picked up on the words magic, evil, [horoscope] sign, etc. It will go away after her next posting.

Back to the post...My kids know the difference between fantasy and reality. One of my sons is a voracious reader. He read every one of the Harry Potter books again last summer vacation. He does not believe he is a warlock. On the other hand, I limit his video game playing because he DOES seem to have less control of his temper and attitude after playing violent games. I try my best to keep him from the violent games but am not always successful.

His father read the first "HALO" book (based on the HALO video game I will not let him play) to make sure the books were "okay". He said, 'Not well written, but nothing to make him violent.'

I have a friend who said the same as sister about the "Twilight' series, that it is mostly about teenage 'romance', ie, sex. I've never had the desire to read them so I don't know. She also said they are just not good literature. I think the point is that if your teen doesn't know the difference between what is in a book and what is appropriate behaviour outside that book, they need to avoid it. Like you said sister, it lets the devil into a weak mind. The teenage mind is very confused and can be easily influenced if you don't watch out for them.

Enjoy the weather. We're practically drowning here in OK. We needed the rain but not this much all at once. God bless you sister, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,

According to the Chief Exorcist of Rome Fr. Amorth, witches do exist and they cast spells which make it possible for a person to become demonically possessed. I qoute from an interview "It is very difficult to perform a curse. You need to be a priest of Satan to do it properly. Of course, just as you can hire a killer if you need one, you can hire a male witch to utter a curse on your behalf. Most witches are frauds, but I am afraid some authentic ones do exist."

Also regrding Harry Potter, "Father Amorth was also one of the voices that made public warnings to parents about J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, noting that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil."

Another exorcist states that the spells written in Harry Potter books are actual spells.

slimsdotter said...

Sister (and other commenters); this is off topic, but I have another question. It should be easy for you. The good news is, I finally got enough courage to take myself to Mass. The bad news is, it was a church 3 hrs from my home. I was travelling. The Question: What is a non-Catholic supposed to do at the Sign of Peace? They shook hands and said "may the Peace of Jesus be with you". Was I supposed to participate? (I did, and there was no lightning...) This was the first Mass I have attended. I remained kneeling for the Eucharist. I hope that was ok. An anonymous commenter told me about going up to receive a blessing but
I wasn't ready to do that.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

the only part of the Mass in which we wouldn't want you to participate is reception of the Blessed Sacrament. Kneeling was fine;; there are a fair number of Catholics who ought to, but don't.

By all means, participate in the hymns, the prayers, the other rites, and the sign of peace. The Church welcomes everyone.

mph said...

I found the post by anonymous quite interesting and googled Father Amorth. I came across the following:
"Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", according to the Holy See's chief exorcist.
Father Gabriele Amorth, 85, who has been the Vatican's chief exorcist for 25 years and says he has dealt with 70,000 cases of demonic possession, said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as "cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon"."

I'd be interested on people's opinions on this as I've questioned some of the things that have originated from the Vatican on another forum and been shot down by people asking how dare I question any of it as they claim that as the church was started by Jesus, He wouldn't let it be infiltrated by evil or anyone with anything other than God's best interests at heart.

slimsdotter said...

Thanks, Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin.

Anonymous said...

It's been hot here in South Jersey sister, but hey, at least the ground isn't shaking. :)

Marion Teague said...

Hi mph - there is a difference between the Church as instituted by Christ and made up of all its members, and the individuals within that Church. Of course there will be "rotten apples" - there always have been. And of course the devil never stops trying to attack the Church, which is his greatest fear and enemy. Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail - He didn't say they wouldn't stop trying! And the parable of the tares among the wheat, I always understood as being about the people in the Church, not Christians in the world.
Sister is right about the power of the mind - and how easily it can be deceived. Let us all have more faith in Christ than in our own ability to know what's what!

mph said...

Marion, I do have faith in Christ and not my own ability to know what's what. That doesn't mean I always have faith in everyone in power in the church.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

mph -- given some recent history, it's certainly prudent to not trust every member of the clergy and religious. Heck, given some oder history, you shouldn't always trust the Pope; we have had some lulus.

But you can ALWAYS trust the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.