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Lord Faramir of Gondor is no more...but not all hope is lost

My Kindle, Lord Faramir of Gondor, has a broken screen. I first realized it was broken when I took it out during class today for a quick read. I, for whatever reason, simply cannot pay attention during epidemiology. It's too noisy, I am too distracted by 100+ students talking, shuffling, clicking away on their computers, etc. I simply am not able to digest anything in a room with 100+ other people. Therefore, I go to class mainly to record the lecture so that I can listen to it at home when I have no distractions.  Fortunately, the instructor (God bless her soul) posts everything from videos of the lecture to audio feeds of the lecture online so we can review it later.  I was, to put it lightly, quite crestfallen when I realized that I would be sans Neil Gaiman for 2 hours today.

As upset as I was about the Kindle, I was feeling okay....except when I got to the subway. I was, for the first time in quite a while, without a good read. As sad as it sounds, I almost did not know what to do with myself and I started wishing that I had brought my latest paperback read, Monsignor Leon Cristiani's "Evidence of Satan in the Modern World." I know the title sounds morbid, but it's actually a good read. Thus far, I read a pretty great few stories about the Cure de Ars and a few others that were tormented by evil only to rise up against it with sanctity and grace. It also provides a few lessons in spiritual warfare...something that is much needed in a world where we are attacked and easily persuaded by evil that is not necessarily always demonic in origin. In any event, I tend to read books of this nature to better stack the odds in my favor when it comes to fighting evil....whether that evil be daleks, zombies, potentially haunted laboratories or the really serious evils out there like despair, gluttony, jealousy, fear, anger, pride, lust, etc.

The subway ride was pretty boring since I had not packed anything to read and since I did not feel like listening to music. Yeah, I know...first world problems. In an effort to get over my boredom and avoid eye contact, I just stared out the window.

Lo and behold, my eyes caught a few anti-religious propaganda under the guise of humanism. There's a difference between promoting atheism and promoting anti-religious sentiment. These posters, promoted more of the latter. I don't know about the rest of you out there, but I get the impression that these posters are getting more and more brazen and...dare I say it...offensive. I'd the country would be in an uproar if you were to switch the word "religion" with another group, gender, a company name, a city, a sports team, etc. You get the idea. However, it's perfectly fine when you promote religion as something unreasonable, dangerous, etc. Well, I'm religious. I am reasonable. I am pretty harmless. I also feel like taking a huge permanent marker and writing the names of a few choice apologetics and respectable religious figures on these posters the next time I get the chance (C.S. Lewis, the Dalai Lama, G.K. Chesterton, and Martin Luther King Jr. to name a few).

I really don't mind atheism. If you don't believe in God, that's your own personal journey. If you want to promote your own religion, or lack thereof...go ahead. I don't mind that either. What I do mind, however, is when you promote your own religion or lack thereof by attacking another one. Also, if you're going to start attacking religion in the name of your hostile flavor of sure to remember the examples of Mao Zedong, Hitler, and Stalin when it came to spreading certain certain belief systems (or lack thereof) in favor of other less "reasonable" religions and religious practices. When you people get away with posting things like this on the subway, it really comes as no surprise to me that instances of religious bias and anti-semitism are on the rise.

Sometimes when I see things like this, I cannot help but think that there are more sinister forces at play. Call me crazy, bit I do think that evil is very much alive in today's world...and this includes evil from a demonic origin. However, even when the most offensive of posters are allowed to be posted in the name of "religious freedom" while this same religious freedom is allowed to be attacked by the HHS mandate...I cannot help but keep my head up. You see, there is still so much in this world that is worth fighting for and worth defending. There is so much beauty in this world that is worth preserving and so many people out there that make this fight worth it.

Today as I was pondering all of this, I looked up at the sky and saw a meteorite falling. It streaked down within a split second, but saw it. It had a long, striking white tail and it was massive. I've never seen one of these before in my entire life, though I had seen more than my own fair share of falling stars in Portugal. Needless to say, it is something I will hold onto for the rest of my life. This thing must have landed around here somewhere because it certainly looked like it was relatively close to the ground (compared to other celestial bodies up there at least). It was simply that huge, rare, and beautiful. Right after it flashed out of view, Luke 10:18 came to mind...

"And he said to them: I saw Satan falling from heaven."

As much as these subway ads upset me (and I really feel for my Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters that are getting targeted by this more recent slew of ads), this meteorite reminded me of just what I am fighting against and why I must continue fighting the good fight. Saint Michael, defend us in battle....

On another positive note, is replacing my Kindle and I should get a new one by this Wednesday. I fully expected having to get a new one as I did not remember getting any form of warranty for Faramir. Fortunately, it looks like my Kindle came with a 1 year warranty. How awesome is that? 
FARAMIR LIVES! Well, kind of...unless I rename my new Kindle after another Lord of the Rings Character.... Prince Imrahil of Dol Amorth...
....or Eomer of Rohan.
Oh, and on one more positive note...I was able to hunt down a copy of Father Jose Antonio Fortea's "Summa Daemoniaca." For any of you interested in reading about exorcism, possession, and demons, this book has yet to be published in English. The Spanish edition is currently going for about $300 on Amazon and there are few other places where you can buy an authentic copy of this book. Not one to give up hope on finding a copy of this book for a reasonable price, I was finally able to find one on Amazon for around $24. The only catch is that the book is in Italian. Well, it looks like this will be a great opportunity to brush up on my Italian! 

Pax Vobiscum


  1. "If you don't believe in God, that's your own personal journey."

    Once, I heard atheists referred to as pre-Christian. I don't think I'd ever use that term, but I do think to myself, "Well, you don't believe in God...yet."

    1. I was never really an atheist, but I do remember being a hardcore liberal Catholic (of the cafeteria Catholic persuasion) in my younger years. I never dreamed that I would one day be so orthodox and traditional in my own religious life. However, I have experienced what an "out of left field conversion" can do to a person. Therefore, I cannot help but imagine that at least one or two of these militant atheist "humanists" will one day become some of the best converts on this side of the Mississippi.

  2. I've broken two Kindles. (One of them got stepped on ... *cough*) Although I'm not an anti-Kindle person, there's a reason I prefer "real" books--they put up with a lot more abuse, falls into the toilet notwithstanding. ;) (Cause yeah, I've done that too ...)

    1. That's terrible! I still love reading my good old paperbacks, but I am so hooked on the Kindle these's almost shameful...