If you haven’t heard the news today, our world is on the verge of becoming a desolate wasteland. We have been steadily losing faith in our ideals, our institutions, and even our loving creator. Our hope for the future has been shaken by too many missteps and false positives. Division and misunderstanding has eroded the love between our fellow men. Starved of these three necessities too many of our brothers and sisters are being kidnapped into mindless hordes of lifeless conformity.
Luckily that isn’t you. You have surely taken heed of my last post; Zombie Survival Guide Phase 1: Don’t Get Bitten. Trenton’s SZG Phase 1: Was written to put at rest the most controversial question of our day, in a world ravaged by mindless conformity: How do we keep our faith alive?
Phase 1 had three simple steps.
Step 1: Be Sure you’re Alive. ………………..Be filled with the Spirit
Step 2: Escape The Horde. ……………………Don’t fall into dualistic thinking
Step 3: Find Shelter. …………………………….Make your home in the Church
So you shouldn’t have anything to worry about now. You have made it to shelter. You feel safe and comfortable in your parish home. So even if rest of the world becomes desolate around you, you can rest safely between the walls of your zombie-trap!
If you thought that being Catholic was easy, you need to watch more Zombie movies. Once the horde reaches critical mass nothing can be taken for granted anymore. While you ignore the carnage outside it is only a matter of time before you run out of fuel, electricity, food, water, and Twinkies! In order to survive long term you have no choice but to encounter and react to your new reality. Being Catholic is no different. If we allow the church to be confined by parish walls, then it is only a matter of time before our faith is starved of relevance and withers away in this harsh new reality.
The long term survival of the faithful depends on evangelization, charity and justice. Evangelization, Charity and Justice are exactly the goals of my zombie survival guide
Phase 2: Fighting Back
Step 4: Be The Hero
If you’ve ever wondered why geeks obsess about the Zombie Apocalypse, I’ll give you a hint – it’s not the Zombies. The Apocalypse part could be fun, wait till the next time you’re stuck at the end of the line at the DMV, and see if you don’t enjoy the idea of a full civilization reboot. But the real reason is the heroes.
Have ever noticed zombie movies never star Schwarzenegger or Chuck Norris? So the Governator took on predator, but is too good to save us from the undead. Geeks wouldn’t hire Arnold because geeks don’t need Arnold. The savior of the zombie apocalypse is way more common than that. All you really need is the one special person God has delivered. You need a Nurse to clean up your bites, and you need carpenter to build a barrier. For everything else just find an eagle scout with an axe in his truck!
If you think about it (and geeks do) we all have some of those skills. The only thing that makes a hero is someone who recognizes his/her God given potential and chooses to act on it. The Church teaches that God has instilled this potential in all of us. God has chosen specific talents and gifts for each of us to be the hero of our story.
What do heroes do? Whatever God has chosen them to do.
If you’re the nurse you clean wounds. If you an eagle scout you start fires and help inspire the next generation. If God has blessed you with a knack for writing, and an obsession with zombies, you write blogs like this. The most important thing is that you answer the call and you be the hero.
The one sure way to make the zombies win is to wait for someone else to be the hero. We wait for a smarter someone to be the Hero. We wait for the wealthier person to be the Hero. We wait for our priest to be the Hero. While we wait, what are the Zombies doing? Eating our Heroes! The body of Christ needs many talents. That is why it has many members. This means you!
Step 5: Build your Team.
In every good Zombie Apocalypse plan geeks provide the most time and attention to picking their team. My team has too many great people to name, but it includes Barbara Negas, Darny Parez, Sophia Barbato, Meghan Trout, Julie Sosa, Richard Rohr and Aquaman. Geekiness aside there is a simple human truth to this obsession. Rebuilding a desolate world is too big a job for any one person. Just like the body of Christ needs you, you need the body of Christ.
So surround yourself with other heroes. You can spot them most of the time.
A hero is someone who stands up and inspires others. But there are a few good rules to remember. 1) Don’t choose a team where everyone is just like you. A strong team needs a diversity of gifts. The wider the rage of age, gender, race, class and points of view the better of you’ll all be in the long run. 2) Don’t choose a team that you always agree with. Some of the most important team members you have will be the ones who challenge you. These team members will make you grow. 3) Don’t choose your team – Let God choose them. Just love on anyone and everyone God brings into your life and eventually God will choose your team. In fact some team members won’t seem like team members at all at first because sometimes they will need your love to unlock their potential.
4) If your still not sure whom you can count on in this desolate world, then just ask yourself whom you wish you could be more like (Jenifer Wells) and follow their lead.
Step 6: Live Justly
You and your team now have the long task of rebuilding a more faithful, hopeful and loving world. You have the talent. But next come the tough questions, how will you make sure that everyone in your shelter share the necessities they need to live? How will you make sure your brothers and sisters can live freely and responsibly? How will you protect them from the dark forces outside the gates? As a Hero you must live justly.
I call this step living justly because it will require more than simply working for justice. It will require more than choosing just leaders or even being a just leader. If we are going to save our world with the sparse supplies of faith, hope and love it has left, we will all need to make loving sacrifices for the good of the world. This will require you to take up the cross and follow. This will require you to discern how you live.
Before you can Live Justly you must know justice. The leaders of today know very little about justice. I recommend you spend some time seriously studying the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church. If your parish isn’t making a point to teach Catholic Social Teaching, be the Hero! Talk to your priest! If your parish isn’t sure where to start… here is the magic formula 1) Contact Barbara Budde 2) Look into justFaith or Good News People. And pray! The more you study the more you will need to pray. You will need Gods help to live justly this is not an easy teaching.
Only God can bring consolation to this desolate world. But he has formed His church to do it. Through our words we must restore their faith. Through our deeds we must restore their hope, and with Christ we will fill this world with love again. My challenge for you this post is to step up and be the Hero! This world needs a new beginning, . . . lets get to work!
40 Days for Life
Ok I know this post is getting a little long now, but since I won’t be featured again until Feb 20th I would like to bring your attention to a ministry that will be in great need of Hero’s very soon.
Abortion is one of the greatest moral injustices facing our nation today. In the wake of the innocent death of millions and millions of lives it is easy to be overwhelmed and conclude there is little you can do to help. But one important way you can help is by providing your prayers and your presence in front of abortion clinics.
Twice a year the Austin Coalition for Life puts on the 40-Days for life Campaign. A 7am-7pm prayer campaign in front of all the major abortion facilities in Austin. That loving commitment takes a lot of man-power. The ACL ask its volunteers choose one hour a week and pray in front of one of the abortion clinics at that time every week for the campaign (for a total of 6 hour commitment.) The next campaign will be just under a week away starting February 13th.
Please prayerfully consider joining the campaign. You are a Hero! And they need hero’s now. For more information visit the ACL website.