Star Trek and the Church: Part 4

For a contrast between the state of the world and Star Trek, see Part 1. For the similarities between Captain Picard and Pope Francis, see Part 2. For the differences between Captain Picard and Pope Francis, see Part 3.

Some readers will no doubt take offense at the connection I have made between a religious leader and a franchise that is most often described as “humanist”. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, was himself a vocal atheist. I can only reiterate that I am inspired by Star Trek-type reminders wherever I happen to see them, and I see them in Pope Francis.

To the pope’s mind I don’t think there is a zero-sum conflict between humanists and Catholics. He once asserted that the litmus test for spiritual utility is not faith, but doing good for others. To atheists the pope expressed without cynicism the expectation that they can “do good. We will meet one another there.” This invitation to cooperation is as close to a Star Trek overture as First Contact with the Vulcans.Our Lady of the Sacred Heart watermarked

If any of us are inspired by the philosophy of Star Trek, let us begin to live out its ideals. Let us treat one another as co-equal participants in an open and inclusive federation. Let us make our life’s work about self-improvement and the discovery of breakthroughs that will improve many lives. Let us go boldly to the frontiers and fringes, where people of goodwill are simply awaiting an invitation.

You don’t have to be a pope to do that. You simply need to say with a loving heart, “Come to me”.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Immaculate Conception feast dayHappy Feast of the Immaculate Conception to all my Catholic fans! The term describes the beautiful gift given to Our Lady that ultimately became a gift for all of us. And thanks again to Give Us This Day for publishing my illustration to accompany today’s prayers!

For anyone who likes my illustration, an original piece based on this design is now available! And until December 25 you can use coupon code CHRISTMAS to get 20% off of this or any piece in my Etsy store!

A Marian Moment

What’s an “immaculate conception” anyway? You’ve probably heard that Mary was “conceived without sin” and that she’s “full of grace”. These terms mean that Mary was prevented from being born with or developing a sinful nature. Her sinlessness allowed her to pass on to Jesus a sinless humanity. Mary’s conception paved the way for the Incarnation!