Thursday, October 28, 2010

Zombies

*Note* This post is about fictional zombies in stories, not any voodoo actual people may attempt to practice.
*Note #2* This post is just my odd musings and thoughts. I'm not trying to teach any Catholic doctrine today.

Somebody asked me recently why Catholics like zombies. I wasn't aware we were known for that. (Though I was able to include an alarming number of Catholic/zombie links at the bottom of this post)



A Zombie


If Catholics are drawn to zombies, and I'm not saying we are as a whole, it may be because we are willing to face our own mortality. We challenge ourselves to look death in the eye- examine our souls- do a preflight check to see if we're prepared for eternity with God.

We, as Christians, are aware that death isn't an ending. We will have everlasting happiness or everlasting torment. Maybe zombies symbolize undying misery.

Perhaps the survivor trying to outrun, outwit, dodge, or otherwise escape the zombies, the death-bringers, illustrates our struggle to focus on our soul's survival. Keep your eye on the prize or you become zombie meat- food for the enemy. It doesn't end there. You'll not only lose your own soul, but you may become one of them and drag down your former companions. Those of us who've strayed from the path and led others down the dark road to sin have played the part of "the infected."

In a sense, zombies are tormented souls, still living humans who've strayed from God- lost lambs. (zombie sheep?) Many zombie apocalypse stories deal with seeking a cure for the infected, after all, they are us, but fallen further. At any time, we could become like them. By curing them, we protect ourselves. We are all part of the human race. To take it a step further- We are all meant to be part of the mystical body of Christ. see this art. in New Advent

But, more often in stories, zombies are the enemy- are no longer human, and must have their heads lopped off or their brains smashed to render them inoperable. Here we are doing whatever it takes to preserve our own humanness, preventing the undead from taking us down with them. Fighting evil with fire and sword (or hatchet and baseball bat) is seen as necessary for survival. Except when some freaky character enjoys zombie destruction.

Which brings me to the next point; post apocalyptic zombie scenarios bring out both the best and the worst in characters. This is the second reason I love the genre. (The first being the exploration of human ingenuity as characters figure out how to survive.) To observe some break and some grow stronger is fascinating, inspiring, and sometimes frightening. Would I become a hero, a villain, or a cowering mole when darkness falls and the zombie horde scratches on my walls?

When I saw this t-shirt I snickered.

But I hope I would be a hero.  However, the real question is, am I a hero today? The zombie horde is out there- folks going along with what the world values instead of what God values. Jesus is the cure. (Sounds like a slogan but it's true.)

Unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you have no life in you. (paraphrasing John 6:53) Am I promoting his cure or letting myself blend into the crowd to be absorbed? Am I crouching in the dark waiting to be rescued or hanging Christmas lights in the window to signal others there's shelter waiting for them?



Frank's apartment in "28 Days Later"


Some Zombie Links- Catholic and otherwise:


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