It’s a new year and — as a result — we are one year closer to the eventual zombie apocalypse that will inevitably overrun the world. However, if you are Catholic, then you need not wait for The Walking Dead to become a reality. You need only to look around your Church to find a whole slew of fellow Catholics doing their best spiritual impression of the undead, and, just like true walkers, they probably don’t even know it (ourselves included)!
Just as Rick Grimes needs his Colt Python pistol and Daryl Dixon needs his trusty crossbow, so too do you need to have a fully stocked arsenal ready to combat the feverish temptation to become one of the walking spiritually dead. Thus, without further ado, here is a Catholic zombie survival guide to help you navigate through these treacherous waters and dark times.
1. Frequently say prayers and phrases in Latin
In case you were not aware, there is hardly a better weapon in your zombie arsenal than reciting the blessing before meals or Our Father or some other prayer in Latin. Beginning a meal with an “In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti … ” is a great way to awaken someone from their zombie stupor (and prevent yourself from falling prey as well!). Or, after having a friend say “Peace!”, try and respond with a good ol’ “Et cum spiritu tuo!” and see what happens. Shock, confusion, and surprise are typical responses, which may be just enough to awaken the human within. Of course, this is only a temporary measure against falling prey to the undead, but its a good provision to make use of.
2. Brush up on your theology and philosophy!
The rhetoric of the dominant secular culture is often deceitful and seemingly harmless at first glance; however, it always ends in spiritual death and zombie fever. It can be very difficult to adequately discern the “signs of the times” and resist the false teachings of our fallen world when our mind is as sharp as a bowl of strawberry jello. That is why the best defense against a confusing culture is to train one’s mind in divine truths and right reason. In this regard I recommend reading all of the Brant Pitre, Peter Kreeft, Bishop Robert Barron, and Scott Hahn you can. For those more advance apocalypse preppers, I recommend delving into the works of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II, G.K. Chesterton, and Bl. John Henry Newman.
3. Stockpile Sacred Art and other heavenly things
The best way to make the faith really stick to your bones is to fill your imagination with holier things. In this regard, money is always well spent when it results in Christianizing your home and workplace with images and reminders of the mysteries of the faith. To do this I highly recommend checking out Norman Faucheux: Sacred and Religious Art. There you’ll find a cornucopia of awesome original images, prints, and paintings. Plus, he’s a really holy dude. In addition, there is Natalie Haydel, who is the woman behind Colors by Natalie, another great young Catholic artist. You can check out her stuff here! In addition to Sacred Art, you should fill your home with holy water, rosaries, relics, crucifixes, saintly medals and a Bible in every room. These things and more are helpful to make your home into a zombie-free safe-zone.
4. Perform a Spiritual and Corporal Work of Mercy that doesn’t come naturally to you
Catholic zombies don’t just happen; they evolve over time through apathy and a perpetually lukewarm faith. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent yourself from becoming a spiritual zombie is by forcing yourself to do things that don’t come easily. Everyone can play to their strength, but not everyone can turn a weakness into a strength. So, my advice is to figure out which of the works of mercy you find least attractive and to concretely plan a way to practice it for love of God and neighbor. Here is a list of both the corporal and spiritual works with ideas of how to get creative with them.
5. Surround yourself with non-zombies
If there were literal zombies walking this earth you would take great pains to avoid them at all costs lest they eat your brains or something. Well, I am certainly not advocating for you to avoid all spiritual zombies like the plague (after all, they are the ones we are supposed to love and evangelize!); however, I am encouraging you to surround yourself with those people who are actively seeking holiness. It really is incredible what difference a holy friendship can make in your life.
6. Frequently participate in and receive the sacraments and make prayer a priority
Lastly, the most important thing you can do to become a fully living and spiritually healthy human being is to encounter God in the Church’s liturgy and sacraments & then allow it to structure and guide your own personal prayer and life. In the sacraments the Trinity kisses and imparts their life to us, making us ourselves healed and divinized. Becoming a Saint is the exact opposite of a spiritual zombie, so it becomes clear that, if the best defense is a good offense, then the best way to avoid spiritual death is by striving after divine life. In the big scheme of things, what else is there?
This is obviously an abbreviated (Catholic) zombie survival guide, but I am interested to hear what else you would add to this list. Be sure to let me know in the comment section below!