Friday, May 6, 2022

First of the Animal Stories: Daring Rabbit is Not Named Jack


The first of the Paper Doll Veronika - Animal Stories comics: "Daring Rabbit is Not Named Jack", is posted! These short comics are an exclusive bonus for members of the Paper Doll Club, wherein you support the comic for six dollars a month and get lots of extras. Go here to sign up!

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Meet me in the candy shop


Bonus art for Chapter 14 of Part I of Paper Doll Veronika, which is now posted on Arktoons! You can also read it on my own website. (I recommend my site for PC and Arktoons for mobile.)

I really went to town on this one, a pure collage following what I think of as Ice Cream Parlor aesthetic. Lots of black, white, and pink; checkerboard pattern and stripes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Terrible Parable


Bonus art for Chapter 13 of Part I of Paper Doll Veronika, which is now posted on Arktoons! You can also read it on my own website. (I recommend my site for PC and Arktoons for mobile.)

I'm really glad to be doing these extra art pieces for each chapter, since I felt like the comic itself didn't have the time to explore the mood of "Forest", especially the creepy side thereof, as much as I would have liked to.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Borginian tavern


Quick fanart of Klavier and Lamiroir from Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice in a tavern in Borginia. I imagine Lamiroir singing "Gypsy Song" by Typhoon (because Spoiler: it's a lullaby/lament for a child; she would have thought, before she lost her memory, that Apollo had been killed in the fire in the palace.)

And Klavier will sing the Song of Anger, haha. The starry notes in the smoke are from one of the most beautiful (and that's saying a lot) puzzles in Vs. Professor Layton. (And the wine glasses--or should I say chalices--allude to another puzzle from thence.) I would very much like to be able to evoke music visually.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Refutation of a speculation

It is Catholic doctrine that God wills the salvation of every human being. This has been bindingly declared in the condemnations of Calvinism (Trent) and Jansenism (Prop. v Jansenii damn.). Therefore, the salvation of each human being must be a possibility. 

Therefore, when Ann Barnhardt speculates in her essay "The one about… DO ABORTED BABIES GO TO HEAVEN?" that miscarried babies absolutely all definitely go to the Limbo of the Innocents--technically a part of Hell, but one of natural happiness-- and that miscarriage itself is God intervening in order to effect "the best possible outcome" for them, who would otherwise end in a worse region of Hell, she is wrong. Per the previously cited doctrine, "the best possible outcome" for a person cannot be not being saved.

However, the idea that she is primarily addressing in the essay: that all unbaptized infants absolutely all definitely go to Heaven, is indeed an error and a pernicious one. As she points out, the logical conclusion of the idea of guaranteed salvation for the unborn would make abortion a good deed.

Several years back, the Vatican held a conference on the idea of Limbo and concluded with a declaration that "we may have hope" as regards the final fate of unbaptized infants. This was before the antipapacy of Bergoglio, so while not an ex cathedra teaching, it should not be simply rejected as a matter of course; it came from under the auspices of a valid Pope. Hope. That means not presumption--the idea that they all are guaranteed Heaven; and not despair--the idea that none of them can possibly be given Heaven.

So yes, Barnhardt is right that infants do not deserve the Beatific Vision, and that it cannot be taken as certain that they are given it upon death. However, it must be acknowledged that there must be some possibility for individual infants to be admitted thereunto. If there were no possible hope, it would be imperative to develop surgical baptism, nanobaptism even, which would make for a very cool aspect of a science-fiction story, but it is clear from the Church's practicum through the centuries that this is not an imperative.

And Barnhardt's basis for her speculation that miscarriage is God intervening to prevent a worse outcome than Limbo for these souls: her interpretation of Christ's statement that it would be better for Judas had he not been born, yields some logical conclusions that are seriously faulty.

She takes this statement about Judas as evidence that in other cases, God foresees that a person will damn himself and thus He causes him not to be born, but that He didn't do this in Judas's case because of the necessity of Christ's death. But if Judas is some kind of exception to a rule, God's plan is imperfect.

The truth of the matter is, God's plan is perfect. Yes, He came to die on the Cross and that was necessary. But it didn't absolutely have to be via betrayal by Judas. And even after the betrayal, Judas could have repented and not killed himself. Jesus' statement didn't lock him in. The statement was contingent on Judas's final impenitence even though it preceded it in time. Like the Immaculate Conception of Mary was contingent on the Cross even though it preceded it in time.

If miscarriages are a smiting of the would-be damned, it would be reasonable to conclude that no one who survives unto birth is ultimately damned and that every person dies via smiting while in their best possible spiritual state. This is the logic of "the best outcome" without possibility of salvation for some. It is, frankly, semi-Calvinistic. Not to mention, going by this logic desperately makes one question why God couldn't wait to smite until right after babies are baptized, indeed, why He doesn't do just that in most cases!

Here's the thing. God does not operate so that "the best outcome" overrides our free will. Our free will is of utmost importance to God. He does not circumvent our free will to get us saved, nor does He circumvent the consequences of our actions. Thus the Redemption, atoning for our actions of sin, He allowed to be brought about by free human actions including Judas'. And we should imagine that the eternal destiny of unbaptized infants is, like the eternal destiny of everyone else, determined by free will in response to grace, though we may not be able to tell how.

Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1910 has to say on the matter:

The most difficult problem concerning this Divine will to save all men, a real crux theologorum lies in the mysterious attitude of God towards children dying without baptism. Did God sincerely and earnestly will the salvation also of the little ones who, without fault of their own, fail to receive the baptism of water or blood and are thus forever deprived of the beatific vision? Only a few theologians (e.g. Bellarmine, Vasquez) are bold enough to answer this question in the negative. Either invincible ignorance, as among the pagans, or the physical order of nature, as in still-births, precludes the possibility of the administration of baptism without the least culpability on the part of the children. The difficulty lies, therefore, in the fact that God, the author of the natural order, eventually declines to remove the existing obstacles by means of a miracle. The well-meant opinion of some theologians (Arrubal, Kilber, Mannens) that the whole and full guilt falls in all instances not on God, but on men (for example, on the imprudence of the mothers), is evidently too airy an hypothesis to be entitled to consideration. The subterfuge of Klee, the writer on dogma, that self-consciousness is awakened for a short time in dying children, to render baptism of desire possible to them, is just as unsatisfactory and objectionable as Cardinal Cajetan's admission, disapproved of by Pius X, that the prayer of Christian parents, acting like a baptism of desire, saves their children for heaven. We are thus confronted with an unsolved mystery. Our ignorance of the manner does not destroy, however, the theological certainty of the fact. For the above-cited Biblical texts are of such unquestionable universality that it is impossible to exclude a priori millions of children from the Divine will to save humankind.

So, Barnhardt's speculation about the solution of this unsolved mystery has clear problems and cannot be admitted.

As the conclusion of this essay, I offer my own speculation. It is only speculation, and should it be proven to be likewise contrary to the logical conclusions of Catholic doctrine, I will readily withdraw it. I cannot fully explain my reasons, since some it of derives from the religious experiences of someone I know that I do not have permission to reveal, but here it is:

I speculate that there is a battle.

For the soul of the child, between angels and fallen angels, which humans can aid.

The aid that can be given is analogous to spiritual influence, such that of parents on surviving children. Kierkegaard was a heretic; no soul is alone. Christ founded a Church and gave us means to aid in each others' salvation. While, as stated in the quote, the idea that parents can give proxy consent for Baptism of Desire has been disapproved (though not anathematized), their intentions do make some kind of difference I am sure.

Other humans, especially the parents, can alternatively aid the fallen side. Sins do damage even to the innocent; think of all the parents presently having their children injected with genetic agents made from aborted babies, one of the reported side-effects of which is lessened function in the parts of the brain that respond to religious experience. And recently, the Satanic Temple issued a ritual for women to recite while procuring an abortion. It is clear the main purpose of it is to ensure the mother's full knowledge and consent and thus mortal guilt, but I fear it may have some dark spiritual effect on the baby as well. However, it is always possible for Divine Light to overcome darkness.

Finally, I note that just as the Church does not order surgical baptisms, She does not forbid the reception of Holy Communion by pregnant woman. It is another matter of mystery how minutely the Eucharistic species can be dissolved while retaining Christ's Substance, but I find it suggestive that a pregnant woman nourishes her unborn child through sharing blood.

St. Colette, pray for us.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us.

Our Lady of Good Remedy, pray for us.

Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The wizard who charmeth wisely


Bonus art for Chapter 12 of Part I of Paper Doll Veronika, which is now posted on Arktoons! You can also read it on my own website. (I recommend my site for PC and Arktoons for mobile.)

I'm working on drawing trees better, particularly giving them enough little branches and twigs.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Under the Lake


I just read Underlake by Kia Heavey. It's an enjoyable paranormal romance, with decent morals and lovely evocation of rural lakeside summers. It does have a significant flaw, which I discuss below, but I had to draw this fanart because it answered a wish I never thought would be granted!

In Twilight: New Moon, (referring to the film; I never read the book) there's the scene where Bella went cliff-diving and hit her head and starts sinking, and an apparition of Edward floats up from the depths. My sister and I always thought that image suggested a better story, where he's the ghost of a drowned man, pale in the dark cold water. Well Underlake was that story!

Spoiler Warning for the following.

The best parts were descriptions of the lake, both above in the warmth and light of summer and below when John and Katie are magically suspended between life and death in winter.

But it did have a big flaw. When the time comes to return to the depths, Katie refuses to keep her promise. And we are only really given selfish reasons for that, but for some unexplained reason that's what breaks the spell and resumes the flow of time for John. That doesn't fit with the moral framework of a Cupid & Psyche/Beauty & the Beast story, which it is. In those tales, the woman breaks the spell on the man by ultimately keeping her promise, even if she broke it at first. It would have been much better if Katie was willing to go back under the ice, but then she started drowning, and John took her out despite believing doing so would cause his own death. That would have been a perfect redemption for his earlier act of suicide, and then their complementary sacrifices could have broken the spell, rather than her unwillingness to sacrifice!