Is Malthus Revisited Supernatural or Something Else?

Malthus Revisited

Malthus Revisited

Is Malthus Revisited Spiritual or Something Else?

A number of reviewers have referred to my latest novel, Malthus Revisited, as ‘spiritual.’ Until a recent review, I did not stop to ponder why.

A recent reviewer wrote that he was ‘disappointed’ that I ‘resorted to the supernatural’ in writing what he thought was an intriguing plot and the compelling character of Joe Cairns. Familiar with the Malthusian theory, he believed that the supernatural element in the story detracted from a good read.

It’s the negative, the critical comments that shouts out at us. That we remember. Always.

Maybe because this man framed his negative comments carefully in the midst of several positive ones, I’ve stopped to ponder why this story felt far from supernatural when I wrote it. Why it felt entirely natural- albeit unusual- for Joe to have a relationship with King David, the ancient Israeli king. Consequently, I write this piece: Is Malthus Revisited Spiritual or Something Else?

  1. Maybe ten years ago, one of my husband John’s former patients called  for help with numerous crises in his life. Among the suggestions my psychologist husband gave to the former combat veteran was prayer. When the ex-patient asked, “Who should I pray to?” John asked if there was anyone in his Catholic upbringing he could relate to, the man answered yes, “King David. He was a warrior, like me.”

  2. During a subsequent conversation with the patient a couple of months later, John asked what had happened with the prayer. “I know it sounds crazy, John, but I see him. King David talks to  me… he gives me advice. Good advice.”

  3. In my Christian Catholic reality, these saints- I think David is one although I have never read that- are more real than this secular virtual reality we swim in.

  4. Physicists suggest that this material world is less than four percent of the over ninety-six percent of what they call ‘dark matter’ that we exist in.

  5. And that just under four percent of our bodies is composed of material substance. The remaining ninety-six percent is…energy.

While writing A Price for Genius, Joe Cairns presented a humongous challenge to me.

Because I needed to figure out just why I had written in this profound relationship between Joe and the King, I recently wrote an article for Catholic 365. Because Joe’s relationship and John’s client’s relationship with David were not enough.

Here’s an excerpt from that article:

““It isn’t as if King David opened his eyes that morning, to ask, ‘What are the 3 most effective ways I can take this blessed God-given- life and invoke the worst conceivable miseries upon me and on everyone I love?’…

Praying the Liturgy of the Hours for over ten years has evoked a friendship with this ancient Israeli King. I write ‘friendship’ because of the deep thought, prayer and numerous writings prompted by his fall from grace. Such that each time I read these words in the second book of Samuel, I feel deep sorrow:

At the time of year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officer and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.

Just five words but their portent haunted me from the very first time that I read the heartbreaking story of David and Bathsheba. David personifies the fragility of all human commitment, integrity, honor, and nobility…”

If you’d like to read the entire article, click here:

Is Malthus Revisited Spiritual or Something Else?

You decide.

As always, thanks for reading.

 

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