05 February 2008

Into The Great Silence: The Discussion.

This must be the 10th post in which I've encourage folks to see the film, Into Great Silence. Here's a piece of Matthew Lickona and Ernie Grimm's post-viewing discussion:
Ernie: I was watching this last night when I got up to get an orange. Eating oranges, or anything else for that mater, had never been a spiritual occurrence for me until last night. But after an hour and a half of that movie, I had a sense of how slicing and eating the orange, wiping the juice from my mouth, throwing away the peels, rinsing the bowl, and placing it in the strainer could be spiritualized. I've never enjoyed an orange quite so much. Do I sound like an idiot?

Matthew: No more than usual. But hearing that from you, and thinking about the scenes that no doubt inspired it, I find myself thinking of Thoreau, who went to the woods to live deliberately, so that when it came time for him to die, he would not find that he had not lived. The monks are doing that in spades. They have, as the film reminds us again and again, taken Christ to heart when He said, "Unless you give up everything, you cannot be my disciple." But in giving up everything, they have gained a remarkable sense of meaning. It shows when they discuss handwashing. "It wouldn't be a big deal to get rid of something useless," says one. "Our entire life is symbols," answers another. "The entire liturgy and every ceremonial are symbols. If you abolish the symbols, then you tear down the walls of your own house." They have made of their lives a symbol -- that is, they have given the whole of their life a meaning. They are, as the old monk says, entirely at God's disposal -- listening for him, waiting on him. The planes pass by overhead, and they look ridiculous by comparison.
Here's the whole thing, via Lickona's blog Godsbody.
Here's the film trailer.


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