Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January and Respect for Life

As mentioned below, I watched Into Great Silence this weekend and I was fascinated.

[SPOILER ALERT -- for those who don't want to know anything about it, stop here...]

Amazingly, so were the beloved husband and girls. It was so compelling that, as we watched, whenever the kids had questions, or we'd "ooh" and "ahh" at the incredible mountain landscape around the monastery, or try to guess what was coming next, we whispered all these things to each other like we were intruding on their privacy in a reverent-yet-voyeuristic way. Aside from generally marveling at the life these men lead, feeling exhilarated when they snowboarded, fell, and laughed out loud, I was moved to tears watching a younger monk tend to an elderly one, and again when this elderly, blind monk spoke about his faith and mortality. Well worth the rental or the buy.

I spent another two hours looking at the rest of the special features (including the extended version of the blind monk interview), the history (rise and post-Reformation and especially the post-French Revolution fall) of so many of the chapter houses. But at the very end, looking at notes sent back and forth between the filmmaker and the monks was this little gem that I think is a lovely way to start contemplating January's message, that we have to shout from the rooftops all year long:

I was still within
my mother's breast
when the Lord's call came

In her womb*
I was still at rest
When he called my name

(* the original French word used was actually "entrailles" so I freely admit that translate loosely here..."entrails" "innards" or "intestines" did not quite work for me...)

Anyway, January's a Catholic's gut check month that starts off every new year after we've just celebrated the Incarnation of the Lord (aka, Christmas). Are you comfortable with your apologetics when faced with questions or debate with a pro-life friend or co-worker? Take time now, in this month where we are especially called to Respect Life, to read up and arm yourself with brave and true words to wear as your mantle through the coming year -- and the election! Don't sit back and nod, smile, and "go with the flow" when these issues come up -- speak your piece! Despite the term "apologetics," (which is not synonymous) make no apology, make it clear where you stand, and always try to do this in a way that invites dialogue (not diatribe), and fosters understanding (not anger, invective, or judgment on the souls of the obstinate). Stand up for the little souls...and tell your local Barack Obama supporters that the unborn should be allowed the audacity of hope as well.

Battle on, mes amis!

For Jerusalem et St. Denis!

1 comment:

Angela M. said...

Wasn't Into Great Silence wonderful?! It was like a retreat. And I totally get what you're saying about feeling like a voyeur!