"Jesus, I trust in you!"

Thursday, February 8, 2007

St. Therese on Valium

How the world doesn't understand what holiness truly is

Like many people, I looked forward to the showing of the film "Therese," a low budget movie about the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux. I was gravely disappointed. I had expected many shortcomings, but not the one that most glared out at me.

The actress played St. Therese as if she were a psych patient dosed heavily on Valium.

Unfortunately, this condition is all too common in sacred drama, though usually not as pronounced as in the film about St.Therese. I wrote this today thinking of a rare good example in ETWN's profile about St. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Divine Mercy. Nearly all the actors who play Jesus do so as if he were on something (I'm inclined to think weed in Jesus Christ Superstar, my least favorite film about Christ). The same is true during much(though not all) of the film about Joan of Arc.

Apparently, "spaced out" seems otherworldly to them.

As a sufferer of withdrawn type ADD, I can tell you that 'spaced out' is about as far from God as you can be, for God the creator of reality, and to know God is to be fully aware of creation.

What is of God is joy, peace, kindness, but above all a sense of humble reality, what we ironically term "down to earth."

See? Even my usual friend the English language is against me on this one. I would argue for you that what we call "being down to earth" is truly "looking up to heaven."

To know God is to know more fully what we as human beings were meant to be. It is to know all real things in their fullest sense, before the taint of sin that accompanied the original fall. Whatever my soul suffers I offer joyfully that I was made for the true reality of paradise.

Belated, but I must post this.

I was sad to find that I allowed the feast day of St. Paul Miki and his companions(February 6th) to pass me by.

I first learned of St. Paul Miki from a hobby of mine which often seems rather incongruous with my love of religion: anime. In truth, not all anime is something a Christian should watch, but it has its high points.

One of them has the telling of the Christian martyrs of Japan. A sad story.
When St. Francis Xavier came to Japan, he found many converts to the Christian faith. The Japanese have a culture rich in loyalty, honor, and love of the community. There is little to be found among the traditional mores that conflicts with Christian virtue, excepting a sad lack of Mercy. Most do not know that practice of Seppuku is not suicide in the Christian sense (where a person despairs of life), but rather an ultimate act of obedience in which a person carries out their own execution.
Unfortunately, the government of Japan was long founded on the concept that its emperor
was descended from a deity. The Christian converts, naturally rejecting this belief (though still loyal to their country) were seen as traitors by a nation already leery of foreign imperialism.

Christians were lined up and ordered to stomp on or otherwise desecrate crossed and images of the Blessed Mother. Those who refused were crucified, among them the Jesuit priest and convert Paul Miki and his twenty-five companions. They died singing psalms and calling out the names of Jesus and Mary.

Today, Japanese continually exhibit a strange fascination with Christianity, a religion which is largely mysterious to them and misunderstood. Secualr Christian weddings are more popular than the traditional Buddhist or Shinto ones. Unfortunately, there are only a few Christians in living in Japan today, most of which are westerners. For the sake of the holy martyrs, and for the souls of the people of Japan, I pray that this will change.

St. Paul Miki, pray for us.

Got 20 minutes? Time to get out your rosary...

Or if you don't have one, your fingers will do nicely. (I pray the rosary in class before tests using my fingers because teachers have complained the rosary itself is distracting).

Why? Well, it's time I did something relating to the theme of this blog.
For those (like me) who have some difficulty concentrating, videos like this can be quite helpful for contemplation. I suggest starting and immediately pausing the second video, so it can load early and there won't be as much of an interruption to break your frame of mind.

"Oi, matte!" "Wait! I hear some of you saying. "It's pretty, but what does it all mean?!"
The Divine Mercy is the miracle of Jesus Christ, "Who humbled himself to share in our humanity." The Divine Mercy prayers glorify this fact, that Jesus came down to be one with us, to embrace our brokenness and our sorrow, that we might be whole. It is for this that he willingly suffered and rose from the dead. In rising, He did more than triumph over death--He raised us to new life. He calls out to us: that we might accept creation of our new life with Him. We plead: Help us Lord, "for the sake of His sorrowful passion" send forth Your Spirit, give us the Grace we need to accept our crosses so that we may yet rise to new life with Him--our Lord Jesus Christ, to the Glory of God the Father.
"Amen" we say, meaning, "We believe!"
For there is nothing greater that we can offer than the holy sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
For this I say: We are saved by Grace and Mercy alone.

"Jesus, We Trust in You!"

Part 1

Part 2

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Musings

When I was a child, my favorite movie was "The Sound of Music."

Funny that now I want to be a nun. Though even now, I identify with a particular scene in the film.

I wonder if Maria really has ADD? I've nearly every line of the song said about me at one point or another...
I pray that I will not be too much of an opportunity for others to be granted the gift of patience.

St. Blog's Parish