Himself is an old movie junkie, so I have no doubt that this evening or tomorrow he will begin his annual Viewing of the Passions.
I used to avoid tv this week, but now that I no longer have musical/liturgical duties I do have plenty of time, and I don't think watching certain films is an at all inappropriate way to turn ones thoughts on what our Lord has done for us, so when the DVDs come out, (yes, we're that old,) I'll probably join him for some.
There was an excellent television movie that's always in the rotation. The crucifixion is harrowing, there are first-rate, A-lister performances, and I require about 3/4 of a large box of Puffs to be able to see anything by the end.
I can only watch parts of the Mel Gibson film, but the very end, where Christ stands, alive and naked and strides forth from the tomb into the world Made New Again? and the sunlight streams through the hole in his hand?
Epic. (And That is what that word means. It doesn't describe a kegger. Or a golf tournament. Or a new nail color.)
(That reminds me, last week EWTN showed a fascinating and very moving film about St Edith Stein, starring the thrilling actress who portrays the Blessed Mother in the PotC. Look for it.)
But a film popped into my head after Mass this morning, which, if you haven't, you should see, and Holy Week is a pretty fine time to do so.
We have a lovely mosaic of the infant Jesus behind the altar, and I suddenly remembered a scene in Robert Duvall's masterful The Apostle.
He plays a pentecostal preacher on the lam, and the story of sin, redemption, and amendment is eloquently told.
What is so good affecting about it is that while it is a satisfying plot, with a premise, action, narrative and conclusion, yes, an actual ending - it also is is about those processes of sin, redemption, and amendment in a post-lapsarian world, and the atonement is on-going.
It doesn't seem to say, once saved, always saved, at least to me.
Salvation, once found, can be lost.
Our conversion, our turning toward the Lord must be continuing - which is a very un-Protestant notion, no?
There is a magnificent scene where Duvall is preaching, and he picks up a baby from the congregation, and marvels with his congregation how beautiful the infant is, how perfect, look at his perfect little hands! How his parents must love him!
Can you imagine hurting such a lovely thing? Who would allow that?
How can we wrap our minds around a father, THE Father, Who loves us so much He would allow a nail to be driven into the palm of his Beloved, His Only-Begotten, His One-In-Being-With-Him Son?
We hardly can.