Friday, July 01, 2005

Perfect movies

I've seen two movies in the past three days which actually treat the profession of the priesthood with something resembling dignity and respect.

One of these movies, Black Robe, was absolutely perfect. Finally a historical movie that caputures the passion of the faith while accurately representing both the shortcomings of the faithful and their incredibly piety in times of greatest weakness. It truly shows missionary work at its best and worst... and throughout always at its most earthy and real. The plot revolves around a small band of Huron Indians in the 17th century taking a Jesuit priest to the Huron mission in Maine. The journey turns into a faith voyage both for the priest, the
Huron, and also his companion Daniel. This is one of the more moving films i've seen in ages.

The other film was a much more recent made-for-TV show starring Timothy Dalton called Possessed. Let me tell you, this is what the priesthood is supposed to be all about. No parish council, no bishops looking over your shoulder, no father such and such deciding that only ascetics can go to heaven... no. Just some devout priests, a possessed boy, 1v1. The climactic scene shows the three priests rolling out in full Latin regalia, a huge studded cross, incense circulating, candles wafting in the breeze, monks decked out all around.... music playing. Yeah, that's why people get into this business. Instead they get to argue about who gets what part in the biblically inaccurate Christmas pageant. But for one film and one film only we get to indulge and look at what our profession was supposed to look like.


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