A reader writes

I don’t know if you heard about this: the second price at Cannes went to a film called “Of God and Men” (Des hommes et des dieux), which I am looking forward to seeing. Its about the monks of the Cistersian Monastery in Algeria who were martyred. Here is a nice review of it.

Have you seen the action packed movie called “Into Great Silence”?

I haven’t. I had friends who raved about it, but I never went. I do remember a priest friend, being a typical Dominican, remarking, “There was all that beautiful, beautiful spiritual fruit–just sitting there, rotting.” It’s a classic difference between the Benedictine and Dominican ways. Contemplation is an end in itself in the Benedictine way. For Dominicans, contemplation is ordered toward sharing the fruits of contemplation (particularly via preaching and writing). As a Dominican fan, my sympathies are with Padres’s critique, but I can also appreciate the fact that the film really captured the beauty of the Benedictine way. It’s a big Church.

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