And here is what Hollywood tells me to think: Catholics who take their church seriously are foolish, hypocritical and failures in love.
Normally, since there is a movie trailer involved, I’d just send you over toward the Deacon’s place, to watch it, but since I have something to say, I’ll post it here:
By the way, we often are foolish, hypocritical and failures in love but that’s part of the human condition and nothing exclusive to Catholics.
Knowing nothing about this film beyond what I’m seeing here, I shrug a little. Who knows? Maybe the thing becomes an intelligent look at the nuances and complexities of Catholic teaching and its marriage to classical reasoning, which some might call, you know…thinking.
Or you know, it may be some formulaic mess that just takes pot shots at the church and whose main character finds her redemption in secular enlightenment by the third reel.
For fun, I imagine the voice-over:
By the makers of “I don’t have to think; I’m with the officially cool kids, and they tell me what to say.”
Produced by the guys who take the cheapest and safest shots possible and call themselves brave.
Directed by the creative geniuses who preach “tolerance” but can only think in caricature.
Developed by people who probably cannot articulate why the church teaches anything it does, but know it’s all wrong.
Probably ghost written by Maureen Dowd!
But seriously — we’re supposed to be a sign and a contradiction; if the culture was not telling us we were doing it wrong? We might well be doing it wrong!
It’s okay. We’re Catholic. We can take it. And we’ll still be here, imperfect, and faulty, talking deeply about things others jeer at or want to skim over and settle in the easiest and “feelingliest” ways possible (and with as much name-calling as they can manage) long after the “tolerant” folks have passed. We’ve survived skinning and beheading and being crucified upside down; we’ve been thrown into death pits and survived decades-long imprisonment and isolation and exile and firing squads.
Because the church survives by the grace of the Holy Spirit we know we will survive this, but we are in a long season of penance for sins of commission and omission. This stuff is going to keep coming. As John Paul II once said to his seminarians, “do not forget who you are.” And as he said to the rest of us, often, “do not be afraid.”
“The world will hate you for my sake”:
If we are secure in what we believe, a cartoon does not take us down, no matter how perverse and offensive, because Christ is alive, and Grace abounds, and because just as an Abbess or Abbot is entitled to use whatever resources his or her community contains to advance the stability of the abbey, the Holy Spirit has a way of confounding us by using what is out there in the world – sometimes very surprising things and people – to do the will of the One.
Pray for those who hate us. There is power there. And don’t be afraid of a “what if.” Bad times might come. So, what? “If in all things thou seeketh Jesus, doubtless thou shall find him.” (St. Theresa of Avila) and “All things are alive in the sight of their King” (Avila, again). Christians are joint-heirs with the Chosen people – it makes perfect sense that we might taste some of the sting and poison the world keeps offering His people, Israel. There is nothing to fear, here. Changing situations in the world are nothing in the face of the Unchanging.
Yes, as Katrina says, sometimes being a Catholic is so very hard.