Cinema Divina: The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is about the paradox at the heart of suffering and how our egos are stripped away by both nature's indifference and her magnificence. Do we experience the world as cold or as sublime? Can we hold the tension of our sorrow embedded in such beauty and wonder? Suffering is not the whole story.

Boundedness and immeasurability. We live our lives pressed against these two realities. We are stone: the grace of this leaf, this branch, this tree, and the immeasurable grief and heaviness we feel when someone we love dies. We are star: woven into a story so grand we can only hold only the tiniest fragment of it in our imaginations, and the unbearable beauty of the world.

What is the meaning behind the great losses of our daily lives? Where do they fit within the grandness of the universe? Like the Book of Job, there are no linear answers we can recite that would offer consolation. The beauty of lectio divina, and the film, is that we are invited to ponder the mysteries more deeply.

9/6/2011 4:00:00 AM
Christine Valters Paintner
About Christine Valters Paintner
Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D., is a Benedictine Oblate and the online Abbess ofAbbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery without walls offering online classes in contemplative practice and creative expression and pilgrimages to Ireland, Germany, and Austria. She is the author of eight books on monasticism and creativity including The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom (Ave Maria Press) and her forthcoming book The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Inner Journey (Spring 2015, Ave Maria Press). Christine lives as a monk in the world in Galway, Ireland with her husband of twenty years.