Thursday, November 27, 2008

Into Great Silence

This film was delivered just before I left for my mother's home for Thanksgiving. This morning while everyone else was in bed, I got up and watched the film. I need to watch it a second time at home in a more comfortable setting so as not to be distracted, but I have a few thoughts.

1. I am not suited to be an ascetic of that degree. Living a life centered around the Divine Office with its chanting and daily work would just not work for me given my disabilities in life. The Office as a reading experience coupled with a life of interior prayer...

2. For those same reasons, I just didn't get into the film. Watching them go through their daily routines was instructive and edifying, but the Great Silence is not anything new to me and their chanting sequences was merely an exercise in watching them sit in the dark and turn on and off their reading lamps.

3. My two favorite parts were their first excursion outdoors and the blind monk's speech towards the end. The group's conversation about different orders' outlooks on even a mundane topic as washing of hands before entering the refectory was instructive. Their final determination that it was not the symbol, but them who was in error was quite insightful. And of course, the blind monk who thanked God for his blindness explaining his pity for a godless world with no reason to live was wisdom itself.

Lord, you seduced me and I was seduced.

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