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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Weekend Round Up

It's a wonder I can still type anything considering we're still under a pile of morning glories. We haven't had the time to tackle the garden because we've been having too much fun dusting the pews for Mother's Day. We love Mother's Day. It's right in the middle of our favorite month.

I'll do a little cleaning here as well. We've had a few questions and comments.

Sister, what do you know about Cursillo? I am intrigued, but my Significant Other is concerned that it's a "secret society" & will corrupt me in some way. Any thoughts?

Are you kidding? I'm much more concerned about a person called a 'significant other' than I am about anyone attending a Cursillo. Please define. I think there might be some significant sin involved.

As for your question, our parishioners flock to the Cursillo every chance they get and as yet they have not moved to Ghana or been seen purchasing Nikes. In fact, they seem renewed. No Kool-Aid is involved. Perhaps they like Hawaiian Punch and cookies afterward. It's just like a pep rally for Jesus. Rah!

I've seen old people turn giddy. Is that corrupt? How does a person who is merely a significant 'other' and can't step up to the plate to 'boyfriend', 'fiance' or 'husband' get off lecturing anyone about corruption in the first place?

Several people have asked what I think of a few more films. Since Roger Ebert isn't feeling at all well, poor man, I'll give my mini reviews:

1. Song of Bernadette. One of my all time favorite films. I wish they had someone else play Bernadette, but you can't have everything. I wish Vincent Price wasn't in it either. Everyone else is great.

And it's a fairly good rendition of what went on until the end. The best part of the movie, when the old Mother Superior realizes that Bernadette hasn't been faking it for attention and actually had the most horrible painful illness imaginable and had actually been trying to mask the stupendous amount of pain she was in and old Mother Superior had a break down and carried Bernadette all around ever after, never happened.

Nope. In fact, quite the opposite. In real life old Mother Superior went out of her way to be nasty to Bernadette even after Bernadette was dead. Mother Superior was so shockingly mean that the novices were horrified and embarrassed for her. It continued for Bernadette's entire life in the convent. Mother Superior never went near Bernadette while she was dying a slow painful death and she never attended Bernadette's funeral.

It probably would have ruined the movie if they had showed that part.

2.The Singing Nun. Holy Geepers how can anyone listen to that song all the way through even once! The cute nun factor of Debbie Reynolds on a moped, that awful repetitive song and any inkling of the true life of the Singing Sister, which was dismal, all add up to an hour or so of penance. Perhaps we can spend a whole day watching the Singing Nun and free hundreds of souls from Purgatory.

3. The Trouble with Angels. I remember liking this film. I think I identify with Rosalind Russell.

4. The Passion of the Christ. I haven't seen this. For one, I don't have the ten dollars to pony up at the box office. But I will admit that I didn't want to see it. Jesus suffered. I am very well aware of that. But he didn't suffer twenty feet high in surround sound and slow motion. If that's what it takes to get Jesus' suffering across to you, go for it.

As for this:
At my church a proposal to show it to a youth group meeting was nixed because it is so violent, and one mom whom I respect very much referred to it as a "religious snuff film," by which she meant that it shows someone --namely the Lord-- being tortured to death.

What about that? Is it not as much a near occasion of sin for those who are tempted to wrath, hate and violence (not to mention lack of charity toward Jews), as a picture of a woman in chains is one for those tempted to lust?

While I understand the concern, I have to say that at some point we have to let go of being held responsible for the reaction of that one guy who might react that way. For every item and thought there is a person out there somewhere who has a sick reaction to it. I remember something in the news about some scandalous talk about luffahs. Those scrubby things.

There are perfectly good reasons for not showing The Passion of the Christ to a youth group, (like the twenty foot high, surround sound, slow motion factor) but this isn't one of them.

There are a couple of more topics to address. I'll try to get back to them tomorrow.

Meanwhile please don't forget to go cast your vote over at the Blogger's Choice Awards. We hover at the bottom of page three or the top of page four. All that bouncing around is making us seasick. Checking our standing is the high point of Sister St. Aloysius' day.


Anonymous said...

I saw The Passion. I wanted to see if it was anti-Semitic. It wasn't (I feel I can judge this a bit as my husband is Jewish). It also didn't emote the kind of wrath, etc your commenter was talking about. It did make me feel sick to my stomach. The torture was excruciating. Jim Caziviel (or however you spell his name) was the best Jesus I have ever, ever seen in a film and Mary was played incredibly well. It was a really intelligent, beautifully filmed movie.

That said, I don't ever want to see it again. It was that heart-wrenching.

Sister, in this day and age of violent video games, violence pouring into our homes via the news and movies, it might take slow motion and surround sound to get through to people what Christ suffered for us.

It was basically a retelling of the Stations of the Cross in live action.

Anonymous said...

Sister Mary Martha,
I am a protestant who wants to convert to Catholicism. This is causing problems in my marriage because my husband does not want to convert and he resents the fact that I now disagree with him. I won't ask for marriage counseling from you. But I wondered if there are sacramentals I could use to influence him to be more open toward the RCC. I've heard of scapulars that have been blessed so they have a drawing influence. Could I put one under his side of the mattress or something like that? If so, what particular sacramental should I choose? Thank you! (I am already praying for him as well as I know how. Any hints about how to do this more effectively would also be welcome!)

Anonymous said...

The Trouble with Angels is one of my all time favorites! That's what started my fascination with RC.

Jeff Miller said...

Song of Bernadette is really good despite the historical inacuracies. Hard to remember that there was a time when Hollywood would make movies like that.

As per specifically Catholics films here are a few of my favorites.

Passion de Jeanne d'Arc - the 1928 silent film on St. Joan of Arc is a wonderful movie and by the far the best ever made on her. All of the modern ones turn her into a proto-feminist.

A Man for all Seasons. St. Thomas More rocks and the movie version has great writing and acting.

I watch Mel Gibson's TPOTC every year on Good Friday and still am gripped by the artistic wonder of the film. The scourging is hard to watch, but it is because of our sins that make it doubly hard to watch.

The Mission with Robert De Niro is just a great movie all around.

Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima - yes it is a little cheesy in a 1950's Hollywood way, but they got a lot right.

Etrangère said...

I think the mother superior (or the novice mistress...whoever it was who taught her in grade school) repented in the book too...how disappointing! It is a novel, so some creative license is expected, but still...

The book rocks :)
And so does St. Bernadette :)
But not as much as Our Lady of Loures :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Now you simply MUST beg, borrow or steal a set of the DVD's of an Australian-made TV drama from a few years ago, called "The Brides of Christ". All about the fortunes of a group of young women who enter the convent just before Vatican Two - and it's good stuff. One of my favourites.
I hated The Passion of the Christ Too harrowing, from a mother's point of view. That scene in which the child Christ trips and falls and is comforted by his mother is just dramatic irony at it's most intense, and almost unbearable.

radio45 said...

I bought a copy of Passion of the Christ when it came out and kept in a drawer for years. I just viewed it this past Good Friday. Gibson's treatment of Mary is indeed inspired. The scene where Jesus falls on the Via Dolarosa and Mary envisions her 3 or 4 year old son falling and her running to catch Him is masterful and in an instant brought me in deep contact with our Blessed Mother. Indeed this has been a year when I feel closer to Mary than at any time in my life.

Andy Looney said...

Sister, you have to train morning glories.

You can't just let them run wild.

Mine salute me as I walk out the door each morning.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Andy...there is no training these. They grow a foot a day, underneath the deck, in through our roof, rooting if they touch the ground anywhere. There are now laws against planting them in some areas. Train, indeed. We whack them all down as often as we can and they all grow right back.

Anonymous said...

Can you get a goat? maybe that will take care of the morning glories. My parents got pygmie goats just for that kind of problem. I'm sure your mc mansion neighbors won't mind...

My girls are now watching the more recent Joan of Arc which we like very well. I don't see any protofeminist there, but then I'm not as smart as Jeff. :) I'm having a little trouble with charlotte church's singing though, because I can't hear her without remembering that she's gone trashy on us.

Anonymous said...

Forgot about the series, "Brides of Christ" Loved that!

Anonymous said...

There is NOTHING in "The Passion of the Christ" that is akin to "snuff" films even though that became the line against it among the secular "elite" who tried to destroy it so people wouldn't go see it. What were they afraid of? Conversion; it is that powerful.
"Snuff" films are made for very disturbed people who enjoy seeing other people suffer. I doubt that ANYONE "enjoyed" TPOTC; you are supposed to be repelled by the scourging and you are.
All in all, the scourging scene is maybe five minutes and it isn't the part that stays with you.

Anonymous said...

have you seen the magdalene sisters? what do you think of it?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many members of that youth group - "protected" from "The Passion of the Christ" - have seen "Kill Bill" in its several very popular editions, or even "Fargo". I wonder if the parents policing the sacrificial nature of Calvary monitor the masochism and pointless violence and cruelty in many of the movies being watched in their family rooms on a regular basis.
Some of the same reviewers who excoriated Gibson gave good reviews to Tarantino. So it wasn't "violence" that was the issue, really, but the purpose of the violence and the nature of the sufferer that worried them. This is probably the reason no credit was given to the actor who played Christ and who did an utterly fantastic job.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"I wondered if there are sacramentals I could use to influence him to be more open toward the RCC. I've heard of scapulars that have been blessed so they have a drawing influence. Could I put one under his side of the mattress or something like that?"

WOW! I have encountered some controlling, manipulative wives in my time, I even was one a few times, but you, anonymous #1, take the cake. You want some sort of charmed relic to hide under your husband's side of the mattress to magically enchant him into reducing his opposition to you controlling what he believes? That's actually so morally appalling, that it's immorality outweighs the fact that it's insane.

My congratulations. How dare your husband exercise free will?

Cheers darling.

Anonymous said...

anon #1, As you are being drawn to God and the Church it is normal for you to want your husband to feel the same as you do. As a convert married to a cradle Catholic I know my husband's patience with me is essential to my growth in the Church. Follow God's lead and then lead your husband by example. I can't remember which saintly mother prayed her saintly son back to the Church. Was it St. Monica?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous --if you really want to know about the youth group's movie-watching-- the same mom who worried about the Passion movie is also careful about other violent movies. I asked the youth ministers more about this, and they said that TPOTC was suggested by one kid who was curious about it. Some kids had seen it, some had not, and some didn't want to see it for reasons similar to those expressed by sister and felt by me. The youth group does NOT watch Tarantino, or indeed any other movie for cinematophile purposes; the movies are chosen as ways to spark spiritual discussions. The concerned parents DO monitor TV, movies, video games, and other activities/entertainment, and their (our concern was not aesthetical but emotional and spiritual. It's not a film class; it's a church youth group.

Perhaps your point was more rhetorical and you are not actually "wondering" about the real kids but seeking to make a different point about movie critics and "elites" who do not go to my church. It's hard to tell on a blog comment.

Either way, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings and I am sorry that the actor was not praised more for his good work.

Anonymous said...

Sister, I don't see a way to email you so I'll note here, however inappropriately to the topic, that over on Amy Welborn's blog, as her first entry today, she notes that she'll be blogging lightly for the next 3 weeks and gives a link to a list of other Catholic blogs which she thinks is up to date. I looked at the list and didn't see your blog listed. There is a contact link there for additions and you might want to utilize that feature ASAP as Amy's many readers will be looking for other sites to peruse.

Anonymous said...

Off the farm,

You are so right. Patience is the key. Leave the scapulars out of this one. Someday, after much prayer and patience, anon #1's husband will thank her whether or not he reconciles with the Church.

Also, I think it was Saint Monica, and I KNOW that the son was Saint Augustine.

Anonymous said...

For the record Tallulah, my understanding is that these sacramentals don't guarantee that someone will convert - simply that someone will have things put into his life that will make conversion easy/attractive/whatever. I'm not trying to force him to do anything or believe anything. On the contrary, he says that he is the spiritual leader in our home, therefore I am out of line if I so much as visit a Catholic blog. According to this idea, I am supposed to go to my husband for spritual nourishment, and no where else (the Bible is a possible exception). I do not want to control him. It would be fine with me if he didn't convert, if he'd only loosen up enough to let me convert without tearing my family apart to do it. (I'd prefer, of course, that we conver together - we would be more unified.) I'm also not looking for marriage advice - this is not the place for that. Just tell me, please, how to pray, perhaps specifically what prayers to pray. If sacramentals are appropriate, please tell me how to use them. If they aren't appropriate, tell me so, preferrably without accusing me of being a control freak.

Thank you to Off The Farm and to Anon for your comments. Perhaps I need to pray to St. Monica and St. Augustine.

Unknown said...

The green scapular is for healing and conversions. You may hide it anywhere, and pray for the person who has it, whether they know they have it or not. I know people who have hidden it in people's homes, in gifts (like sewing it into a pillow you give someone) etc. Then you pray for them.

Pray to St. Joseph, as head of the Holy Family, and holy spouse to the Blessed Mother, about your husband. Also, someone suggested St. Monica. She prayed incessantly to convert her dh and her son. Always a good choice.

God bless you.

Kasia said...

There are also St. Monica Sodality chapters, Anonymous - I don't know if there's one in your area, but there are two here in the Detroit area. I think you can submit intentions by mail or e-mail for the Sodality Masses. Go to www.saintcyrils.org and find the link - I know they have one of our chapters.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

Sister what can you tell us about novenas? I make a good start then get busy or distracted by the devil and don't finish. I did finish one once and it worked! Any help would be appreciated. Also who are the best saints to ask for help in prayers for one's children?

buckeyepride said...

Anon #1,

A few short thoughts...

It took several years of patience and prayer, but my lovely wife who was vehemently against joining the Church eventually softened to the idea and went through the RCIA process at the risk of alienating her entire family, particularly her parents. I look back now and see that everything happened just as it should have, though during the years I was waiting it couldn't happen fast enough. Be patient and keep praying.

I would encourage you to let your husband know that his attempts to control you with bullying tactics by invoking his "spiritual leader" status will not work. You might also mention that such tactics aren't very becoming of a spiritual leader.

I don't know that one saint is better than any other when it comes to asking for intercession though we tend to ask those who experienced similar events in their own life for prayer. I think that the prayer of one saint is the same as that of any other.

buckeyepride said...

Just heard about Jerry Falwell's passing. God bless his soul.

Sister, I'd be interested to hear anything interesting at all that you might have to say about this sad news.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen The Passion of Joan of Arc yet? Watch at MaidOfHeaven.com for free:


Anonymous said...

The Song Of Bernadette was a very good movie, and the role of Bernadette was perfectly played by the beautiful Jennifer Jones..shame on you sister for not liking her!