Into Great Silence

We finally got it. Much has been written about this movie. Every review I have read has been positive. And I have to say (you’ve all been breathlessly waiting) that I agree. What a wonderful movie. If one can call it that. Certainly, you will not be impressed by a great plot and killer special effects. However, if you persevere, you will be drawn into the great Carthusian monastic life, with its rhythms and cycles, and with its intense silence.

Silence truly is the star of the show this time. And it really emphasizes how truly loud our lives are, no matter how “unplugged” you think you might me. You’re not. And how noise and the attachment to it and those things that make it really can crowd out God’s quiet hush.

And in the quiet, ora et labora. Work and prayer. Guess what. It ain’t just for monastics. Work and prayer is the duty of every Christian existence, and it is in the experience of such a daily life, rhythms, routines, mundane realities, that sanctification grows, that holiness is instilled.

The arresting thing in the movie, for me, was how, despite being in such a different environment to the rest of us, these men were just like us. Holier, no doubt, at least than me. But still, in their moments where social interactions were allowed, they were just as goofy and fun-loving as the next guy. And so the lesson is: Give yourself entirely to God, whatever your vocation may be. In losing yourself, you will truly find yourself. You will become more your self. The noise, the distractions, the sinful attachments…they only make us less ourselves.

Best line (there are few): “The symbols aren’t to be questioned. We are.” Reminds me of the Desert Fathers with their obtuse sayings that you don’t quite get, but you know there is something there that you cannot see. A light has been given, but you cannot see it.


~ by Rob on April 9, 2007.

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