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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Monday, April 30, 2007

To walk in anothers sandals: Into Great Silence

I believe, as I write this piece, I am preaching to the choir.... but will preach nonetheless.

I have just read - through Roger Ebert's website: - a review of a documentary film written, directed and filmed by Philip Groning coming out this week entitled Into Great Silence. Languages of the film are French and Latin with English subtitles.

This movie contains no blatant violence, no skirmishes, no triple plot twists, no gunfire or car chases. It does give us an exquisite glimpse into the life vocation that some of our brothers in Christ have entered into. Reflecting the Bible passage stressing that God's time is not our time, it was fascinating to read that Mr. Groning approached the Carthusians for permission to shoot the film in 1984, and they said they weren't quite ready. Sixteen years later, they said they were.

Philip Groning then spent six months living among the monks of the eremitical Carthusian order at the Grand Chartreuse Charterhouse (monastery), in the French Alps. He brought with him only a camera and basic sound equipment -- no crew, no lights -- to capture the daily lives, prayers and routines of this most ascetic of Roman Catholic orders, which was founded by St. Bruno in 1084.

When you consider that - when we are given the opportunity to attend a quiet day or silent retreat - some of us shy away, thinking the silence will be too extreme and intimidating. Yes, the outer quiet may take getting used to. It also may be just the jolt we need to recognize how often we create sound to interfere with hearing the still small voice within. "Into Great Silence" encourages us to turn inward, to listen with new ears, to be shown an example of prayer without ceasing.

This film is opening today at selected theaters. You may have to search around to find it - as you might expect, it is not mega blockbuster material saturating each multiplex everywhere. Look for this diamond in the rough..... or should I say ..... snow. May it lead to much thought, conversation and appreciation for our sisters and brothers who have responded to God's call to the monastic life in a religious community somewhere in the world.


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