Saturday, March 26, 2011

23 Days for Life: Day 1: "Of Gods and Men"

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40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program:
  • Prayer and fasting
  • Constant vigil
  • Community outreach
It's been around since 2007 and I have been vaguely aware of it but have neglected in the past to participate in it because I decided that I had a few ministries that I participate in, my prayer life, although needing work, was OK, and, etc, etc, etc. Always excuses.

This morning, I was browsing through some of the local blogs and came across Cathy of Alexandria's Recovering Dissident Catholic gem of a blog where she is famous for ranting (often) and wailing (occasionally) about one thing or another. This morning she was wondering if there was any merit to praying if God never seems to answer. Angela Messenger, one of Cathy's faithful minions commented in support of Cathy's conclusion that was "Yes, there is much merit" and that drew me to her blog, named after herself, with the patronage of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and where she was on Day 17 of the Forty Days for Life campaign for Lent.

"I could be doing that", I thought. But why wait until next Lent. I'm going to start it right now with only 23 days left. And I might cover other important and aspects of life, besides abortion.

I decided that after having gone to see the movie this evening of, "Of Gods and Men", the story of the martyrdom of seven Trappist monks in Algeria in 1996, by as yet undetermined perpetrators. The theorists are divided between blaming Islamic guerilla terrorists, or the Algerian government, possibly by mistake and covered up.

Local priest, composer and liturgist, Father Michael Joncas has written a
review on the Pray Tell blog of Of Gods and Men, that won the second prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival. The photography is stunning and the acting by North Africans and French actors unknown to me, was wonderful. Really great and understandable French subtitles.

It is a wonderful film and be sure to see it if it comes to a theater near you. It gives solid Catholic view of what life in an impoverished Trappist monastery is like in a third world country. In some respects, it is as moving as was "The Passion of the Christ" as the men saw a horrible death coming and decided to stay and face it. The faced it as weak men, somewhat like the 11 Apostles, most of them at first wanting to run, but eventually re-dedicating themselves to their God, their religious vocation, to their Trappist brothers and their ministry to the local, peaceful Muslim community,

Their martyrdom is not shown, but in actuality, their throats were slit. It is playing at the Edina Theater (reviews included) in that Minneapolis suburb.

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