Thursday, July 8, 2010
Cinema, Contemplation and Community
In this course I am finding out that our heart seeks kenosis even as we try to avoid suffering and awakening to a full life in Christ. It is easier to give small gifts to false gods through the day keeping "them" placated. Full worship of God in Spirit and Truth is challenging. The reason is that we can't pull it off, we can't turn on the faucet of grace. Grace flows freely. We can't control it. False-gods at least give me something back when I perform certain tasks, even if "they" are never placated and always want more. My heart seeks falling fearlessly into a great love. At the heart of Jesus wisdom teaching is that losing our life saves our life. This losing is an act of surrender - not something to do. The journey to transformation is our baptismal gift -"It is no longer I who live, Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20).
Even if we can't really "make" contemplation and transformation happen - is there a way to jump start our surrender? Centering Prayer and Contemplative practice witness to surrender. In my paper (since I am a Pauline this is a media-take on the Benedictine prayer from) I propose that Cinema Divina (from Lectio Divina) may help us awaken the eyes of our heart. Coming together to read scripture, to mediate and contemplate - to then re-reading this scripture through contemporary films (incarnating the Word in contemporary human situations) followed by prayerful sharing - may lead us into a deeper contemplative experience and surrender.
Cinema Divina can also become an invitaion to integrate parts of our contempoary life that don't seem to mix, technology and spirituality - like oil and water. Blessed Alberione reminds us that the natural becomes supernatural through consecration: “Water (and oil) for baptism must be natural and, as much as possible, pure and readied with a special blessing: and it serves as matter for producing supernatural effects."
Posted by Association of Pauline Cooperators