Friday, November 22, 2013

Outrun, Outgun, Outnarrate

While I make no mystery of my great admiration for Father Robert Barron and his evangelization apostolate, WORD ON FIRE, these last two videos published on the 50th death anniversary of the great C.S. Lewis have me stymied. I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, if you will. While I'd like to cheer Father on when he cries to the effect that we as followers of Christ have what it takes to outnarrate the sad secularists and consumerists and take the hill, I don't know what that means. While his narrative advanced C.S. Lewis farther than many, it didn't bring him all the way to full Communion with the Catholic Church and the fullness of life in the Sacraments. Where his narrative drew him I cannot and will not judge, but it would be hard for me to conclude that C.S. Lewis actually took that hill. He seems to have fallen short and the great narrative somehow seems not to have been quite enough. We'll leave the matter in God's Hands and stick to parsing the narrative.

The popularity of movies like LORD OF THE RINGS or TALES OF NARNIA does not necessarily correlate with anything other than that nice glow emanating from a sweet Hindu woman I met once, who in an attempt to enter into a conversation I was having with a lady about the Blessed Mother, interjected "We have a blue god too!" Or the Jamaican priest who had to defend to the Legion of Mary his practice of giving rosaries to gang members who asked for them to wear around their necks. Some of his parishioners thought the exchange required some explanation about the prayer to be said with the beads.

It took me decades after university to overcome my resistance and actually read the Tollkien trilogy plus the Hobbit. In the late 60's these books were the provenance of liberated female religious and Peter Pan types who would have been thrilled to awake with fur on the bottom of their feet. 

Sorry for being so cynical but I am waiting for Father to put the great narrative in its context. It is not only "The Greatest Story Ever Told", but it is our story within the community of the Catholic Church. This all seems reminiscent of St. Paul's experience in the Areopagus. Very few were struck by Paul's eloquence and charm. Better to confront with the folly of the Cross. 

As I say, if I miss it when the other shoe drops, someone please fill me in!

1 comment:

  1. Your Excellency,

    God's blessings of peace and joy!

    I think you are right. We have a saying: action speaks louder than words. Also, 1 Jn 3:18 - Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. I saw the movie St Damien of Molokai. There was a woman who wanted to be a Christian and requested Fr Damien for baptism. St Damien responded that he could not baptize her because she did not know what it is to be a Christian. The woman responded that she knew (something like this): to be the hands to those who do not have hands, to be the feet to those who cannot walk, to be the eyes for those who cannot see --- she said she saw this in him. St Damien baptized her. I think same thing with Mahatma Gandhi, no words just fasting and prayer but achieve the goal. I think St Francis of Assisi was the same or most of the saints. Their (saints) aura of their holiness and goodness was enough to evangelize as this emits beauty in the person, thus, attracts.

    I like Fr Barron but I was disappointed during the last presidential election. At first he had a video for republicans and then a day or two he put out a video for democrats. Both were compelling arguments for those who really does not know intrinsic evil. I was disappointed and realized that Fr Barron is like a lukewarm priest because from the two videos, you do not know where he stand but I still like him. I have his Catholicism videos. I did not buy the new ones because it came out after the presidential election. He had also a video commentary on hell which was troublesome for me.

    Also, I think Jesus' responses to questions were brief and direct.

    For me, the fact that CS Lewis did not convert to Catholicism means that he was not fully convince of the truth of the Catholic faith. Faith after all is a gift.

    God's blessings of peace and joy!


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