In that vein, while I'm still finalizing my Lenten observances and plans....I thought I'd toss up some of the possibles in the media realm. Take a look and see if any catch your eye. Yeah, I know, there are those of you out there who do the whole ascetic Lent thing. But I'm a media gal in so many ways and I LOVE books and I LOVE movies...so I'm gonna make a short list here (So that I remember it and so that you might see some new treasures too).
Books first, in no particular order:
This is my most scholarly attempt for Lent. It's been getting great reviews and I think it might be good to deepen my understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist; because it can never be enough, that appreciation, even when it feels like it's all.
These are my own personal Triduum, of sorts! Yeah, it's Flannery. I've always had a very very hard time w/ Flannery O' Connor's stories. They have always been lauded as one of our country's great southern writers, one of the great great Catholic writers, etc etc. I have read some, not all of her stories, long ago and a while ago, trying again and again....but each time I vow to "never again" because they are SO hard. I feel like disemboweling myself in my living room might be less painful. Really.
But I suspect, now, that, once again, it's my own shortcomings....that I'm just not getting it. I've been reading a bit of her Spiritual Writings (up there to the left) and her faith and intellect is impressive. Profound. Which is guess what everybody's been talking about for oh these past many decades. So...for lent, I want to finish her Spiritual Writings book, try to make it much of the way through Habit of Being, and then take a deep breath and reread her classic short stories with a new appreciation (I hope) of what she was getting at in her hard, often brutal stories. Rereading them is penitential for me, but hopefully it will also be a way to deepen and enrich my faith as well.
Besides all that: she has cool glasses..
What is Lent without the Stations of the Cross? It's not Lent for me, that's for sure. This is the classic version, one you are probably familiar with if you've one who prays the Stations regularly, or, erm, Lenten-ly. I might do Stations posts...or I might not, depends on the busy factor, as usual.
And for you really plugged in types (me too), here is an Iphone app for the Stations of the Cross, written by the late Michael Dubruiel and his wife, Amy Welborn and illustrated by the very cool artist Michael O'Brien. These stations are not the traditional Liguori version, above, but rather based on Pope John Paul II's biblical Stations of the Cross, and more modern lingo and prayer rhythm. So, it's another option based on taste and time. Even better, it's free! Definitely worth a look for those of us on the go, even during lent.
Ok, enough books. Now to Movies! Why movies during Lent you say? Well, first, because I LOOVE movies. Second, because, let's face it, we live in a mass media age and movies are a big deal and a way to tell great stories and also, when they are done very well, help us expand our horizons, thoughts, minds and hearts. So, with that, here are a few to consider, or that I'm considering:
Of course there are the obvious ones, certainly:
This is the most obvious one, I tend to watch it sometime in Holy Week, usually during the Triduum - Holy Thursday or Friday. It tears me up, every time. You all know it's hard. It is. But, well, apropos of the season, of course.
There are also some that are worth thinking about, not so obvious, that I've been meaning to see, but I haven't seen them all. So, let's be clear. This isn't a "must do" list, it's an I'm looking into these list. Andiamo:
This also is a great film. Hard to watch if you tend to fall asleep, as I do, because of course, it is largely silent. But it is beautiful and compelling at the same time. If you are in the doldrums or feel like throwing yourself a pity party due to the difficulty of Lent, pop this in the dvd or netflix que and get a reality check on what living a more austere life really can be. Then look around you and see how attached you really are to material goods.....ok, ME. Sigh. Good film though!
I think this is an oddball charming film about faith and life and do we, can we, really believe in miracles? Can or do they happen in our own little mundane cookie cutter lives? I really enjoyed this movie, fun and good for lent perhaps even more because it's cheery.
And also these three from the terrific "Happy Catholic" blog (I trust her recommends and I have many overlaps):
Sounds like it should be on the short list for Lent.
Also, this one. On my list to see for years, literally. We Catholics love a feast and a fast both, which sums up Lent nicely. So, too, I've read does this film. So, in our time of fasting this film of feasting abundance might be a good reminder on how that works when it's at it's best.
This is a film that "got away." I always meant to see it and I didn't, and now I think I'm lining it up for Lent. Obviously, this one hits very close to home. Direct hit. It's about living for another, instead of ourselves. Which really, is the uber message of Lent, no? Of course it is. And on this blog, in my head, that's what I have to learn to do better and better every day. Happily, this season of 40 days is an intensive inservice in that one. Hence, I'm watching this movie!
That's it for now. Let me know what you think or add any other ideas, books or films, in the comments box!!