One of the aspects that couldn't be captured well in this film, but I would have liked to see, is the film-makers' return to his normal life. A life of traffic, cell phones, fast food, internet, and half-naked women in every advertisement. After spending 6 months sharing life in such simple, quiet, and holy ways.
In the Celtic tradition, there is a belief in "thin places". Actual physical locations where the pursuit of God has occurred so often, or in such grand ways, that the veil between "Heaven" and earth are worn thin. If there is any such place, it seems the monastery from this documentary would be one. Life, ritual, and liturgy happening in very much the same way for almost a thousand years. To spend 6 months in this place, participating in this liturgical way of living....wow.
But then to return, not to a life and arena that one would consider "unholy".....but rather, a creation that God is already involved in creating anew. Holiness breaking out all over the place. But still, very different from past 6 months in space and time.
Anyone who watches the film has a similar, albeit smaller, experience. Heck, anyone who attends worship services with a church family should probably have regular similar experiences. Many have had those moments....those experiences that make us want to stay doing whatever it is we're doing because of how we are participating in God's activity.
But we...we are not called to be monks. We are not called to sit and stare at video of a simpler life and drool over such freedom. We are not called to exist within the context and walls of a worshiping congregation. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) to live amidst a creation being renewed as people who have spent time in the presence of God. Who spend time in the presence of God. There is a similar "brotherhood" among us, as seen throughout the men of the Grand Chartreuse. When one joined their "family", the new member would walk to each individual in the circle and they would embrace as kin.
Then the senior members would accompany them to their cell, and sing/pronounce blessings over this new one, and welcome them to a new way of living.
God is. We experience the presence of God. We experience the abandon that comes as both freedom and sacrifice. We are infinitely compelled by a Love that defines love. And we live from these, in and towards His Kingdom...."on Earth as it is in Heaven"...
I guess...all of that to say....it was a pretty good movie. :)
A Song For the Lent Season
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