If you haven’t seen a movie lately, you may be in danger of missing out on a truly important part of your faith walk. At least that is what some evangelists like Christopher West and Pope Benedict XVI have been asserting.
Anyone who is familiar with Christopher West’s courses, lectures, books and blog posts knows that he is a movie enthusiast. Next to music, they’re his favorite art form. “There is just no more powerful way to tell a story, it seems to me, than through the visual medium of a well-crafted, artfully produced film,” he says.
“We need them, in fact, to understand who we are, where we come from, and where we’re headed. And this is why even secular movies can become the occasion of a sacred experience.”
As Saint John Paul II wrote, “Even beyond its typically religious expressions, true art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, art remains a kind of bridge to religious experience.”
This year alone, Hollywood seems to have had its own awakening helping to create this bridge with major block buster films hitting worldwide audiences with their themes on social justice, chastity, unity and the feminine, as seen in Warner Bros. Wonder Woman, Disney/Pixar’s Cars and even Michael Bay’s directed Transformers: The Last Knight. With influence over millions of souls globally, some might say Hollywood has a way of reaching the world and even the church in ways the Sunday pulpit traditions of many religious denominations could never hope to accomplish in one weekend. A look at opening weekend ticket sales for Wonder Woman alone ought to be enough to convince the strictest religious heart that artfully produced films are influencing culture; the movie is poised to out-gross even the culturally controversial 50 Shades of Grey in global sales. Forget intrusive polling calls before presidential elections to determine potential influence and outcomes, why not take a poll of annual ticket sales to see what American’s are watching.
You don’t have to be an avid moviegoer to notice the obvious trend toward female inclusive solidarity in plot lines and character development from the more traditional male dominated scripts of decades past. It’s obvious culture is looking for more authenticity and Hollywood is happy to influence.
I recently had the good pleasure of enjoying Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 in the theater with my 4 and 6 year-olds. I laugh at how often parents grudgingly take their children to see kids movies but ever since I had the blessing of hearing Christopher West’s teaching on Theology of the Body this has never been an issue for me. I was very pleased to find such mature themes on the challenges of growing old, leaving a legacy, and passing the proverbial baton to future generations. And to my great enjoyment and surprise, I was happy to discover yet another Hollywood confirmation that the time for authentic femininity is here. A message so often lacking from children’s movies, until the most recent appearance of Disney’s Frozen and their latest film Moana. A trend toward more authentic love and beauty I hope to see continue.
Even the PG-13 rated Transformers has seen its share of artful transformation. Now in its fifth installment, the film with all its traditional flare for beauty: beautiful machines, beautiful imagery, and even beautiful women, appears to have deviated from its male-heavy story line and is contributing to the cultural call to solidarity. It seems the call of The Last Knight includes a call to chastity and partnership with a woman whose mission and life purpose is seen as the key to saving earth from total annihilation. They quickly realize its their partnership together that will save the world, two becoming one.
Pope Benedict XVI maintained that each one of us should take the time “to follow with our minds and our hearts a tale, a story in which to immerse ourselves, in a certain sense ‘to lose ourselves’ to find ourselves subsequently enriched.”
No matter the audience age, genre, or rating, there is no debating how movies have become a bridge between cultures, genders, and hearts, something the church has been trying to accomplish for centuries. Perhaps, there is room for the two to become one as we learn to embrace the sacred art of beauty in all its many forms. After all, “Everything in the Kingdom of God is about imagery,” as I wrote a few months ago in my blog Revealing Heaven – Sacred Imagination and Worship, so why NOT use the movies to tell the greatest story of all time: His great love for us. Time to grab some popcorn and watch the show!
To see which movies Christopher West’s recommends viewing, Get a FREE COPY of his ebook Theology of the Body at the Movies CLICK HERE -> -> http://corproject.com/movies/
*If you are new to John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” teachings or want a refresher, for a limited time you can download for FREE Christopher West’s introductory talk Your Body Tells God’s Story: An Introduction to St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Explore this bold, compelling, Christian response to the sexual revolution that is transforming lives and renewing relationships around the globe and across denominational lines. To live the Theology of the Body is to rediscover, in the words of John Paul II, “the meaning of the whole of existence, the meaning of life.” CLICK LINK FOR FREE DOWNLOAD -> -> CLICK HERE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD
Kim is a wife, mother of two children, Author, Speaker and lover of the Word. She has a heart for encouraging women to Awaken to their God-given gifts and callings and to see the Body of Christ come together in unity as it continues the mission of Jesus Christ to bring love to the world in the hope of salvation and by the power of the Holy Spirit. She is founder of Sheerah Ministries, a collaboration of women intent on sharing the good news and inspiration of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit through teachings, retreats, speaking engagements, writing, media and the arts. Follow Kim on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/WakingEve and on Instagram and Twitter @WakingEve or contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. SUBSCRIBE to our blog to keep updated on Sheerah Ministries blogs by contributing partners, news and events.