Monday, June 9, 2014

A Point to Ponder

"We need water and oil, bread and wine in order to be in communion with God and to know Him." Alexander Schmemann, page 121 of For the Life of the World

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Silence is Precious

"Silence is precious; by keeping silence and knowing how to listen to God, the soul grows in wisdom and God teaches it what it cannot learn from men." 

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew

Thursday, May 22, 2014


Life is an adventure. Like it or not, our adventures tend to follow the mythic hero’s journey discovered by mythologist Joseph Campbell.[1] It’s helpful to see how heroes, candidly portrayed in literature and film, illustrate the pattern. Mrs. P. L. Travers, depicted in the 2013 movie, Saving Mr. Banks, is a good example.[2]

Mrs. Travers (Emma Thompson) is in her ordinary world, her London home, when she receives the call to adventure. It comes from Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) who desperately wants the film rights to Mary Poppins. The author has refused the call for nearly twenty years. Pamela, as some of the characters in the film are so apt to call her, wants to protect Mary Poppins from Walt Disney. She is horrified at the idea of using her beloved character to remain solvent.

But her mentor, literary agent Mr. Russell (Ronan Vibert), encourages her to respond to the call. Russell points out that Travers is out of money and there are no more stories in the pipeline. To avoid losing her home she needs to sell the rights.

Travers knows of Mr. Disney’s work and is afraid that, in his hands, Mary Poppins “will be cavorting and twinkling, and careening towards a happy ending like a kamikaze!”  She would rather go to perdition than to prostitute Mary Poppins. But Mr. Russell coaxes her, “You only have to go there and work for two weeks. Collaborate. You haven’t signed over the rights, yet. You must make this work, Mrs. Travers.”