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Archive for the ‘Classics’ Category

It’s film clip Friday again…and also Christmas Day.  Who says you can’t kill two birds — or maybe we should say two turtledoves — with one stone?

Enjoy 🙂

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The Further Adventures of Ebenezer ScroogeI know, I know — there are only two days left until Christmas.  But if you’re looking for a nice little holiday read that can be easily begun and finished in one sitting, you might consider Charlie Lovett’s The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Set 20 years after the events of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Lovett’s novel introduces us to a Scrooge who still puts people off, but because of his indefatigable enthusiasm rather than because of his miserly cruelty.  We find him annoying the denizens of London (more…)

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I’ve kind of veered from my original intent of talking about movies a lot on this blog, so here is the first in what I hope will be a series (not necessarily weekly) of posts featuring some of my favorite film scenes.  And, of course, what better film to start with than The Godfather?

Enjoy 🙂

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Here they are, in no particular order.  Feel free to share yours in the comment section! (And yes, Die Hard does count)

1. Disney’s A Christmas Carol

2. Home Alone

3. Elf

4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

…and, of course…

5. It’s a Wonderful Life

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For parts one through three, click here

Remember the “name game” we played in Part 2?  Well, I’ll ask you to grant me just a little further indulgence in this.

frozen_anna_gray_hairI said that the name Elsa was a variant of Elizabeth, hence a connection with St. Elizabeth.  Well, Anna, as I also mentioned, is a variant of the name Hannah.  Hannah, in the Old Testament, is the mother of the prophet Samuel.  As a young woman, her situation is almost identical with that of St. Elizabeth.  Both suffer from barrenness.

But, as with Elizabeth, Hannah is graciously granted a child.

Hence Hannah and Elizabeth are in parallel circumstances in the Bible.  So, in fact, are Anna and Elsa in “Frozen.”

Both, you will recall, bear some mark of the scapegoat — Elsa in her strange powers, Anna in the streak of gray in her hair.  Furthermore, a mutual salvation occurs between them at the end; both are saved from “frozen hearts” (though in different ways).

Hans and ElsaContrast that with Prince Hans, whose way of relating to Elsa (and Anna as well, though in diluted form) shows all of the characteristic signs of scapegoating.  Recall Anna’s comment at the end to the effect that he is the only one with a “frozen heart” in Arendelle.

Original Sin

“Michelangelo Sündenfall” by Michelangelo Buonarroti – http://www.heiligenlexikon.de/Fotos/Eva2.jpgTransferred from de.wikipedia to Commons by Roberta F. using CommonsHelper., 9 September 2007 (original upload date), Original uploader was Nitramtrebla at de.wikipedia. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo_S%C3%BCndenfall.jpg#/media/File:Michelangelo_S%C3%BCndenfall.jpg

“Frozenness” is very much an effect of the Fall of our first parents.  Consequent upon their initial transgression in the Garden, Adam and Eve’s relationship goes from one of honor and love to one of blame (Gen. 3: 12) and use (Gen. 3: 16).  And of course, blame and use are the sole “stuff” of people’s relationships with their scapegoats.  The latter are blamed for the ills of society, and they are at the same time used for the maintenance of order.

But with “a little bit of love,” as the Trolls would say, this can change.  People go from scapegoats to “fixer-uppers,” and we come to see that in fact “everyone is little bit of a fixer-upper” (emphasis mine).

frozen-happy-endingWe haven’t really spoken much about Elsa’s perspective, so I’ll say this: There are basically two different ways of being that result from the “frozenness” of the Fall, both of which have some foundation in fear and self-preservation.  There is, of course, outright selfishness and ego-assertion, as is the case with scapegoaters.  But there is also the self-centered condition of despair, and this can cause people not only to accept, but to cling to the scapegoat position.

And something like this, unfortunately, happens to Elsa.  She is so discouraged by her “different-ness” that she will not allow herself to be loved…or to love, except in the form of isolating herself against those she fears she may hurt.

Divine_Mercy_(Adolf_Hyla_painting)2007-08-16But Jesus Christ and His angels bring the world this striking message: “Be not afraid.”

Jesus Christ comes to reveal God to us, but He also comes to reveal to us the mystery of the human person.  Consider the Holy Wounds in His hands, feet, and side; He enters into our woundedness, and shines the light of divine mercy upon it.

Thus the God-Man makes it possible for us to see two things: 1) We are all wounded, all “marked” in some way…not just a few isolated “scapegoats”; 2) We do not need to be afraid of this.  God is love and mercy itself, and by His grace, we can find hope and healing — and this will often come through touching others in their woundedness, and making ourselves vulnerable to them in ours.

In her own way, Princess Anna got that…and so should we.

Another way of saying “to end something” is to “let it go,” correct?  I think I’ll let this commentary go with “Let It Go”:

Divine Mercy image from Wikipedia; remaining images obtained through a Google image search

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Frozen_(2013_film)_poster

Working on the fourth and final installment of my commentary on Disney’s “Frozen.”  I hadn’t intended for it to take this long, of course — but what with the holidays, the more time-sensitive “Advent, Waiting, and Preparation” posts, and the details of professional and personal life, I have had to stretch the series out a bit.

Like I said, I’m working on it — just want to make sure I do it right.

In the meantime, I thought to myself: “Self, why not do a quickie on an aspect of the film that stood out in your mind, but would not have fit very comfortably into the overall analysis?”

Frozen_Olaf

The “aspect” in question is actually Olaf the Snowman (voiced by Josh Gad).  Fans of the movie will undoubtedly recall the endearing dance number that summarizes this quite literally “cool” little guy’s dream of seeing summer.

Olaf’s desire is actually not that different from the deepest desire of the human heart: The desire for God.

We are made for eternal friendship with God — indeed, for nothing less than the very vision of God as He is.  We may not all realize this explicitly, but we know that we desire perfection and unlimited goodness and beauty, whatever that may mean.

But this is something well beyond our natural capacity as creatures, and all the more unattainable by our own powers on account of our fallen nature.  If any one of us were to attempt to approach this destiny in its fullness in our current state, it would destroy us (just as it would destroy us if we were to walk right up to the sun, were such a thing possible).

Sound vaguely familiar with regard to “Frozen”?  Olaf’s desire for summer is laudable, but tragically incompatible with his physical make-up.

Elsa_Olaf

Yet by way of a gift from Elsa at the end of the film, he is made able to partake of summer without melting.  In a similar way, God wills to bestow upon all of us, in His Son Jesus Christ, the grace to be fit for and to partake in His joy, His life.

How’s that for a “warm hug?”  Thanks for reading 🙂

Movie poster from Wikipedia; remaining images obtained through a Google image search

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Rudolph memeImage courtesy of memegenerator.net

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