Of Gods and Men

April 27, 2011

For anyone who has ever said, "Yes, Lord. I will follow you," this movie is a great call to self-examination. The cinematography is sweepingly beautiful, capturing the majesty and mystique of place and the harshness of life juxtaposed with the beauty of goodness. Bro. Christian leads with compassion and unfailing faith and the little band of brothers, together, yet very individual in their witness, follow with their doubts, struggles, angst, and ultimate "yes" in tact. This is the true story of Trappist monks living and serving in Algeria in the 1990s when Islamic fundamentalists begin a reign of terror that forces the dilemma of the plot: should we stay or should we go? Conversation inside the monastery reveals the anguish of self-discovery when several of the monks fear for their lives and are ready to leave their post. When one of the townspeople hears that some of the brothers are ready to fly away like birds, she tells them, "We are the birds; you are the branches." The dark night of wrestling with the call begins at this point. The most profound sentence of the movie, and there are many others, is when Bro. Christian says, "The only mystery in the Incarnation is how we will choose to live it." For all who struggle with faith and following, this is a film that will jog your heart. See it and let's talk.

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In The Shelter of Your Wings, O LORD
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