This weekend, I watched a movie called “The Nun’s Story.” It is about a young woman named Gabrielle (Audrey Hepburn) who becomes a missionary sister and is sent to work as a nurse in the Congo. The movie faithfully chronicles her life in the convent and the heart wrenching life she lived on mission. Many people say that it ranks up there with “The Song of Bernadette” and I would have to agree.
I also began to think about the movies and TV that have been made in the fifty years since “The Nun’s Story” was released. In many ways, the golden age of Hollywood has gone the way of the dodo. Most of the movies produced today are filled with sex and violence. Most of the plots fall on their faces and the characters seem to be made of cardboard. Not even an actress like Meryl Streep can redeem a movie that has no soul to animate it. No beautiful Catholic actress playing a nun can attract a crowd these days either unless she was a sadist
In watching Gossip Girl week after week, I remembered the words of King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “Vanity of vanities, says the Teacher, all is vanity and a chasing after the wind.” The wise king was right. There is nothing redeeming in watching a show in which almost every capital sin in the book is committed. A show in which young women are shown that in order to be successful in life, one must be prideful and spiteful. A show which shows young men that gallantry and chivalry are things of the past and to be ridiculed.
Everything in our culture today is “a chasing after the wind.” We are constantly chasing the wind because we have forgotten God. We try and fill up our lives with other things. We watch Gossip Girl, reality TV, and the news. We do hundreds of activities in order to give our lives meaning. We compete with each other at work in order to make the boss notice us. We run after the Joneses and try to keep up with them. What is all of this? Is it not what King Solomon spoke of?
God is the only solution to the present problems facing our society. If we do not want to chase the wind, we should lay everything aside and follow Him. It is not an easy road to walk nor is it one that lacks its share of suffering. But the rewards are so much greater than watching hours and hours of TV. Our Lord promised a hundredfold to those that would follow Him. Why don’t we? What is it that is holding us back from giving ourselves over to Him?
Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!