Welcome back to the fourth year of the Regis College Fall Series in
Film. As usual, we are using film here to give us an entry into our
spiritual journey. In every true spiritual journey we comes across that
amazing passion each human being has for life, for love, for meaning,
But to reach those places that gather us all into the celebration of
life and of gratitude we, each of us, must cross through those places
that soil us. They take life from us and at times even take our lives.
In each of our lives there are those forces which tempt us to remain in
our securities. When we do that we live lesser lives. But there is in
each of us that deeper drive that calls us beyond ourselves. Every
spiritual journey calls us beyond ourselves. It asks us to trust, not
ourselves -- not our gifts or our failings -- but the One in whom we
are rooted and who manifests itself in us as our deepest desire
In this year’s series we look at those forces in us, and how they shape
who we are and how we see ourselves and others. By looking at the
characters in the films we can see aspects of ourselves. They can
trigger in us a spiritual awareness of the very path we walk in our
daily lives. When we see ourselves in them we can see how we are
seduced, and how we are called.
This series is a way of working through the Spiritual Exercises of St.
Ignatius. In the earlier three series we looked at first developing a
spiritual literacy. That was a way of seeing how God actually speaks to
us and how we can read for ourselves the way in which God speaks to us.
Then we looked at the First Week of The Exercises which gets us to
realize that we are the beloved of God who holds us and cares for us
even when we are caught up in lesser concerns, and at times even in
destructive ways of living. Then last year we looked at what it meant
to live knowing that you are loved.
This Fall we will examine the path such a life of love takes us. It is
the nature of that love to seek out what is lost, to cherish what has
been neglected, to transform what has been broken, and to bring life to
those who live in death. Such a path leads us into opposition against
those forces in the world that prefer lesser goods and so diminish
others to affirm themselves. It is the way of the Christ. His own life
witnesses to his belief in the fullness of life for all. He is stopped
by no-one, --not even the religious and secular powers of his day-- and
by nothing --not even betrayal by his friends, shame, torture, and a
painful and ignoble death. He lives out of his passion for the Father.
It is a passion that has him walk into death trusting in the Father.
What the Father does is bring him to a new life, greater than the power
of death, we call ‘resurrection.’
In the films we have chosen this Fall we will look at aspects of that
passion as it manifests itself in the lives of people just like us and
in situations that are part of our lived reality today. In them we
encounter the forces of good that work towards life and the forces
inimical to our human worth that seek to diminish or destroy us. In
that encounter we see ourselves and the ways in which we can or do
behave. It raises the question we are called to ask of ourselves: how
am I in my spiritual journey when I encounter people or situations or
elements in myself that seek destruction rather than life?
The films chosen this Fall follow a sequence of Christ’s final days before his death. They are:
Through these films we get glimpses of how people behave in the very
human situations in which Christ found himself. It is our hope that as
you enter these films, attentively and spiritually, you discover in
yourself areas that celebrate life and areas that cry out for life. We
hope that you can acknowledge the celebrations with gratitude and offer
up the pain in your life to resurrection, which is the compassionate
mercy of the Divine Love offered to all.