Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Must Catholic entertainment be immaculate?

Tara Stone, a graduate student at JP Catholic, cooked up some excellent food for thought in her recent post "I Am a Pharisee":

She says, in part, that:

"I sin every day. My characters do too. Sin and evil do exist in my scripts because they will always exist in this fallen world, and films should speak truth. Being a Christian is hard and requires a lot of suffering, and the culture deserves to know that the path to eternal life includes the road to Calvary."
I recall author and editor Regina Doman describing Catholic writing as creating a greenhouse rather than a hothouse, creating a place to grow and learn before stepping out into the world. That "into the world" part is necessary. We cannot hide from the non-Catholic parts of the world, and we are reminded of that with the final words at every Mass. The word itself, from "missio", means "sending". We are sent out into the world, to be Catholic in the world, all day, every day.

The world was made good; it is ontologically good, but it is not always morally good. When we live in the world we necessarily live among the good and the bad. Bad things happen to us, and because of our fallen natures, bad things sometimes come from us too. This applies to fiction as well, be it in print or on screen. A world filled with perfected, unfailingly moral souls does not resonate with us because it is not our world.

So where do we draw the line in fiction? What is too dark, too sad, too frightening, or too "real" to be acceptable? Tara set out a good baseline by personalizing the Jesuit motto "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam": "I want my films to give glory to God."


Cheryl Jones said...

I read where a playwright kept track of dreams from God and was given a script that turned into a major movie.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl, I don't see why not. God seems to love using others as His agents, to communicate through dreams and angels, and to inspire (breathe into) us in order to spread the Good News to others.

Fr. Bartunek addressed dream communication recently, also: http://rcspiritualdirection.com/blog/2011/12/20/can-god-speak-to-me-in-my-dreams

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