Monday, September 06, 2010

Bedevilled

Today Rocky and I watched an old B movie from the 50s. Anne Baxter played Monica, a loose living American woman who's on the run from a gangster in Paris. Her luck changes when she runs into a fellow American. He's a young stalwart man who's going to the seminary in a few days. He tries to help her and in the end leads her back to God.

We were particularly interested in a scene where Gregory, the seminarian-to-be and Monica run into a church. The rosary is being prayed and the church is not only packed but the priest, who is presented as a wise, noble man is leading it with four altar boys by his side. The thugs chasing Monica follow but take off their hats in church and when an usher frowns at them they sit down.

At the end of the movie Gregory is sitting in his cassock with his class listening to the rector, who quotes the following poem. As the old priest talks the camera pans up to a close up of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and then the picture fades to black. Bedevilled was not a great film. It wasn't meant to be but it was entertaining, suspenseful and showed a world that doesn't exist anymore. The priesthood, the religious life, and the Church were shown with respect. The hero is presented with two great problems. He must save the heroine and he must make it the seminary. The writers of the movie make it clear that if Gregory isn't at the seminary come Monday morning it would be a great tragedy. Can you imagine anything like this being made today?

To live in the midst of the world
without wishing its pleasures;
To be a member of each family,
yet belonging to none;
To share all suffering;
to penetrate all secrets;
To heal all wounds;
to go from men to God
and offer Him their prayers;
To return from God to men
to bring pardon and hope;
To have a heart of fire for Charity,
and a heart of bronze for Chastity
To teach and to pardon,
console and bless always.
My God, what a life;
and it is yours,
O priest of Jesus Christ.

—Fr. Lacordaire

1 comment:

Anita Moore said...

Thanks for the tip on that movie! I am going to have to check that one out. Imagine Eve Harrington straightening up at the end of a movie!

If that movie were made today, the priest would be an evil moron, and the young candidate for seminary would find his salvation only by escaping from the seminary and fleeing into the arms of the loose woman.