(Editor’s Note: As part of the discernment and training process, the novices and students write and lead prayer services. Evan will share his from time to time as he writes them.)
Novice Prayer Service Thursday October 15th, 2013
You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone.
-Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary of St. Faustina, 1767
Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.
-St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Tonight I thought we could use this prayer service to reflect on the sacrificing nature of a vocation. We willing give ourselves in love to the service of others, especially as future priests. There is also an aspect of sacrificing the “normal” life. We won’t have the small suburb home with a white picket fence, a wife, two kids, and a dog. Instead, we are called to live for the world, not simply in it. I thought one of the best ways to explore sacrifice would actually be to look at a few scenes from movies that have sacrifice as a central theme in a prayerful manner. I’ll give a little set-up explaining each scene.
Movie One: Road to Perdition, scene at 1:33:15
After a fellow gangster kills his wife and kids, Tom Hanks has to take his son across the country in order to keep him alive. In this scene, Tom confronts his mob boss about the gangster who is also stealing money from the boss. In the end, Tom does get his son across the country, but dies in the process of protecting his son.
Movie Two: The Iron Giant, scene at 1:14:00
Set in Maine during the 1950’s, a giant robot crashes to Earth and befriends a 10 year old child. The robot has amnesia and cannot remember his mission. He learns about Superman and being a hero from the child. When the local town finds out about the robot when he save a kid from falling to his death, they go into full panic thinking he is a monster sent to destroy them. The military is called in and the robot goes into a rage and remembers his mission (which is to destroy the Earth). This leads to the military launching a nuclear missile at the town.
Movie Three: Stranger than Fiction, scenes at 1:31:09 and 1:35:45
Will Ferrell starts hearing his own life being narrated as though he was a character in a book. One morning he hears the voice say that things were set in motion for him to die. He eventually tracks down the author and reads the finished manuscript detailing how he will die.
So in all of these films there is a sense of love for others, even total strangers, where one is
willing to sacrifice themselves completely. A vocation, especially one to God, can be seen in a very similar way. We don’t have to find a way to get ourselves killed, but we can find small things to do for others, not for ourselves. We can take an example after Christ and His most Holy sacrifice. In our sacrifices we can find God, His love for us, and our own conversion to holiness (to being superman).
Share any thoughts or feelings.
Jesus, tender and loving Lamb of God, Utmost Sacrifice of all sacrifices, Your glory is reverberated in the highest. Being preoccupied with my well-being, You chose to self-sacrifice Yourself, Setting aside all Your personal glories. I thank You Lord Jesus for Your act of love! Your action has drawn me closer to You. Teach me to model in smaller things, To sacrifice in order to help others, Guiding my soul to endure abstinence. Lamb of God, I thank you endlessly!
Amen. (Unknown origin)