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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Trinity Sunday John 15:26-16:15 Review of "Into Great Silence"

Yesterday I sat with 5 friends in the downtown OKC Art Museum theater and watched a breathtaking film, "Into Great Silence," a documentary on the life
of Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse, way up in a remote area of the French Alps (Chartreuse Mountains). When I say "watched" I mean it in every sense of the word since "listening" only happened occasionally. 2 hours and 40 minutes of near silence with occasional French words with English subtitles. When there was natural sound we heard it...rain falling, chairs scraping, steps in the crisp snow...the monks live in silence except for a few hours on Sunday. I did not realize it until 20 minutes into the movie when I finally heard a sound and breathed a sigh of relief that sound is comfort in a noisy world.

Today is Trinity Sunday. Like most theologians, I have attempted to wax eloquent on the Trinity in the past. I've read the books and written the papers. Yet I do not understand. The monks do understand. Trinity is about unity; togetherness; community. It is about staying together no matter what. It is about living and breathing the air of the other. It is about a vow to live communally not taken lightly.

The 30something monk rubbing ointment on the shriveled back of a skeletal octogenarian brought flashbacks of another 30something washing feet.

Could I live this way? I could live without technology. For a few weeks. I could live without shopping. For a few days. But it would take a major duck taping on the mouth to keep me from talking for a week at a time.

You can read more about the film here or the official website at The official website is a little hard to navigate, esp. if you pull up the German version. If you are looking for a brief description, go to the wikipedia link.

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