PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

 

Priests and "the four prayer personalities"


This is the first time I've heard of such things, and of course, I'm taking note of it because everything sounds so true.

1. Structured - Dominicans and their memorized, formulaic prayers

2. Symbolic - Jesuits and their Lectio Divina (where they imagine themselves in a Biblical scene and reflect from there) and their love of drawing profundities from symbols or images

3. Praising - Franciscans and charismatics; loud, noisy, joyful

4. Contemplative - Augustinians and contemplative nuns and monks, who thrive in silence; free-flowing, Spirit-led

I'm sort of into all types, depending on the mood, although often I'd detest drawing insights from pebbles and stones or things like that. What type of prayer personality have you got?

**

Wanted: a good movie on priests

"We priests know a lot of sexual things. No, it's not what you think. (Laughs). I mean we have access to a lot of information not even sex columnist Margie Holmes has."

The priest I'm quoting is talking about what hears in confession. And his public confession somewhat opened my eyes to the kind of life priests lead.

We may be aware that priestly ears are not just depositories of the filthiest sewage materials, but are we aware that that also means they're privy to almost all the dirty secrets of entire towns and cities (though they are constrained by the vow of secrecy)?

Gee, to me, that means they get to hear trash that gossip king Boy Abunda could only wish to feature on TV: sexual sins, murders, the most shameful things - all non-password-protected.

A priest's life must be a fascinating life of extremes it's a shame no movie has ever been made yet that explores this aspect. Priests and pastors attend to the joy of birthings and the sorrow of dying; they are also there in moments of holiness - when they raise the wafer and wine and expect trans-substantiation (in the case of Catholic priests) - and during 'ocassions of sin,' as in the sacrament of reconciliation.

The movies I've seen so far are poor depictions. Mexico's The Crime of Padre Amaro and Britain's Priest only revel in the shame and scandal that is not the typical picture. The Mission is 'merely' about a missionary-priest's ordeals and the penance he offers. To Kill a Priest is 'only' a Polish political drama. What else is there? We deserve a better one, one exploring the complexities of the priestly life. Oh, but cinema is too limited for that, which means everything is best writtten in book form. The title of this post then should be: "Wanted: a nice novel about priests."

A pleasant Sunday to all.

4 comments:

Urbano dela Cruz said...
R.O,

Not about priests -but of the spiritual disciplines (or traditions, if you will) have you heard of Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline (google excerpts) and of Renovare?

UDC

7:25 PM
Alvin said...
Um, the only movie I've watched that I (hazily) recall featuring a positive characterization of a priest is a Spanish-language 1950s film titled "Nazarin." And the interesting about it is that it's directed by Luis Buñuel.

12:33 AM
Baldagyi Hatipoglu said...
UDC and Alvin: I haven't heard of that. Will look it up. Thanks for the info.

9:42 AM
Baldagyi Hatipoglu said...
UDC, Renovare's is a neat categorization of the different charisms that sometimes, or oftentimes, run in conflict with each other.

9:41 AM


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