Tag Archives: Easter

Link’n’Blogs – 4.14.17 – Good Friday


Related Content from And There Came A Day


I loved Lincoln Logs when I was a kid. Though I never entertained the idea that I would be a designer, engineer or architect, something about putting together these wooden and plastic pieces was simply simple fun. Connecting to ideas through the blogosphere seems similar to this pursuit, hence the title of this weekly post. Each Friday, I intend to post something interesting I’ve read out there on the internets. Hopefully others will find these posts as thought provoking as I have.

Good Friday and Holy Saturday (and all of Lent, actually) lead to one place: Easter Sunday and, even today on Good Friday, we are a resurrection people. Hey, even Times Square gets it! Take a look at the videos and praise God.

 

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Filed under Easter, Holidays, Link'n'Blog, Music, Uncategorized

Easter Sunday Comes To An End With The Way

“You don’t choose a life, you live one.

the-wayTonight, The Cinnamon Girl, the kids and I ended a peaceful and reflective Holy Week, Triduum and Easter by our annual viewing of Emilio Estevez’s The Way. Estevez directed his father, Martin Sheen, in this small movie that opened in 2010 and remained in theaters far longer than an independent movie such as this one should have.  The Way tells the story of Tom, a widower optometrist played by Martin Sheen, who is estranged from his son Daniel, who appears – via flashback – in a performance by Emilio Estevez.

The reasons for the father and son estrangement are never made fully clear to the audience. Chalk it up to dad wanting son to settle into a traditional career path and son wanting to follow his own, well, way through life. Prior to the beginning of the film, and this is no spoiler, Daniel is killed while walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in the Pyrenees. The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is also called the Way of St. James and is a pilgrim route that leads from France through Spain to the reputed burial-place of St. James. To walk it requires commitment. It requires one to be in good shape. It requires deep desire.

Sheen’s Tom has none of these when he arrives in St. Jean Pied de Port, France to pick up his son’s remains to bring them home. Deciding, in a moment of spiritual connection with his progeny to take up Daniel’s trek, Tom wraps himself up in his son’s North Face and begins walking.

Clearly the journey itself is a metaphor, and a beautifully drawn one at that. Laden with images of mercy and forgiveness, friendship and fellowship and the struggle and joy found between fathers and son, the movie proceeds with a gentle pace while always heading in a clear direction. Moments of laughter are juxtaposed with soul moving stillness as the audience, along with Tom, picks up and leaves behind companions on his journey, traverses a breathtaking landscape and learns about his own spiritualism, his religion and his soul.

The Way is not heavy-handed with its religious symbolism, though the penultimate scene does take place in a beautiful Catholic church, and it doesn’t beat one over the head with the symbolism of “doubting” Thomas, the optimistic, who cannot clearly see the way through the Lion’s Den of life that Daniel did. But there is plenty to think about upon reflection following viewing the film.

One could do worse than spending 2 hours on The Way. 

You can stream it from amazon HERE.   And you should.

The Way is certainly on my personal list of my Top Ten Favorite Movies it reminds me why each time I watch it.

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Filed under Easter, Movie Review, Movies, Religion, The Way

Easter Morning, Easter Meaning

Dad SunlightMy memories of Easter Sunday revolve, primarily around my father and his ministry as a Deacon in the Catholic Church. Reflections on his work, whatever mass he was on the altar for, whatever services he took part in, have become the backbone of my Holy Week and Easter Sunday memories.

And that’s one of the many blessings of my dad that continue to resonate in my life.

An Easter blessing.

What a wonderful day to think about Dad and a colleague who just passed away this last week and all those in our lives who’ve gone before their time.

After all, it is our triumphant holy day…

 

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Filed under Anecdote, Family, Fathers and Sons, Holidays, Religion, The Catholic Church

The Mythology of Spring Break.

Spring Break Checklist final

I’ve worked in education my entire adult life, some 20 plus years, and have been (I hope) a successful teacher and administrator and an asset to the two schools at which I’ve been employed. Even when I was a high school student, I planned my studies to return to the classroom and to lecture from the other side of the desk.

I have considered, both strongly and recently, leaving the field of education for some other pasture found over some distant mountain. Many have been the reasons for this consideration, but, so far, none of outweighed the advantages of remaining where I am.

This week, I think of one most prominently: the mythic draw of Spring Break.

As a teacher, there are hardly two more powerful words than those. When slogging through the doldrums of February or checking of the calendar squares in what I refer to every year as March of Death, Spring Break shines like a light in the midst of what is a very, very long and dark nine month tunnel.

I understand those outside of education who cannot believe that we within it need more time off than the summer months… but a three month summer is as much a myth as Spring Break, perhaps more. As an administrator, I no longer enjoy such months away from the office. I am a twelve month employee. But our teachers will wrap up their 2012 – 2013 on May 28 and will return to work on August 7. By any count, that is not three months.

I cannot explain rationally why teachers need Spring Break, I can only ask you to take my word for it. Full time teachers interact with well over 100 different personalities in the course of their day. Their day starts early and is rarely over when they leave school. Their work continues and continues.  The Cinnamon Girl once read a perfect piece about this entitled “Let’s Pay Teachers What They Are Really Worth” (you can find it HERE) that sums up the time teachers spend in harness far better than I can.

In the biz, the question leading up to Spring Break is “what are you doing over break?”Friends (including Stretch and Sous Chef with their mother) are traveling. Some teachers, like The Junior Senator are on trips with students. Others have massive household projects in the offing.

What are you doing over break? Our answer this year: nothing.

Which is not entirely true.

“Nothing” could imply that we planned to simply lie in bed which, while it would be terrific, is not entirely what we have planned or have already done. We didn’t travel. We didn’t make grand plans. We did host Easter Sunday dinner but, if you live with The Cinnamon Girl, you know that’s just plain fun.

We made a list of stuff to get done, things that sometimes typical days do not provide the space or energy to accomplish. We determined to run errands and spend time with our mothers and check things off our list (which we love to do) and watch television and go to a movie or two (Jurassic Park 3D, anyone?)

And that’s precisely what we’ve done and what we plan to do for the remainder of the week.

If a little re-charging of the batteries for the final stretch run to summer occurs along the way, we feel we’re entitled.

Spring. Break.

I cannot think of more mythic or wonderful words.

Not this week at any rate.

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Filed under Family, Teaching

Easter Sunday and The Gospel According to Superman

Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter to everyone. I do hope the mystery of Christ is present and moving in everyone’s lives today. That mystery seems to be moving powerfully at the Vatican in recent weeks with the installation of Pope Francis I, but more on him another time.

I’ve written a couple serious posts about Easter in recent days. This isn’t as serious.

Presented here is a detour into significant Messianic overtones in geek lit.

Quickly dismissing the Star Trek world created by Gene Roddenberry: in almost 1000 hours of filmed trekking, one would be hard pressed to find more than a handful of references to Jesus Christ. There are two times when his name is taken in vain (a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode when the crew travels to the 1950s and in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when McCoy curses). There was a Star Trek Voyager episode when that crew travels through time and meets Leonardo Da Vinci. Jesus isn’t mentioned, but there is a crucifix on Da Vinci’s wall. Most significantly, in the original series episode Bread and Circuses, Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk assume that a race speaking of “sun worship” is worshipping the local star around which their planet orbits. Late in the episode, Uhura points out that the sun is not the object of worship, rather it’s the son of God. Roddenberry, an agnostic, believed that a 23rd century culture would have evolved beyond the need to believe in God. I suspect, when he died, the joke was on him.

Where geekdom is most connected to the story of Christ is, obviously, in the story of Superman. From birth to death to resurrection, the Superman myth intertwines with the story of Jesus in major ways. The themes dovetail and the story beats are so similar as to be almost identical.

superman cross final

Consider:

  • Superman’s real name, Kal El, was adopted by creator Jerry Siegel from a Hebrew word meaning “Vessel of God.”
  • In one telling of Superman’s origin story, his “birth father,” Jor El, had nothing to do with his conception biologically.
  • Jor El repeatedly mentions that he is sending earth “my only son” and tells the infant Kal El that people of earth “lack the light to show them the way.” Think of the pseudo-religious imagery of Marlon Brando in Superman: The Movie. Think of Brando’s head floating in the clouds, his white hair and white robes…
  • In all the re-tellings of Superman’s origins on Krypton and through all the relatives retroactively added to his life over the years (uncles, aunts, cousins [Supergirl, anyone?]), he has remained an only child.
  • The infant Superman is adopted by Jonathan and Martha Kent (Joseph and Mary, anyone?)
  • The child is different from other children and develops powers that make stand off from other kids… not exactly teaching the elders in the temple, but still…
  • Superman has powers from his birthright that separate him from mortal men.
  • Jesus has a woman in his life with alliterative initials – Mary Magdeline. Superman, obviously, does, too – Lois Lane.
  • Jesus has many enemies throughout his life, perhaps none who wielded as much power over him, in the end, as the alliteratively named Pontius Pilate. Lex Luthor, anyone?
  • The 2006 film Superman Returns even has a scene of Superman being stabbed in the side with a kryptonite spear. Additionally, The Passion of the Christ’s Christ, Jim Cavaziel was in the running to play Superman!
  • Superman is killed by the villain Doomsday (one could make an alliterative argument there, too) only to be resurrected months later to save the world.

None of this is revelatory, if you’ll pardon the pun, and has been chronicled all over the internets and, famously, in the 1973 book The Gospel According to Superman by John T. Galloway (you can link to it HERE and hope you have an original edition!) of which there have been many imitations over the years. It is, however, interesting!

What it does show is the power of myth, the desire to be saved and the need to believe in things more powerful than we are. Superman is not Christ. He should not be considered such.

There is only one Superman, and he died to save a fictional world.

There is only one Jesus, and he died to save the real one.

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Filed under Comic Books, Star Trek, The Catholic Church

May I Suggest a New Holy Week/Easter Tradition: The Way

The Way

May I suggest that anyone looking for a film to get them in the mood to experience a peaceful and reflective Triduum and Holy Week, look no further than Emilio Estevez’s The Way. Estevez directed his father, Martin Sheen, in this small movie that opened in 2010 and remained in theaters far longer than an independent movie such as this one should have.  The Way tells the story of Tom, a widower optometrist played by Martin Sheen, who is estranged from his son Daniel, who appears – via flashback – in a performance by Emilio Estevez.

The reasons for the father and son estrangement are never made fully clear to the audience. Chalk it up to dad wanting son to settle into a traditional career path and son wanting to follow his own, well, way through life. Prior to the beginning of the film, and this is no spoiler, Daniel is killed while walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in the Pyrenees. The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is also called the Way of St. James and is a pilgrim route that leads from France through Spain to the reputed burial place of St. James. To walk it requires commitment. It requires one to be in good shape. It requires deep desire.

Sheen’s Tom has none of these when he arrives in St. Jean Pied de Port, France to pick up his son’s remains to bring them home. Deciding, in a moment of spiritual connection with his progeny to take up Daniel’s trek, Tom wraps himself up in his son’s North Face and begins walking.

Clearly the journey itself is a metaphor, and a beautifully drawn one at that. Laden with images of mercy and forgiveness, friendship and fellowship and the struggle and joy found between fathers and son, the movie proceeds with a gentle pace while always heading in a clear direction. Moments of laughter are juxtaposed with soul moving stillness as the audience, along with Tom, picks up and leaves behind companions on his journey, traverses a breathtaking landscape and learns about his own spiritualism, his religion and his soul.

The Way is not heavy handed with its religious symbolism, though the penultimate scene does take place in a beautiful Catholic church, and it doesn’t beat one over the head with the symbolism of “doubting” Thomas, the optimistic, who cannot clearly see the way through the Lion’s Den of life that Daniel did. But there is plenty to think about upon reflection following viewing the film.

For an Easter pilgrimage, one could do worse than spending 2 hours on The Way. 

You can stream it from amazon HERE.   And you should.

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Filed under amazon.com, Fathers and Sons, The Catholic Church