Upbeat Spiritual Living: How Would You Walk Your Calvary path?
This week, I saw the movie Calvary, twice, and was very impressed and moved. In the movie, a priest is told, by someone he knows, that the man will kill him in one week. So will he? In the priest’s place, how would you live for the next week? The priest believes that priests “are here to comfort people.” And he spends this pivotal week doing just that—comforting people. At least, he comforts them as much as they will accept.
During the week, we get insights into the cares, concerns, and sometimes colorful cavorting, of Father James’s congregants. Many return his caring with sass, disrespect, and anger. Many have extreme memories and emotional pain from past events. One of the biggest lessons of this story is not to make assumptions about others. There is no need to assume others have a happy background, just because they are happy, attractive, and successful now. They may have worked very hard for that happiness and outward harmony. We can’t assume others have no pain, just because they listen to ours. They may simply be mature and have great boundaries. They are being present for us.
What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
~ Mother Teresa
In Calvary, Father James acts from a deep heart of faith, with honor, throughout the hours of the week. Only one evening, after someone deeply and deliberately hurts him, does Father James break his personal rules, drink heavily, and get into an unnecessary fight. We wonder if he has lost his faith. He considers going away, packs, and drives to the airport. But he puts his concerns and hurt in perspective, when he sees a young widow he has helped. She is choosing life, moving forward despite suddenly losing her soulmate husband this week. She is holding her sweet memories of her late husband in her heart. Father James is bolstered by her faith and courage. He decides to go back and take up his priestly job again. He decides to face the man who has offered to kill him. Even on the way to meet the man, Father James comforts people. He is true to his beliefs and his honor until the credits roll.
Father James reminds me of St. Paul, perhaps the original (other than Jesus) I-did-it-my-way man. At the end of Pauls’s life, he said, “[I] have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith ” (2 Tim 4:7 NKVJ). How many of us can say that, up to this moment, we have run our race as best we can, and kept our faith the whole time?
See this film. Consider your Calvaries. Consider that others have carried burdens none of us can imagine; some are carrying heinous emotional crosses right now. So nix the assumptions, then be your best, your kindest, and your most open-hearted with everyone. Do it for them. Do it for your faith. Do it from your love of the Most High.
● Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition (http://tinyurl.com/mqg3uvc). She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister.
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