Movie Night: Father Stu

If, when we shall arrive at Saint Mary of the Angels, all drenched with rain and trembling with cold, all covered with mud and exhausted from hunger; if, when we knock at the convent-gate, the porter should come angrily and ask us who we are; if, after we have told him, “We are two of the brethren”, he should answer angrily, “What ye say is not the truth; ye are but two impostors going about to deceive the world, and take away the alms of the poor; begone I say”; if then he refuse to open to us, and leave us outside, exposed to the snow and rain, suffering from cold and hunger till nightfall – then, if we accept such injustice, such cruelty and such contempt with patience, without being ruffled and without murmuring, believing with humility and charity that the porter really knows us, and that it is God who maketh him to speak thus against us, write down, O Brother Leo, that this is perfect joy.

And if we knock again, and the porter come out in anger to drive us away with oaths and blows, as if we were vile impostors, saying, “Begone, miserable robbers! to to the hospital, for here you shall neither eat nor sleep!” – and if we accept all this with patience, with joy, and with charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy.

And if, urged by cold and hunger, we knock again, calling to the porter and entreating him with many tears to open to us and give us shelter, for the love of God, and if he come out more angry than before, exclaiming, “These are but importunate rascals, I will deal with them as they deserve”; and taking a knotted stick, he seize us by the hood, throwing us on the ground, rolling us in the snow, and shall beat and wound us with the knots in the stick – if we bear all these injuries with patience and joy, thinking of the sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which we would share out of love for him, write, O Brother Leo, that here, finally, is perfect joy.

The above passage are the words of St Francis of Assisi. I was vaguely familiar with the above passage, but St Francis’ words were put into stark relief for me after seeing the movie “Father Stu.” Most people have probably already seen the commercials for this movie, and you can read a little about it on google. I am just going to share a few thoughts.

Father Stu is both quintessentially Catholic and quintessentially American. As an American Catholic, I am blown away by this movie. I am familiar with the stories of some saints-most of them European, and even the American ones are from long ago and far away. Their stories are always inspiring, but they usually (always?) seem foreign and difficult (impossible?) to relate to.

Father Stu is different. He is a red blooded American guy from the late 20th century-an era I have actually lived in-who personifies Christ’s love in this world. And who graciously picks up his cross and follows Jesus, and who leads by example.

The world will never be the same.

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37 thoughts on “Movie Night: Father Stu

    1. Well, he lived a very interesting life, and his story makes for a good movie. Father Stu started out as a professional boxer, drinker, and womanizer, and then (through the love of a woman, lol) converted and eventually became a priest. I don’t want to give too much away, but the best way I can put it is that he was a totally normal guy who lived a remarkable life. I think a big part of the appeal of this movie is that Father Stu in fact did not really do anything of note: he was “only” a great Christian.

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        1. Of course it would count, I would think. It might actually count more-carry more weight, so to speak. But, no one can be declared a saint until they have been deceased for at least a few years. Anyone who is drawing breath on this earth doesn’t qualify, yet.

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        2. Lol ๐Ÿ™‚ No. You know that the answer to that question is, No, Simon ๐Ÿ™‚

          The good news, though, is that you don’t have to be a celibate priest in order to become a recognized saint. Catholics believe that everyone in heaven is a saint-and a few are recognized as such on earth. A few become famous, I guess you could say. Not all recognized saints are clergy: some were married, or single.

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        3. Well, St Augustine was a big time womanizer, before he became one of the greatest saints the world has ever known.

          Christianity is supposed to let everyone in, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

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        4. Lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe I got the wrong impression from the pictures of your girlfriends you are always posting? ๐Ÿ™‚

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        5. Sure, but I have neither objected to the pictures, nor encouraged them, I don’t think. Well, one or two of them might have been funny, and I might have laughed and inadvertently encouraged them, but basically, I am agnostic ๐Ÿ™‚

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        6. This is so funny: St Augustine continued womanizing after becoming a Christian. It took him a while to give up sex, and he is famous for saying “Lord, make me chaste, just not yet.” LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

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        7. St. Paul refers to all believers in his letters as โ€œthe saintsโ€. Weโ€™re all on the road to sainthood, daily. The Catholic Church formalized a process (canonization) so that believers could all share in being inspired and encouraged by the lived-out faith of departed brothers and sisters of all ages, from all times, places, and ways of life. Whether they lived at Christianityโ€™s beginnings or five years ago.

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