Peace be with you!
My name is Nader Ata. I am a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of Angels Province, USA. I am a transitional deacon preparing for Priesthood Ordination in the fall.
Seeking to live with Franciscan Joy each and every day!
*All of photos on this blog were taken by me unless noted otherwise. Please ask permission before using them. Thank You!*
*Also I am not the greatest speller or writer in the world, so please let me know if something is misspelled. Thank you!"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Roses in December
Tonight Andy and I watched the film, Roses in December. This film tells the story of four US churchwomen: Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, Ursuline Sister Dorothy Kazel, and Cleveland Maryknoll Lay Mission Team Member Jean Donovan. They were abducted, abused, sexually violated, and eventually shot in the head on December 2, 1980 in El Salvador National Guardsmen. This film focused mainly on Jean Donovan with stories from her family, friends, and mentors, yet speaks of the martyrdom that was experienced for the sake of Christ's people.
So many things touched me about the film. What struck me most was not the faces of the children they helped, not the poverty, not the violence, not that fact they there murder was sanctioned by the government, not that they were good people doing good work, not that three consecrated religious were sexually assaulted, nor that Jean was either - what struck was that Jean knew that she was going to die. On her last trip to London before her tragic death in El Salvador she knew that she would not come back alive and even knowing that she went anyway. What a powerful witness! It is like Christ who on his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem he knew that he was going to die and he went anyway. Jean's drive to go to El Salvador again even with understanding the fact that she would die there makes me wonder about the amount of faith, trust, and hope she had in God.
I just finished reading Spe Salvi the Popes last encyclical letter On Christian Hope and after watching this film hope was all I could think about. I mean you would think I would be sad after remembering such a said event, yet I was driven to hope. Driven to the hope shown by our ancestors, like Jean Donovan and Sisters Maura Clarke, Ita Ford, and Dorothy Kazel. Driven to the hope present in our world today we come more and more aware that every single human being is our brother and sister, father and mother, son and daughter in Christ. And driven to the hope of a future in heaven.
I am unsure where I am going but if anything I beg you never to lose hope. For in a world so desperate to find meaning, we are not called to find hope, rather we are called particularly as Christians to be bearers of hope. In relation to Mary, the Mother of God, Pope Benedict writes "When you hastened with holy joy across the mountains of Judea to see your cousin Elizabeth, you became the image of the Church to come, which carries the hope of the world in her womb across the mountains of history (54)." Take this for what it worth but in defining hope I see it as a virtue and gift from God that gives us the grace to know that we are not alone and there is a future ahead of us, which is rooted in the past and the present, is amidst the community, and is the longing for fulfillment. Be the hope that endures not because everything is great or going well, but because of your trust in God and God's promise.....