Friday, July 9, 2010

Noted: "Nine Days that Changed the World"

When I was growing up, "documentaries" had a reputation for being dull. Boring. The sort of thing you might watch, if you wanted to fall asleep.

Of course, that was back when the Hula-Hoop and color television were hot new items. Quite a lot has changed - maybe documentaries have, too.

I haven't seen "Nine Days that Changed the World," but it's supposed to be worth the 94 minutes you need to view it. Blogger Matthew Warner thinks so - and so did enough other people to go through's available stock of the DVD.

Here's the film's trailer, on YouTube:

"Nine Days that Changed the World"

ngingrich, YouTube (April 8, 2010)
video, 3:17

"Pope John Paul II's historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June of 1979 created a revolution of conscience that transformed Poland and fundamentally reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th Century.

"Newt and Callista Gingrich, along with a Polish, American, and Italian cast, explore what transpired during these nine days that moved the Polish people to renew their hearts, reclaim their courage, and free themselves from the shackles of Communism. Produced in partnership with Citizens United Productions.

"Please visit http://www.ninedaysthatchangedtheworl... or to learn more about our latest movie.

Am I planning to see "Nine Days that Changed the World?" Eventually, yes. It's not a top priority for me right now, partly because I know a bit about 'the Polish Pope' and his role in Poland's recent history, partly because the $19.95 plus $4.00 shipping and handling is a non-trivial sum for my household.

Shouldn't the Pope be Off Somewhere, Being Spiritual?

The Pope is a spiritual leader. For some folks, that means that he should be really spiritual, and not get involved with mere worldly affairs. That approach to 'being spiritual' never did make much sense to me.

I've used the phrase, "too heavenly minded to be any earthly good" quite a bit in this blog: starting at least as far back as February of last year. Don't get me wrong: I have great respect for people in cloistered orders, whose vocation involves a deliberate turning away from the world.

I also have great respect for folks like Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose vocation involves getting very involved in the ways of the world. Then there's that Mark 11:15-17 thing, where my Lord interfered with business-as-usual in the Temple.

Then, there are 'spiritual' Catholic practices like the Divine Mercy devotion that anybody can participate in, and don't require a complete retreat from the world.

What reminded me of that? Got it: Saint Faustina's Polish, her diary was written in that language, and it wasn't until a Pope who knew the language came along that the Holy See got an accurate translation. Moving along.

Back to the Pope and worldly affairs.

When something's happening that's bad, I don't see how it's 'spiritual' to ignore the problem: perhaps at most praying that someone else gets involved.

But then, I don't see anything wrong about Jesus overturning tables in the Temple.

I think that sometimes 'being spiritual' means getting involved.

Not-quite-entirely-unrelated posts:More:
A tip of the hat to MatthewWarner, on Twitter, for the heads-up on his post.

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From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.