The strong tower
of the wicked comes to ruin, but the root of the righteous stands
firm. An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble. From the fruit of his
words a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's
hand comes back to him. The way of a fool is right in his own
eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. The vexation of a fool
is known at once, but the prudent man ignores an insult.
On Friday morning Jack Lamb drove me to see a new display (since my
previous visit to Belfast) in honor of C.S. Lewis. It is in a room
in the Belmont Tower, a former primary school (which has a design
similar to many churches) which now has an excellent cafe on its second
floor. It reminded me of the excellent cafe the Historical Society
in my hometown, Nanty Glo, Pa., has been operating for the past year.
And Jack has turned me into a cappucino drinker. I was never sure
what that high-falutin word meant when I was spending my mornings
in Starbucks in San Jose, so always drank just regular coffee, fearing
that anything more fancy would be too full of sugar. But cappucino
is a very creamy coffee that is concocted such that the cream stays
with the coffee all the way to the bottom of the cup. Belmont Tower
serves an excellent cappucino.
display at the Belmont Tower C.S. Lewis room, a photo of his grandparents'
house which was near this location.
evening, for the third consecutive Monday, we went to a movie in the
Queens University district of Belfast. This is as many as all the
movies I had seen in theaters in the past decade (though I have watched
my share on television). When I gave up movie reviewing some time
in the mid-1990s, I pretty much lost my interest in that literary
art. I thought it was probably because it meant I would now have to
pay for my tickets after having had the reviewer's privilege of free
movies for most of my life, but in retrospect I think it was even
more that I had no one to share movie watching with. We've been going
on Monday nights because it is bargain night at the Queens Film Theater,
with movies only three pounds.
movie, Beyond the Hills, is a Romanian film about an exorcism
in an Orthodox monastery in which a young woman with a very worldly
past and lifestyle suffers a breakdown and the doctors tell the priest
in charge of the monastery that she would be better off being cared
for by the nuns and her close friend, a novitiate nun, than stay in
the hospital. But when the prayers seem to have no effect, the priest
and nuns decide that perhaps an exorcism will be more effective. But
at the end of the exorcism the "patient" dies of unknown
causes, leading the police to suspect that fowl play led to the woman's
death, or manslaughter. The movie has deep implications about the
fall of Communism and its ruinous destruction of Romanian society
and culture, and Christianity which is trying to find its way again
now that it has been freed to organize openly and play a significant
role in the county's life, and the secularism that demands first place
and the primary authority in all modern societies.
movie, Good Vibrations, is about the nascent punk rock and
new wave music era in Belfast, led by real-life record store owner
Terri Hooley, a youth-culture wave that crested just before the beginning
of the worst period of "troubles" to erupt here, in the
1980s, bringing the good vibrations to an end for that generation.
week we saw The Late Quartet, a story about a world renowned
string quartet (three violins and a bass) based in New York, which
is rocked by news that its oldest member (played by Christopher Walken)
has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. The stress this news causes for
all members of the quartet leads them to assess their views about
life, death, and the meaning of it all. The movie's introduction alludes
to T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, which was considered that Christian
poet's masterpiece and points to the Christian way to sanctification,
which is also the likely subtheme throughout this film. The film's
trailer (or the "preview," as they say in the States), follows,
embedded from YouTube.
Scripture, again, contrasts the folly
of imprudent talk and the wisdom of finding, keeping, and humbly contemplating,
§ § §
If you missed
my overview of my venture in Northern Ireland, check it out here.
If we believe that liberty comes through a political worldview,
if we believe that our shelter and food is given us by the state
or an economic system, if we believe that equality is achieved
through political design, then we become idolaters. We replace
God with manmade things.
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C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads,is available
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