That is until recently. The movie seems to be affecting people in a big way. It seems to have the ability to tear people's focus from themselves, and place it on others - a concept at the heart of our faith.
From Grassroots Films of Brooklyn, New York comes THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE – the story of a band of brothers who travel the world in search of the answers to the burning questions: Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? Their journey brings them into the middle of the lives of the homeless on the streets of New York City, the orphans and disabled children of Peru, and the abandoned lepers in the forests of Ghana, Africa. What the young men discover changes them forever. Through one on one interviews and real life encounters, the brothers are awakened to the beauty of the human person and the resilience of the human spirit.
I was able to view a segment of the film dealing with a visit to the Leper colony in Ghana. I will tell you that the images and stories from the colony were very moving, even heart-breaking. But there was an irony in it all. The people with leprosy were not bitter or angry; they had an outlook on life that was nothing less than amazing.
It may be hard for us U.S. Catholics to envision, but maybe this is the form the "New Springtime" will take - a renewed desire to spend more energy and attention to sharing the gifts of God with others rather than receiving them ourselves. We may find our assumption that things can only be given after they are received doesn't hold in this area.
I honestly believe and am encouraged in knowing that everything we have to learn can be found in what we have forgotten. Our faith isn’t worth much if it doesn’t go beyond knowledge, beyond a feeling, beyond ourselves, or beyond the parish walls. If it doesn’t spill over into the lives of others – Catholic, Christian, and others – it’s not really faith at all.
Blessed Damien of Molokai, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us.