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Community Forums > The Catholicism Project > My Initial Impressions View modes: 
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climacus - 10/16/2011 4:45:22 PM
   
My Initial Impressions I’ve just had the opportunity to watch on PBS the first part of the series:  ‘Amazed and Afraid.’ Just the very title of the program convinces the viewer that this isn’t yet another ordinary TV show about religion. And it definitely isn’t your ‘domesticated’ type of Christianity when you hear words like: disconcerting, subversive, strange and dangerous. Søren Kierkegaard once wrote that the problem with Christianity, was that it was no longer dangerous and that it lost its power to shock, astonish and even stupefy the world. So when I hear similar words being echoed on a TV religious documentary about Catholicism…..that grabs my immediate undivided attention. Using such words also signifies how a particular creed can threaten an established universal order, the status quo and the powers that be. In other words, Christianity was never meant to be comfortable or domesticated… back then, now or ever.

I’m really looking forward to watching the next part of the Catholicism series. I’ll also echo Francis Cardinal George’s words that Father Barron is the best messenger the Catholic Church has had yet. This program can invigorate and enlightened anyone interested in Church history with its message that not only is timeless….but also powerfully transformative as well.

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mvlori@wyan.org - 10/29/2011 10:46:01 AM
   
RE:My Initial Impressions  Very well said. I read the book and I am enjoying the series which just started in my area last week. I see many christians (including myself) that want religion to be convenient for them.
I love how Father Barron has captured the idea of not domesticating our lord Jesus Christ. No living being has ever even come close to existing on this planet as remarkable as Jesus Christ. He was, is, and always will be awesome and we should always be amazed and afraid. Not afraid in the sense that he is our competitor, but afraid in the sense that he is powerful beyond our imagination. I am thankful to God for his love and devotion to mankind and I want to recipracate that love through worship, honor, glorifying his name. and following his teachings.

Blessed is our God

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climacus - 10/29/2011 6:07:53 PM
   
RE:My Initial Impressions Just wanted to share my thoughts on watching  the Peter and Paul part of the Catholicism series. The most striking message that comes across from these programs, is that faith should be lived historically at all levels….forever cherished and celebrated as such.  From places like Corinth, Ephesus and Rome, Father Barron beautifully bridges the present with the past with a poignant reminder of just how deeply we’re all indebted to those first early Christians. In ancient times, Christians understood the paramount importance and focus of attention regarding inwardness. For modern 21st century man, it can carry even more significance as he’s caught up in a society that knows nothing other than a higher level of consumption. It is that kind of superseding inner reality experience that when transformed and elevated to another stage and level, amazes, astonishes, and even enraptures the world. Indeed, they were the world’s first ambassadors of peace and goodwill displaying an earnestness and passion that was supremely uncomparable, unquenchable and unconquerable.

I believe this series so wonderfully depicted and narrated by Father Barron, can reawaken viewers to the Church’s rich heritage built upon an impregnable foundation from which to draw strength, sustenance and inspiration through the remembrance and prayers of the saints while at the same time, envisioning and beholding a glorious future with all its shining possibilities transcending time and circumstance.
[i]“But if I knew where a knight of faith lived, I would travel on foot to him, for this marvel occupies me absolutely.”[/i] – Søren Kierkegaard

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johnlay - 12/14/2011 1:49:09 PM
   
RE:My Initial Impressions You are absolutely correct, climacus!  And you will not be disappointed with the rest of the series.  The study guide provides challenging questions, also.  If I had had this resource for my "Catholic Life and Thought" course, this would have been an excellent experience and dynamic jumping-board for student discussions...

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climacus - 12/15/2011 3:55:21 AM
   
RE:My Initial Impressions This is something that should be shared. Its about a Polish girl from the south side of Chicago who was destined to become the world’s greatest show skater. It also wonderfully exemplifies of just what happens when a remarkable amazing inward experience becomes breathtakingly transparent for the entire world to watch and witness. This stunningly rare sports performance occurred during the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo Japan, and clearly shows the lasting transformative impact of a simple act of submission of not only on the sport of figure skating itself, but on countless fans with changed personal lives in Japan and the world over as well. An excerpt from her book autobiography:

" When I stepped on the ice that night in front of eight thousand people, the most unusual thing happened. I was skating around in a little circle waiting for the announcement of the previous girl's marks....when it seemed like God's love just came down all over me like a blanket. I've never in my life felt anything so wonderful. It was as if He was saying, "I love you, and just be filled with My love and go out there and skate because you love it." It was such an experience--I'll never forget it. I think I could have fallen twenty times after that, and it wouldn't have bothered me ! I went whirling into my program, enjoying every step it, pouring out this love I had received to the crowd. I felt God's power in the reaction I was getting--I knew that in myself I simply couldn't do that to an audience. Christopher Brasher, a writer for the London Observer, sensed it too, I think; he later wrote:

“Janet Lynn’s free skating was one of those rare occasions when sport is lifted into the realms of art. She did not win a Gold medal, but that is only because the world is an unjust place. There is a moment in her program . . . when she suddenly moves backwards so that her blonde hair flies forward and her arms are outstretched and she is indeed a young girl in love with the world. She would say she is thanking God for so much happiness. Those who watch her can make of it what they will, knowing only that it is supremely beautiful.”

I would highly recommend reading Janet Lynn’s autobiography: “Peace and Love.” It not only includes her involvement with the sport of figure skating….but also her personal affectionate letters she wrote to God.
“But if I knew where a knight of faith lived, I would travel on foot to him, for this marvel occupies me absolutely.” – Søren Kierkegaard

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