I've always had a ton of respect for Tiger Woods as a golfer. But this seals the deal for me as new Tiger fan.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
The hermeneutic of continuity: Pope Benedict discourages communion in the hand: "Pope Benedict discourages communion in the hand"
Check this out! Changes are happening at a very rapid clip, and I'm happy to report...in the right direction!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
'Prince Caspian': Interview with Doug Gresham
By Deacon Keith Fournier
An interview with Douglas Gresham, a co-producer of the upcoming second movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series.
LOS ANGELES (Catholic Online) - Like millions the world over, my life was forever changed by the literary genius and the deep Christian faith of C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis.
I had the privilege of sharing a bit of my own story in an exclusive interview that Catholic Online had with Douglas Gresham, a co-producer of the upcoming spectacular second movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series entitled “Prince Caspian”.
The film debuts in theatres throughout the United States on May 16, 2008.
Gresham is a warm, kind, and joyful man with a deep, resonant voice and lovely British accent. Listening to him speak of his stepfather, “Jack”, C.S. Lewis, is like listening to an English Lou Rawls. The sound of his voice is so soothing it would not really matter what he had to say, you just want to keep asking questions in order to hear such a beautiful sounding voice.
However, the content of Doug Gresham’s responses to my questions was even more delightful than the timber and diction of that wonderful voice.
I told Doug that, many years ago, as a wandering teenage Hippie searching for truth, I was caught up in that movement which thought it was “counter cultural”. I was also asking deeply existential questions and looking for real answers.
One summer, just before I left home to embark on the journey across the country hitchhiking, a rite of passage for so many of us back then, I shared a home in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on Plum Island with two friends for three summer months. The house belonged to one of my friend’s father. He was a College Professor who was away on sabbatical.
There were three bedrooms. So we drew straws to see who would get the big one, with the library. It belonged to his father, an English professor. I won the draw.
That summer, I was captured by C.S. Lewis.
The shelves of that large room were filled with several of the great Authors works, including the Chronicles of Narnia, the Science Fiction Space Trilogy, (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and that Hideous Strength), The Great Divorce, the Screw-tape letters, Mere Christianity and “Till We have Faces”.
I read them all that summer. They fed my deep existential hunger, planted seeds which would later bear lasting fruit and took me to places which made that summer one of the highlights of my life.
I now believe that the “luck of the draw” which landed me in the world of C.S. Lewis, mediated through a summer in a College Professors Bedroom, was no mistake. After that summer I set out on that journey across the Country. All that occurred ultimately led me back to the Church of my Childhood, as I continued to probe those existential questions.
I found that what I was looking for was not something, but Some-one, the Incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ. Then I came to discover that I truly had a home in Him, which could be lived in the Communion of His Church and nourished by the Sacraments. C.S. Lewis, the Anglican, made me a real Catholic.
Over all these years, the extraordinary literary and apologetic gifts of C.S. Lewis have been a guiding inspiration to me in my life and in my work. I have also introduced five children, and will introduce my growing community of grandchildren, to the marvelous gifts and legacy of C.S. Lewis. I am thrilled that I can do so now not only through his writings, but, as they say, on the “big screen”.
C.S. Lewis, through his writings, had tilled the soil for my own re-version to the Catholic Christian faith. He captured the fertile imagination of a 17 year old pilgrim who had rejected many of the things of his age which needed to be rejected, but had nothing else with which to fill the hole in his soul.
I always loved to read. Lewis’ ability to write with such symbolic language, and use words like a paintbrush, has earned him a well deserved place in literary history. His ability to explain the mysteries of the Christian faith, opening them like fresh bread to all who hunger to be fed, have also made him one of the Church’s greatest apologists.
Lewis drew me in to the journey of the two “sons of Adam” and “daughters of Eve” and their rich encounters in Narnia at 17 years of age. Many years later, when I reread the series, they came alive again, but this time within the heart of an older man who needed to hope again, to dream and to believe again. They are evergreen and never grow old.
I still remember the day the “Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was released; I was the first in line, with my adult son. It was a marvelous masterpiece of a movie. I know that Prince Caspian will be even better. I told Doug during our interview, that I am so excited about seeing this film that I feel like a child again.
He laughed and told me I will be thrilled.
He continued “...the enemy has tried to steal the film industry, but he has not succeeded. Many in our day seem to think that it is political leaders who shape the future; nothing could be farther from the truth. It is artists and writers, people who form the imagination, they are the ones who frame the future”
I know he is correct.
Doug served in the same capacity of co-producer, on “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. He is the son of Joy Davidman and William Lindsay Gresham and the stepson of C.S. Lewis, whom he affectionately still calls “Jack”.
Because I am such a Lewis fan, I asked Doug a few questions about this great man in our time together. He was only too glad to respond. In one of his own books, Lenten Lands, an autobiography published in 1988 (HarperCollins), he had written this of Lewis, “Jack was not perfect.... he did not always practice what he preached, though he came nearer to doing so than anyone else I have ever met.”
I was impressed with that comment. After having raised five children, I find myself wondering as I grow older what they will think of me after I have gone home to the Lord. He told me that he cherishes every memory of the great man. He also wanted me, and our readers to know that the images of Lewis are often incorrect, explaining “Jack is misrepresented. He was not dour, or stern. Rather, he was always full of fun. You couldn’t be in a conversation with him without exploding into joy”.
Clearly, “Jack’s legacy” lives, not only in his marvelous books, and now in the movies inspired by them, but in this good man with that deep, resonant voice, who continues to open the heart and mind of the world to the gift that is “Jack”, C.S. Lewis. Doug also wrote a book on his life with Jack entitled “The Life Story of C.S. Lewis”. It was published by Broadman and Holman in October, 2005.
He now works full time for the C.S. Lewis Company. He is a deeply committed Christian. Since 1973, he has worked with all aspects of the Estate of C.S. Lewis. In 1993, the family moved to Ireland so that he could give it more of his attention.
He told me that he knew that I would, because of my faith, see the underlying themes which are so evident in Lewis’ work; themes such as chivalry, love, honesty, integrity, goodness, loyalty and love, all writ large in an exciting and adventurous film of the highest order. Doug exclaimed that the film proclaims to the viewer that “It does not matter how far you have strayed, there is always a way back”.
In “Prince Caspian” we journey back to that faraway realm called Narnia, where more than 1,300 years have passed, in Narnian time. The Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, find that in their absence the former Glories of Narnia have faded into darkness. The stories and glories of old are spoken of only in the whispers of those who keep the ancient ways alive secretly, out of fear of punishment.
The children are summoned by Prince Caspian, the rightful heir to the Telmarine throne, to help him to combat his evil uncle Miraz and restore Narnia. With the help of a dwarf named Trumpkin, a mouse named Reepicheep, and another Dwarf named Nikabrik, they will help the Narnians restore glory to their once beautiful land.
“Prince Caspian” is the second of Lewis' seven-book Chronicles of Narnia series, which includes The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, The Last Battle, and the story that launched the series, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Chronicles were published between 1950 and 1956 and have become one of literature's most enduring and imaginative classics. The books have sold over 100,000,000 copies in more than 35 languages, making it one of the biggest book series the world over.
Through the C.S. Lewis Company, Doug has worked for over twenty years to bring C.S. Lewis’ books to the big screen. Following the resounding success of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” he has embarked on what he now calls “the second chapter in a lifelong dream.”
“I watched that dream come true when ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ exploded onto movie screens around the world in 2005,” he explained. “I always expected the movie to be a delight and a joy to world audiences, but I have been somewhat humbled by its level of success.”
After interviewing Doug Gresham, I am even more impressed with the contributions of CS Lewis. Not only in his stories and books but in the fine people, like Doug, who were so deeply affected by their relationship with him while he graced the earth.
I will be the first in line next week, at my local Theatre, to see “Prince Caspian”. I will also let all of our readers and viewers know that the film was everything that this fine man told me it would be.
We said our good byes as we concluded the interview. I was once again taken with the timber of his voice.
I couldn’t help but wonder whether Doug has another role ahead as he lives out this “lifelong dream” of which he spoke. If not acting on the screen, at least providing a voice over for one of these timeless characters.
After all, the Narnia series has five more wonderful stories to tell after “Prince Caspian” breaks box office records and thrills millions of viewers.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I didn't even know this channel existed! I had stumbled across it when I simply got an upgraded package so I could watch all the NBA playoffs. It's amazing, wall to wall US military current events and history. I'm in Hog Heaven. Go check it out if you haven't already. Actually, you can watch live from their website.
Show Your Support: "WASHINGTON, April 21, 2008 - More than 200 volunteers took the opportunity to support the troops here April 19 during the Jack Daniel’s-United Services Organizations’ “Toast to the Troops” care package stuffing party.
Jack Daniel’s Distillery hosted the event in conjunction with the USO, which left the event with more than 10,000 care packages to send to troops through its USO Care Package Program. It’s not the first time the two organizations have paired up to toast the troops in this manner."