Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chesterton Responds

For at present we all tend to one mistake; we tend to make politics too important. We tend to forget how huge a part of a man's life is the same under a Sultan and a Senate, under Nero or St. Louis. Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance; food and friends will be welcomed; work and strangers must be accepted and endured; birds will go bedwards and children won't, to the end of the last evening. And the worst peril is that in our just modern revolt against intolerable accidents we may have unsettled those things that alone make daily life tolerable. It will be an ironic tragedy if, when we have toiled to find rest, we find we are incurably restless. It will be sad if, when we have worked for our holiday, we find we have unlearnt everything but work. The typical modern man is the insane millionaire who has drudged to get money, and then finds he cannot enjoy even money. There is danger that the social reformer may silently and occultly develop some of the madness of the millionaire whom he denounces. He may find that he has learnt how to build playgrounds but forgotten how to play. He may agitate for peace and quiet, but only propagate his own mental agitation. In his long fight to get a shave a half-holiday he may angrily deny those ancient and natural things, the zest of being, the divinity of man, the sacredness of simple things, the health and humour of the earth, which alone make a half-holiday even half a holiday or a slave even half a man.

There is danger in that modern phrase 'divine discontent'. There is truth in it also, of course; but it is only truth of a special and secondary kind. Much of the quarrel between Christianity and the world has been due to this fact; that there are generally two truths, as it were, at any given moment of revolt or reaction, and the ancient underlying truism which is nevertheless true all the time. It is sometimes worth while to point out that black is not so black as it is painted; but black is still black, and not white. So with the merits of content and discontent. It is true that in certain acute and painful crises of oppression or disgrace, discontent is a duty and shame could call us like a trumpet. But it is not true that man should look at life with an eye of discontent, however high-minded. It is not true that in his primary, naked relation to the world, in his relation to sex, to pain, to comradeship, to the grave or to the weather, man ought to make discontent his ideal; it is black lunacy. Half his poor little hopes of happiness hang on his thinking a small house pretty, a plain wife charming, a lame foot not unbearable, and bad cards not so bad. The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea.

G.K. Chesterton, “What is Right with the World” - thanks to Dale Ahlquist

Hilaire Belloc on our Recent Election

The enemy which the Faith now has to meet, and which may be called "The Modern Attack," is a wholesale assault upon the fundamentals of the Faith - upon the very existence of the Faith. And the enemy now advancing against us is increasingly conscious of the fact that there can be no question of neutrality. The forces now opposed to the Faith design to destroy. The battle is henceforward engaged upon a definite line of cleavage, involving the survival or destruction of the Catholic Church. And all - not a portion - of its philosophy.

... I do not entitle the modern attack "anti-Christ" - though in my heart I believe that to be the true term for it: No, I do not give it that name because it would seem for the moment exaggerated. But the name doesn't matter. Whether we call it "The Modern Attack" or "anti-Christ" it is all one; there is a clear issue now joined between the retention of Catholic morals, tradition, and authority on the one side, and the active effort to destroy them on the other. The modern attack will not tolerate us. It will attempt to destroy us. Nor can we tolerate it. We must attempt to destroy it as being the fully equipped and ardent enemy of the Truth by which men live. The duel is to the death.

- from The Great Heresies, 1938

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Theater of the Word's 2008-2009 Season at the John Paul II Theater

at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury 314-849-WORD /

A Morning Star Christmas

This holiday show features the short comedy-mystery “Who Killed Christmas”, the one-act “Making Room”, in which the nativity story is told from the point of view of the Innkeeper’s Wife, and “Suzie at the Mall”, the poetic tale of consumerism gone wild.

December 5, 6, 7 & and Sunday, December 14 at 2:00 pm.

The Quest for Shakespeare

Joseph Pearce, author of Literary Converts and of biographies of Chesterton, Belloc, Oscar Wilde, and more, joins us all the way from England to talk about his upcoming series on EWTN in which he makes the case that the greatest writer of all time was in fact a recusant Catholic. His talk is illustrated by scenes from Shakespeare’s plays acted out on stage!

January 9, 10 at 8:00 pm.

The Passion of Our Lord

Make Lent more profound by attending this unforgettable one-man show, as compiled from the Passion narratives in the four Gospels.

March 20, 21, 22.

Socrates Meets Jesus

Based on the best-seller by Peter Kreeft, this play answers the question – what would happen if Socrates came back to life and went to college in modern America? How would he handle the mushy modern mind? And what would he make of this character everybody’s talking about?

April 17, 18, 19 & 24, 25, 26

For tickets call 1-888-946-3648, or go to our ecommerce site and click on "Tickets to Shows" in the upper left hand box.

Youtube Clips

Be sure to check out our Youtube Page where you'll find scenes from our appearances on EWTN's The Apostle of Common Sense as well as new appearances by everyone's favorite ex-seminarian, Stanford Nutting. Plus a few surprises along the way.

TV Updates

Many of you tried to watch Kevin O'Brien's interview with host Marcus Grodi on The Journey Home on September 15. The day before the show was to air, Missouri, where Kevin lives, and Ohio, where Marcus Grodi lives, was hit with the tremendous force of the remnants of what had been another Gulf Coast hurricane - flooding St. Louis and knocking out power to much of central Ohio.

And while Kevin was able to make it to the studios of EWTN in Alabama, Marcus was stranded in Ohio! When a repeat aired that night in which Marcus said, "My guest tonight can't make it due to a family emergency", Kevin received calls from all over the country wondering what had happened - when in fact Kevin was comfortably having dinner with his friend Noah Lett, head of the theology department at the network, while Marcus Grodi sat at home in the dark.

The live interview, in which Kevin will discuss his journey from atheist to Catholic, with acting and producing along the way - is now scheduled for Monday, December 15 at 8 pm Eastern, 7 pm Central.

In addition, EWTN will be taping a Journey Home interview between Marcus Grodi and St. Paul the Apostle - perhaps the most famous of all converts to the Faith! Mr. O'Brien will be playing St. Paul (once Noah Lett and the theology department approves his script), and the interview will air sometime after taping. Stay tuned for updates.

Pro-Life Tour to Wisconsin

Editor's note: This past month two of our actresses, Maria Romine and Erica Sharpe, performed eleven shows in nine days throughout the state of Wisconsin. The show was "Sarah's Secret", a gripping pro-life drama. We asked Maria to tell us about the tour and the show's impact on the young audiences who saw it.

My experience touring with “Sarah’s Secret” this past October in Wisconsin changed my life.

Saturday, October 4, the first day of our tour, we performed “Sarah’s Secret” three times at the Power of Life Conference in Appleton and we discovered the incredible impact that this show has on people. After each performance, several mothers would come up to Erica (my acting partner) and me – sometimes with tears in their eyes - telling us how glad they were that we were taking the show to local high schools while on tour. “This is just the sort of thing our kids need to see,” they would tell us. With each show we did at the conference, the audience at least doubled until our last show had people sitting on the floor – the power of word-of-mouth!

We travelled to Roncalli High School in Manitowoc on Monday. Ben, the Campus Spiritual counselor, was blown away by the first performance of Sarah’s Secret. “You have the kids talking about how abortion affects people!” he exclaimed. Many members of the school’s Pro-Life club attended the next show and were so fired up after seeing it that they said it made them want to do more to champion their cause.

Tuesday, we performed at Lourdes High School in Oshkosh. They have a very enthusiastic counselor there by the name of Kathie , who was beside herself after the first show. The school’s troublemakers were in attendance and she had been prepared to take action if needed, but the students were riveted to their seats during the entire performance. Kathie just glowed with praise about “Sarah’s Secret”.

Wednesday, we visited St. Mary Central High School in Neenah where I pray that the counselors spent time with the students after the show. We were on such a tight schedule that we not able to witness and explain the show after it ended. The show ends very dramatically and we often hear weeping in the audience. By following up with witnessing and explaining options for people who are considering abortion or who have been involved in it, we as actresses are able to steer them in the right direction.

Erica Sharpe (left) and Maria Romine in a scene from "Sarah's Secret"

At St. Thomas Aquinas Academy in Marinette, we encountered a small but mighty school of students. They loved the show. Many of the Junior class helped us strike our equipment and reload our van, which was wonderful after all the driving and performing we had done. One of the students was helping us pack the costumes. “We have ten kids in our family and all of us are adopted,” she said with pride. “You have an awesome Mom and Dad,” I commented. “Yeah, I do,” she said with a smile. “I love them.” What a beautiful pro-life statement that this family has made! I thank God that the birth-mothers of these children chose to give them life – and that the adoptive parents chose to give them a family.

Thursday, we visited Norte Dame Academy in Green Bay . Sister Laura had come to the conference to see the show, so that she could be prepared for the theology students that were scheduled to see it. After each show, Sister Laura would ask questions of the students and the theater would buzz with their answers. She actually had made some observations about the show that I had not even realized. I have filed these away in my head, so that I am aware of which parts of the show do have an effect and why.

There are a couple people that I have failed to mention up until now, but should have been mentioned throughout this journal.

One is our contact from the Power of Life, Sharon. Sharon could have just done her job at the conference and then left us to tour the schools. Instead, she put us under her wing and made sure that the schools we visited were ready for us. She introduced us at many of the schools we performed at, she said the rosary all the while we were performing, she had people praying for us throughout the entire tour, and she shared with us her story of faith. Sharon was definitely our guardian angel for this tour making sure that we had safe passage.

Another guardian angel was Melissa, who took us to the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Robinson and who showed us how to make knotted string rosaries and who showed us a great time.

The other person I’d like to thank is Karen O’Brien, who was our den mother, our counselor, and for the entire tour- our driver. Karen made sure we took time to rest (even though some of us protested) and she made sure we were on time to the shows no matter where the shows were. I am so thankful we had Karen on this tour and I am certain that we would not have been as successful without her help. In fact, Karen summed up the trip rather well when we were heading home, “ I feel like I am leaving part of my family.” I hope we someday revisit our family in Christ in Wisconsin, but I look forward to meeting the brothers and sisters that I have not even met elsewhere in the country, for our next tours of “Sarah’s Secret”.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Robinson, Wisconsin

New Website

The Theater of the Word Incorporated now has a new brand new website!

Special features include a link to our Youtube page, where you can watch videos of our TV appearances and other treats; a link to our ecommerce site, where tickets to shows and Theater of the Word merchandise can be purchased; lists and descriptions of all of our shows. Check it out!