"The Fault in Our Stars" and the Sacred Heart of Jesus | Fr. Robert Barron | Catholic World Report blog
The question that haunts the entire movie is how can there be meaning in the universe when two wonderful young kids are dying of cancer?
John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton Books, 2012) has proven to be wildly popular among young adults in the English-speaking world, and the recently released film adaptation of the book has garnered both impressive reviews and a massive audience.
A one-time divinity school student and Christian minister, Green is not reluctant to explore the “big” questions, though he doesn’t claim to provide anything like definitive answers. In this, he both reflects and helps to shape the inchoate, eclectic spirituality that holds sway in the teen and 20-something set today. After watching the film however, I began to wonder whether his Christian sensibility doesn’t assert itself perhaps even more clearly and strongly than he realizes.
The story is narrated by Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager suffering from a debilitating and most likely terminal form of cancer. At her mother’s prompting, Hazel attends a support group for young cancer patients that takes place at the local Episcopal Church. The group is presided over by a well-meaning but nerdy youth minister who commences each meeting by rolling out a tapestry of Jesus displaying his Sacred Heart. “We are gathering, literally, in the heart of Jesus,” he eagerly tells the skeptical and desultory gaggle of teens.
At one of these sessions, Hazel rises to share her utterly bleak, even nihilistic philosophy of life: