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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


richard elmore

Having read Anne Rice's book, I'd agree that it is a speculative work backed by scripture and tradition. It has a solid Catholic feel to it and I'd say it was theologically orthodox. Many of the speculative parts draw on Catholic tradition. There is nothing about it that would warrant the tag 'horror film' - not remotely. Someone must be making assumptions based on his knowledge of Rice's other books.

Carl Olson

Richard: The confusion is my fault. The Rice movie and the other movie, which is called a "horror" flick, are two different entities, although produced by the same company. I realize now that how I presented the info was misleading. Also, I highlighed the "and tradition" part because Good News Holdings is apparently an Evangelical company.

Dan Sheehan

This line -- "Throughout, Jesus interacts with his jealous older brother James" -- makes me wonder how theologically orthodox it could be. Not to mention the bit about "troubled by the secret of his own identity, which has been kept from him all his life..."

Celestial SeraphiMan

"spiritainment"? Huh?

Cristina A. Montes

"At seven years old, Jesus is a curious child, wise beyond his years, yet troubled by the secret of his own identity, which has been kept from him all his life.

Rice paints this most exceptional and unique boy as sincerely and tangibly human - more human than we've ever seen him. His quest is entirely genuine as he struggles each day to know why he is different - to know why he is able to do extraordinary things. Throughout, Jesus interacts with his jealous older brother James, his offbeat uncle Cleopas, his closest friend - Little Salome, and a wise, dogmatic Rabbi Berekhaiah."

Has J.K. Rowling heard of this? :P

Seriously, though, I haven't read "Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt", and I don't intend to. I doubt the orthodoxy of a picture of Jesus that already performed miracles before his public ministry. Nevertheless, I'm grateful for the initial stages of Anne Rice's reversion and I pray that goes "further up and further in."

Kyle Potter

The marketing kind of weirds me out, but as you probably know, Rice returned to the Catholic Church due in large part to her reading of biblical scholar N.T. Wright. Let's think of it as a potentially very positive historical fiction. Like you, I'm curious. And maybe a little excited about how good it could be.

fr richard

Your attempt to escape righteous retribution through a parenthetical disclaimer has failed. I can read between the lines (at least until I get my new glasses.)

This Sunday's biblically based homily: "Bloggers and Authors; Whose Teeth Are Chattering in the Belly of the Whale?"

I'm sure your children will be listening THIS time, as I name names in special spiritainment style.

(Or maybe not.)

(Darn parenthetical disclaimers!)

Cajun Nick

Fr. Richard,

Very funny! :)


I really enjoyed Rice's book and I would hope that the critics here would not look to her past to judge her, and instead read her novel before pronouncing an opinion.

Anne's writing is rich, and in this novel she moves into new territory. I can only say it reminded me of Cormac McCarthy and the concise yet immeasurably descriptive language really transported me.

No jealousy of James or heretical miracles stand out in my mind, just an intimate and moving portrait of the Holy Family.


Jesus Christ never had an identity crisis.

Carl Olson

I'm sure your children will be listening THIS time, as I name names in special spiritainment style.

Well, Father Richard, your bit with the puppets and disco ball almost kept their attention this past Sunday, but I think a new stereo system, celebrity homilists, and an overhead screen are probably in order. Hey, I'm no prophet, but I bet Jonah would have had an easier time of it if he had followed a similar pastoral plan.

MMajor Fan

I read the book and here's what I think. I'm thrilled that instead of writing about vampires that she's writing about the Lord. I also liked the flavor of the times and the speculation about his family structure is sound. There is one scene that is just marvelous, where the child Jesus teaches that God is a carpenter by quoting scriptures. However, the cloud that hangs over the book is the assumption that Jesus did not know who he was from birth. That is plain untrue and inconsistent with the source of his knowledge being prayer with the Father (Pope Benedict writes about this in his new book, which is marvelous). It's not like Jesus didn't know who he was from his earliest thoughts, and then someone came along and taught him how to pray to God and obtain all knowledge from him. He had an interior life and prayer conversation with the Lord from birth, that was already developed by his youth. This is obvious Luke 3:49 And he said to them, "how is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" 50. And they did not understand the word that he spoke to them.

The reason they did not understand is that obviously, Jesus had not discussed with them his interior dialogue through prayer with the Father. This means this was his at birth condition and developed within himself from the beginning of his life. Luke comments that 52. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men. This means he already had grace and wisdom before God and expanded (grew) in its maturity commensurate with his activities and age. Like Jackson commented above, Anne writes as if Jesus is befuddled and did not know who he was. Where did his knowledge come from, in order to dialogue with the teachers at the temple as a child. Notice that Luke reports that "all who were listening to him were amazed at his understanding and his answers"... His "answers"... so he was answering questions that the teachers had asked HIM and thus causing amazement as a child.

Whenever people speculate "if or when Jesus 'knew' who he was" I have to control myself from biting myself in the arm lol. These people say, why didn't the gospels describe where his knowledge and self awareness came from? Well, they do, they spell out that he drew knowledge from God the Father through his prayer, in numerous passages. Who taught him what had never been done before? Obviously he was born already in interior dialogue with God the Father. Also, we live in such goofy self referential times now that it's like people expect the gospel authors to anticipate that readers would be unbelievers and had to have it spelled out to them as a apologetic that Jesus was born who he is and completely self aware in dialogue with God the Father. Their not mentioning it is the obvious statement. The gospel authors would think that the question "when did Jesus 'know' who he was" was totally daft, and they probably would think that was heretical, implying that he was incomplete and got his knowledge from an external time and event.

So I dread a film with a pensive child actor Jesus, biting his lip and gazing off into the distance, wondering about the big secret and who he really is. Childhood miracles that are needed because of childish lack of self control on his part, and then angst and special effects. LOL! UGH! I'd challenge someone to write a speculative script about Paul as a child, how he became a zealot and his angst lol. Applying that to Jesus does not do the faith a favor. And I like Anne, I've written to her about my thoughts when the book came out and she's very talented and dedicated. Still, the temptation to make a child Jesus full of angst and confusion rather than grace and wisdom as the bible describes is a step backwards.


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