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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Robert Barron » Robert Barron - A Quiet Place

Robert Barron - A Quiet Place

Robert Barron - A Quiet Place

You know sometimes I go to see a movie with these reviews in mind I think oh that movie probably left some cool religious themes, but I'll confess I went to John krasinskI's a quiet place without any expectation of doing a religious commentary I just thought it would be a fun night the movies it got very good reviews I kind of liked thrillers, but I didn't expect anything really of a religious nature, and I must say I was just delightfully surprised by what I found. I don't claim. I can find some golden thread that draws all this together into a very coherent, you know, religious message, but I think it's hard to deny.

There are a lot of religious elements in this rather extraordinary movie the the plot is laid out very deftly at the beginning of the movie there's this plague of devouring creatures. That's descended upon the earth and it appears they've they've killed off almost everybody where they came from we don't know which I kind of like in thrillers it doesn't over explain things was it an alien invasion of some kind who knows but there are these awful creatures and though they're blind they are extremely acute of hearing and so human beings have figured out if you're gonna survive they have to remain silent and so the movie opens we see this this young family.

This is a young couple, and they're three of young kids and they're making their way through beautiful, but very dangerous open country because they're exposed to these creatures, and they're maintaining a very strict silence but then their youngest child their boy has a little toy rocket, and he sort of inadvertently hits the switch, and this little noise comes out and the father panics you could see but then before he can get to his son boom he's been devoured by one of these creatures so the movie gets our attention right away like what's at stake here? At this point I think it was through a sign in the mailbox we discover the name of the family, and I don't think I could this is the least bit accidental they're called the abbott's the abbott family because I say that's not xml because when we see their home, and how they're living it is for all the world a monastery.

Here's this family living basically in silence almost like in a trappist silence they speak as the trappist do in sign language to each other they engage in quiet work with books so the kids are studying they do farming, but of course there can't be any sounds. There's no machinery or implementation or anything metallic it's all done quietly in a kind of pre-modern way to get their food they fish but again in pre-modern of style they even creep around the monastery barefoot because they can't be making any sound they're a bit like the discalced Carmelites, you know who are not wearing shoes and maybe the most startling thing it's a scene that I must say really got my attention because it's so rare in a Hollywood movie very quietly they gather around the table for their evening meal and they join hands and they pray a silent grace so what do we see well we see this?

Abbot and Abbess the mother and father who are basically running a monastery a place of silence of quiet work at books and in the field and and of prayer well, what strikes me is in these more thoughtful kind of thriller movies the the beasts or the monsters you know? Represent usually our primal fears so our own fear of failure our own fear of our inner darkness our fear of sickness of the death of loved ones of our own death right so the monsters symbolize usually all these things that were afraid of in a primal way.

Well the first move of this movie I think is to say the way to keep the beasts at bay is a return to a monastic life of simplicity prayer and care for each other it's very clear that this family in a moral sense of the term even as they're in great danger that morally speaking they're flourishing meaning that they are in a very generous way caring for each other so is this the style of life, but in fact it's keeping the the powers at bay. I think is a really interesting thing okay, the plot thickens when we realize and again. It's just very it's not trumpeted, it's just in a very kind of quiet way.

We realized that the mother the Abbess of this monastery is pregnant and we think oh my gosh how in the world is this family going to survive the birth of a newborn a howling crying newborn. In fact won't the birth of this child amount to their death? I mean they're all going to be exposed if this child is allowed to be born but yet they are making elaborate preparations both. I would say psychological spiritual and practical to bring this child into an extremely hostile environment now I couldn't help, but think of the situation in our culture where you know abortion on demand is legally protected partial birth abortion a child coming out of the birth canal can be killed even a child who by some miracle survives an abortion procedure can can be killed under the protection of the law when so many people say some version of or how could I bring a child into such a terrible world?

I don't know without trumpeting this view. I think this movie presents a pretty radical pro-life position as this family is willing to welcome life in a very generous way in the most hostile and difficult of circumstances now I'm not gonna go into all the all the plot twists and so on in the movie. Let me just highlight a couple things when the baby's coming the mother happens to be alone in the house and as the babies come into the world one of these awful creatures has made its way into them into the space and has come up the stairs to where she is and the mother is desperately trying to maintain our own silence as the baby comes into the world to keep the baby quiet well as this as this my is waiting to devour the child.

I couldn't help but think of that great scene in the Book of Revelation when the the woman laboring to give birth as the dragon is about to devour the child but then in the Book of Revelation the mother and child are whisked away in this movie the the monster is is is whisked away the other two children find themselves at a point in the movie in grave danger there outside the house and they they are trapped in an abandoned car and one of these creatures reminded me of a jurassic park is in fact the movie quotes a lot of horror movies in many ways but here is that this beast is kind of clawing at the car like in that awful t-rex scene from you know the first jurassic park there they are the father sees the situation.

He realizes that that he can't save them unless unless he cries out and draws the creature to himself and away from his children and so he catches the eye of his daughter through the window of a car, and he mouths the words I love you to her and then he screams he shouts and of course the beast comes devours him well anybody who is sensitive to the Christian theological tradition? Recognizes this kind of move as what the church fathers called the Christus victor move that means Christ the victor, I Christ the the conqueror how's it work? Jesus as it were drew the dark powers to himself and in the process liberated those whom the dark powers had controlled now the church fathers will play with that image in different ways.

But the idea is, and watch my video on Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, to see another variation of this theme by drawing the powers to himself in a self sacrificial way he liberate those who are in thrall to the powers so this beautifully? Exemplifies the Christus victor of theory okay, much more. I could say about this movie, but that just gives you a hint now what's this all in the mind of krasinski? Who is the the director of the movie as well as the star of it wasn't the mind of the writers? I'm not precisely sure but it is true that krasinski is a Catholic and indeed a devout Catholic his mother irish Catholic his father a polish Catholic I don't know I think it's hard to deny that these themes are operative and they make a quiet place in my judgment anyway the most surprisingly religious movie of the year.
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