When a plant grows to maturity, it bears fruit. This comes naturally. In the human situation too, bearing good fruit is not just something we adults are supposed to do, even less something we do only for others. It is something we want to do. We see this in the joy of a mother and father when a child is born and in the satisfaction we feel when we give life to those in need: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the lonely, the depressed, the addicted. We see it in the faces of the saints; in the face of a woman like Catherine Doherty. The law of charity is inscribed in our very being.
The medium of film (in which we include the burgeoning made-for-television output) is an exciting one for exploring the ideas that Humanum is concerned with. The long awaited new film from master director Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life, did not disappoint. Both this and an unusual adaptation of the classic Little Women, by Greta Gerwig explored human growth within an intimate family context, and the role that suffering plays in forming a mature human being. A recent work of fiction, Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House, continues the theme of maturity, and forgiveness, traced through a complex family history. Finally, the new Netflix series, Messiah, which focuses on what a second coming of the Son of Man might look like to those interacting with him, is deconstructed by our uncompromising critic Mark Thomas.
Table of Contents
Re-Source: Classic Texts
Catherine Doherty: “Spirit of the Constitution”
John Bishop: “FOCUS: Hope for the New Evangelization”
Tongxin Lu: “John C.H. Wu: Judge, Diplomat, and the Vocation to Public Service”
Fr. David May: “Poustinia: The Desert Where the Word Speaks”
Colet C. Bostick: “Searching for Happiness On an Elephant’s Back”
Haidt, Jonathan, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (Basic Books, 2006).
Mandy Reimer: “The Difference Between Charity and Philanthropy”
Kidder, Tracy, Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2009).
Brian Rottkamp: “The Gift of the Monks of Tibhirine”
Kiser, John, The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2003).
Suzanne Tanzi: “A Credible Witness of Mercy”
The Sisters of Life, Regaining Sight: Stories of Hope (2017).