24 October 2011

ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHTH

A.  The ordinary sense of the word "talents" (i.e. an individual's particular aptitudes and skills, also spoken of as "gifts") derives directly from the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30.

B.  The reason Gandhi (5) is a good movie is that Richard Attenborough models his Gandhi on Jesus Christ.  Hence the film itself is a crypto-hagiography.  The moments at which it rings false are (1) whenever Martin Sheen opens his mouth (alas!), and (2) whenever the Mahatma starts talking about the convergence of world religions.  There may be some issues with the heavy emphasis on self-rule, but the ways self-rule is demonstrated in the film are conducive to a Christian understanding of freedom.  Gandhi demonstrates his freedom most of all through penitential acts, neighborly charity, and preaching.  In the film, he has all three evangelical counsels (obedience to the Truth).  We are spared his finer philosophical errors.

C.  "And without doubt it was possible to have done everything through the instrumentality of angels, but the condition of our race would have been much more degraded if God had not chosen to make use of men as the ministers of His word to their fellow-men.  For how could that be true which is written, The temple of God is holy, which temple you are, if God gave forth no oracles from His human temple, but communicated everything that He wished to be taught to men by voices from heaven, or through the ministration of angels? Moreover, love itself, which binds men together in the bond of unity, would have no means of pouring soul into soul, and, as it were, mingling them one with another, if men never learned anything from their fellow-men."  — Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana