All posts tagged: Full of Grace

Mary in the Movies: A Review of “Full of Grace”

For more than a century, the Blessed Virgin Mary has caught the imaginations of filmmakers of all religious persuasions: devout believers, agnostic, and even atheist affiliations. The intersection of theology and secular culture presents the monumental challenge to filmmakers of depicting what escapes all visual categories: Transcendence and Mystery. The cinematic depictions of Mary of Nazareth range from being in harmony with the Christian faith to sacrilegious portrayal and caricature. One day after the Solemnity of the Annunciation (celebrated this year on April 4), the Institute for Church Life was privileged to host a screening of Full of Grace, a feature film depicting the early Church ten years after Christ’s Ascension. The film, written and directed by Andrew Hyatt, is unique in that it portrays an aging Mary, one decade after Pentecost leading up to her Assumption. The public event, attracting more than two hundred people, was one of three belonging to an undergraduate course called Mary in the Movies. During six weeks of intensive learning, nearly forty students familiarized themselves with the portrayal of …

God in the Silence: Full of Grace

Silence is both a terrible and a beautiful thing. But how does one describe silence? Since I was born profoundly deaf in both ears, I know silence quite intimately. Even though I use a hearing device called a cochlear implant for my right ear, I am still able to encounter silence whenever I turn off my cochlear implant, and from my experience, I can tell you that the silence of the hearing world is incomparable to the silence of the deaf. Although it is an inadequate analogy, the best way that I can describe to you the physical experience of silence, that is, the complete absence of sound, is this: imagine waking up very early one winter morning and standing outside, gazing upon the mounds of fresh, white, pristine snow. There’s no movement, no wind, no birds chirping or squirrels running around. No sound of scraping shovels, whirring snow blowers, or snow plows grinding down the street. If you hold your breath for a moment, then there’s absolute stillness. And you’re all alone. You hear …

We Do Not Bear Our Crosses Alone: Full of Grace

I stood in the Chapel of St. Joseph the Worker in O’Neill Hall—my home for the four years I spent as a Notre Dame undergrad—and stared at the small wooden statues depicting the Stations of the Cross that hung on the wall. Usually when someone mentions Stations of the Cross, my mind immediately returns to Lenten Friday afternoons at St. Joseph Elementary School where the cycle of standing, genuflecting, listening, and reading felt like it went on for hours on end. This experience at Stations, though, was quite different. A lot weighed heavily upon me—academic stresses, concerns with being a Resident Assistant, trying to help friends through changes in their lives, and the uncertainty that came with graduation. While I now can pinpoint some of the causes of these feelings of stress, at the time I could not, and so I tried to dismiss my feelings and to convince myself that I was merely creating a drama in my own mind. And yet, while I recognized that these were natural things for a college student …

God in the Darkness: Full of Grace

Senior year of high school started just as one would expect it to. I hit the ground running juggling school, sports, student council, clubs, and the dreaded college application process. My friends and I trudged along with hopeful anticipation for second semester. Our minds were occupied with the anxieties of college decision letters and the typical stresses of senior year. Nothing else seemed to matter beyond application essays and SAT scores. That is until March. I remember getting the news at my soccer banquet in line for pizza. I got a text in a group chat that read, “Greg fell on his long board and is in the hospital.” I knew a group of guys in my class rode up and down different hills around the valley. They documented almost every long boarding session with a GoPro. The 5-minute videos often appeared in my newsfeed. I figured he had fallen and broken an arm or leg, but certainly nothing serious. Surely they got it on film and there’s probably a funny story behind it. My …

Small Works of Mercy: Full of Grace

I used to like to think that I was a very self-sufficient person.  And who wouldn’t be proud of that?  It’s a trait that our society highly values, especially as students make the transition from high school to college.  We hear that it’s great to be able to take care of yourself, to get things done without relying on others, to take responsibility for your actions.  Because of this, college is seen as an essential part of growing up and becoming a respectable adult.  While I do value the skills I’ve gained that allow me to navigate my life more independently, I’ve learned that there’s more to success than self-sufficiency. In high school, I was that girl in the group who would pretty much do the entire project on my own because I didn’t trust anyone else to meet my standards.  I was the girl who would never let peers edit my rough drafts because I refused to let them see my vulnerable and imperfect stage.  I was the girl who would never admit a …

God Doesn’t Create Boring People: Full of Grace

A rocket scientist, a college athlete, and a perfectionist walk into a bar… This is not the start to some cliché joke; rather, this is actually what it looks like when my siblings enter any room.  I, on the other hand, am the younger and seemingly less accomplished sibling who is running, desperately, trying to catch up with them. I have grown up being called “little Bourb,” which I don’t really mind.  My siblings are super amazing people and my three best friends. They’re the ones with whom I can make fun of my parents, get into heated monopoly trades, or simply sit and say nothing.  I love them and being compared to them is pretty flattering.  However, I have struggled with the universally accepted idea that I will be just like them or should be just like them. Coaches, teachers, family, tend to have expectations of me based off of my siblings, which can be a little daunting at times. My oldest brother, Jack, graduated as the salutatorian of his high school class and …