Blurb for “Moana’s Communion of Saints”
Isn’t Christianity about a personal relationship with God? Why also the Communion of Saints? Let Moana’s voyage expand your spiritual horizons! As she grows to appreciate the bigger story she is part of, learn how love flows between the barriers of life and death, time and space!
Excerpt for “Moana’s Communion of Saints”
“…This scene is beautiful on so many. Firstly, it demonstrates that true love transcends the barriers of life and death, of time and space. While the story of Moana obviously doesn’t explore concepts like heaven and judgement, it does demonstrate how relationships are eternal, how love can freely move between the tiers of heaven and earth. Likewise, while our communion of saints begins here – in the church militant, it extends far beyond that, into the church triumphant. The membership of Christ’s body is truly cosmic. Secondly, though grandma had died when the light in the hut went out, she was still interested in Moana’s story here on earth, and very much caught up in it. In this scene, grandma helped Moana get past the first obstacle to her mission – the waves of the reef. Substitute, now, grandma’s stingray for the intercession of the saints in heaven, and you have an idea of just how important the saints are in our lives. This year in particular, I’ve felt the intercession of St Joseph particularly strongly, especially through the provision for my community, the abundant fruit from our garden labour, but also just in spiritual warfare. The intercession of the saints is powerful! In fact, just before she died, St Therese had sensed that her real mission was to begin after her earthly death, saying “upon my death I will let fall a shower of roses; I wish to spend my heaven in doing good upon the earth.” And those of you with a devotion to the Little Flower probably know that the shower of roses is not just a metaphor. And thirdly, this scene with grandma’s stingray also works as a beautiful image of how divine grace in itself works! Catholic teaching has always posited that God’s grace cooperates with our human nature, and never seeks to overpower it or manipulate it. Free will and God’s will are meant to work together in glorious harmony. Grace perfects nature as the saying goes, just as light perfects a stained glass window. In the scene we just heard, both grace and nature were to work to get Moana past the waves. Firstly, Moana chose to set sail, despite the risks involved. Heeding the call placed inside her, she had made all the necessary preparations for the long voyage ahead. But to complement her human efforts, divine grace steps in at the critical moment, to help her do the impossible … to guide the raft over the reefs. Right when Moana needed that extra spiritual boost, grandma’s stingray arrives… just long enough to let her know she is not alone, and never at any point overpowering Moana’s free will. But! do you know what else this scene reminds me? … another famous scene involving crossing treacherous waters – the Israelite crossing the Red Sea in Exodus. Forced right up to the wall of the red sea by the pursing chariots of pharaoh, all seemed hopeless. Now we all know at this point Moses parts the Red Sea right… but note the order in which events unfold. First God commands the people to go forward into the sea, and then, Moses was to stretch out his hand to part the sea. The Israelites needed to step out in faith first. Remember, grace perfects our nature. Just as Moana experienced grammas grace when she obeys her call, so too the Israelite’s experience God’s grace when they obey his call. Where might this kind of grace be awaiting you… the moment you step out in obedience?”
Links to the two scenes mentioned this episode
Grandma’s stingray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-64INXIolE
Moana’s ancestors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgXpsZa8_i4