Review: 'The Calling', Filmmaking Masterpiece Moves Hearts to say 'Yes' to God
Life is a calling, what is yours?
'The Calling', now available on DVD, is a must gift for every Christmas list. More than a movie; it is an invitation to love and an encounter with the God who is Love. In this "epiphany of beauty', we discover that Priesthood, religious life, marriage, and parenthood are all, when lived as a response to "the Calling", a path to holiness, happiness and the fullness of life.
'The Calling' is a documentary film by David A. Rhanghelli
CHESAPEAKE, VA. (Catholic Online) - I received a DVD of the film "The Calling", a documentary by David A. Rhanghelli, just before Thanksgiving. I was intrigued by the topic and the subtitle, "Life is a calling, what is yours?" However, the DVD arrived just as my wife and I were to travel across the country to Seattle to visit with our oldest son, daughter in law and two of our six grandchildren.
I was already exhausted and the thought of the airplane ride made it worse. To exacerbate the situation, we are living through a family crisis and are spiritually, physically and emotionally exhausted. During this difficult Advent I find myself walking around singing the refrain of that silly old song, "I need a little Christmas".
I put that DVD into a very large "work pile" and decided it could wait until we returned. We returned more tired than when we left. So, as the pace of life continued to accelerate, the pile was left untouched with the film on top, waiting to be watched and reviewed. It was when I received a kind E mail from David A. Ranghelli, the Director of the film, that I began to sense that watching this film was about more than a review.
So, when my four year old grandson awakened very sick this past Thursday, "Poppi" became responsible for watching this wonderful little boy. After my morning prayer I got the little guy settled in to watching the "Backyardigans" and decided to watch the film on my laptop computer. I found that little piece of Christmas I so desperately needed, and much, much more. "The Calling" is a masterpiece.
From the beginning scene this film melted away my cynicism, rejuvenated my weary soul and restored within me the hope of the season. It is a must gift for every Christmas list. More than a movie; it is an invitation to love and an encounter with the God who is Love. Watching this film I was repeatedly moved to prayer, tears, repentance and reflection on the meaning of life and the beauty of the Christian vocation.
On November 21, 2009 Pope Benedict XVI met with 250 Artists in the Sistine Chapel. He told them they were "custodians of beauty," and asked them to be "heralds and witnesses of hope for humanity." He is continuing the trajectory of his predecessor, the venerable John Paul II, by reawakening within the Church a love for the Arts and a rediscovery of Beauty as a path to God. In his 1999, "Letter to Artists" the late John Paul II called for the creation of "epiphanies of beauty" and encouraged the flourishing of all the arts in a great renewal of humanity for our age.
David RA Ranghelli, Chuck Schultz, Trey Burvant, and all involved with "The Calling" have created such an "Epiphany of Beauty" in making this film. I thank them for giving this weary deacon the "little Christmas" I need. I encourage everyone who reads this review to watch this film and discover - or rediscover - your own Calling. The film revolves around the meaning of "vocation", a word whose etymology in the Latin gives us the essence of the film's claim that everyone has been summoned, called by God. Further, that we all are able to "hear" His voice if we learn to listen and live to respond.
Father Phillip Scott is a priest in Tampa, Florida. He is a magnanimous, loving, charismatic priest whose genuine relationship with God is evident from the moment the viewer first meets him in this film. He is the founder of a new religious community in the Catholic Church called "The Family of Jesus the Healer". Fr. Phillip communicates the love of a living God in his lifestyle of poured out sacrificial love for others. He is a "Man's man" and a "Priests priest". Everything about this man draws you to the One whom He serves. His humor, his empathy, his compassion, his wisdom, his dynamic faith, strength of conviction and his infectious smile communicate the truth he proclaims, that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead and is the meaning of life itself for every man, woman and child created in His Image.
Father Phillip lives as a Christian, a follower of the living Jesus Christ. He really believes that Jesus continues His redemptive mission in the lives of his followers as they live their vocation within the Body of Christ, the Church. Because of this kind of living faith he is able to be a spiritual father to the members of the religious community he founded. He bears the life of the Risen Lord for others. At one point in the film Father Phillip explains, "Every man at his deepest level is a father". It becomes clear as the viewer watches this priest live his vocation why Catholic and Orthodox Christians call priests "father".
Father Phillip Scott heard the Lord call him, in these words, "My son, return to your country of origin". That country is Peru, and the priest intends to move his missionary ...
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