My son and I see Emilio Estevez’ new film THE WAY at the local ‘artsy’ theatre. The film is set around a father venturing to complete the Camino de Santiago de Compostela — the Way of St James — pilgrimage for his son, who dies on the first leg of the journey. In the film, as in real life, the father is Emilio’s own father — Martin Sheen.
The film is quite beautiful, and moving for me as a Christian. Not to spoil it for those of you who may want to see it, suffice it to say that the scene in the Cathedral of St. James is — for me, at least — extraordinary.
I’ve had experiences of a similar nature at a local abbey here in the Low Country — Mepkin. A retreat at Mepkin Abbey, whether it’s one day or a week, can be a life-changing experience. The quiet — you take a mini-vow of silence — is both deafening and revealing. Attending the Liturgy of the Hours — the Divine Office — can be staggering or not. Much depends upon the retreatant.
Soon, Mepkin hosts its Festival of the Creche, a huge display of nativities from all over the world. Christmas is in the air, and it’s not even All Saints’ Eve!
If you’d like to visit Mepkin, ask the Guestmaster.