The Pauline Center for Media Studies (PCMS) suggests two possible ways to approach a film with the lens of faith: Meeting Jesus at the Movies and Cinema Divina. Our Faith & Film Guides offer you both approaches so that you can enrich your appreciation of good films while at the same time deepening your faith and contributing to the dialogue between faith and culture.
Meeting Jesus at the Movies is a conversation-based event. It’s not a film discussion but more of a faith sharing of insights from the film in connection with the Word of God. A particular Scripture passage is chosen to read before and after the film, and becomes the "lens" through which the film is viewed.
Cinema Divina fosters our ability to view culture with the eyes of faith. Drawing on the ancient prayer form of praying with the Bible known as lectio divina, cinema divina is a prayerful reading of a film in light of Scripture. It is more of a prayer experience than a conversation, although there is an element of sharing involved.
Whichever approach you decide to use, this helpful guide can be used individually for personal reflection, with a family or group of friends, or for a larger prayer or parish group.
At Christmas, we celebrate the sacrificial love of God, who comes to us in the poor Christ Child. In It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey has made many sacrifices for the sake of saving the town, but when he faces losing everything, he starts to doubt the meaning of his life. George's crisis becomes an opportunity for a desperate man to discover how truly wonderful his life is.
Faith & Film Guides from the Pauline Center for Media Studies offer a reflective approach to living and strengthening your faith while engaging with popular culture. Click below to get the guide, free.
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