Reach for the Stars! (With Your Prayers, That Is)

Christians love to grumble about Hollywood.

And, of course, if you go to the grocery store, you can easily understand why - gossip, scandal, divorce here, affair there, evil presented with fascination, good presented as boring or out-of-date, the faith mocked, secularism exalted, and a whole complexity of reasons why Hollywood strikes so many of us as the antithesis of the faith.

There's some truth in the Christian aversion to the works of Hollywood, and some reasons against such a stance (like the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies; like The Passion of the Christ and the work of the Act One faculty and alumni, all working at the heart of the entertainment industry; like the many works of art, small and great, that tell the truth, exemplify love as stronger than evil and death, and do so much to shine a light in the gathering gloom - see the Vatican film list, if you want some ideas of what to watch). That's not the point.

The point is this: When did those tabloid covers last move you to prayer for the celebrities splashed across them?

When did the latest scandal, the latest divorce, the latest bizarre film on losing your faith or the latest anti-Catholic comment prompt more than irritation at "those people" destroying the culture?

When did you last settle down to seriously pray for them?

After all, we're reminded of celebrities and their works all the time. What would happen if ordinary Catholics everywhere used those omnipresent billboards, magazine covers, and advertising spots as a call to prayer, not an occasion for irritation?

We have some remarkably powerful tools in the Holy Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, after all. Jesus told St. Faustina:

I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (Diary, 687). Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will. (Diary, 1731).

Combine those devotions with the graces available through the Hour of Great Mercy or the Divine Mercy Image; through enrolling them in the Association of Marian Helpers; through offering up your sufferings in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, explains in The 'One Thing' is Three; through loving your neighbor, your enemy, your brother or sister; through simply praying for those celebrities and Hollywood folk - all those graces can and will make a difference, whether we see the fruits or not.

Just imagine what we could do!

We are not powerless in the face of the dictatorship of relativism and the culture of death. Nor do we need to be especially well-educated or brilliant to answer the challenges the faith and the family face today. We simply need to trust in Jesus, trust in almighty God, and love as he has loved us.

So today, pray for those who create the movies, music, and art our world consumes. Consider praying especially for artists and entertainers who have given you special delight over the years: your favorite actors, directors, musicians, writers, and others. Pray for the storytellers and the artisans, the dreamers and the dressmakers, the high and the low of the entertainment world, for they are our brethren. They are God's beloved. And they should be in our prayers.

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