During Lent, I was eagerly anticipating watching a movie. That doesn’t sound very good, but this isn’t an ordinary movie. It stars one of my favorite actors, Jim Caviezel, and is about Saint Paul. It turned out I had to wait longer than I expected. A few days before the Apostles’ fast began, I finally had an opportunity to go see it. By then Paul, Apostle of Christ was only playing at our local Dollar Theater.
Our family was a little late for the show and had to stumble cautiously in the dark to find seats. We were surprised to realize that the theater was crowded. Usually, this theater is nearly empty and part of the fun is paying a dollar and then having the venue almost to yourself.
As the film progressed, Saint Paul came to life onscreen. The first thing we noted was that the actor, James Faulkner, resembled icons of Saint Paul:
The film describes events in the Book of Acts. It follows the persecution Saint Paul endured in prison in Rome not long before his martyrdom, depicts Saint Luke (played by Jim Caviezel) visiting Saint Paul in the Roman prison where he dictated Acts to Saint Luke, and details the sufferings of the Christians in Rome. Our family had recently read Acts, and although some scenes were fictionalized to help the plot progress, even the creative scenes were accurate and in keeping with the sobriety and faith-filled ethos of the movie. Throughout the film scripture flowed– often directly quoted in dialogue.
Sitting in a darkened theater, watching the story of great saints, and hearing the beautiful words of the Bible was an emotional experience. Soon, people around us started murmuring things like “Amen!” and I was subtly wiping stray tears from my face.
Paul, the Apostle of Christ is an inspiring, beautiful move which helped prepare us for remembering why we fast in June. Like the apostles, we are called to spread the Good News to the whole world. Fasting, prayer, and contemplation are like a mini boot camp to help us prepare for the great commission. Like Saint Paul, we are called to live our faith even when it seems too difficult, knowing God is near us.
We’re each called to share our faith with a pain filled world that desperately needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
Paul, Apostle of Christ is no longer playing in theatres, but it is available for purchase here: http://www.paulmovie.com/site/
Wouldn’t it be fun to host a movie night this summer and be inspired by this beautiful, true story?