What to watch during Lent

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We like movie time. There’s just something about piling as many people as possible on the couch and continually shushing the children who like to talk through movies about the movies. Being that this is the season of Lent, you may want to choose some films that drive home the virtues and intentions of the season. Service, sacrifice, love, justice, penance and fish on Fridays.  So, unless you gave up movies for Lent, here are some recommendations:

What To Watch During Lent

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Films About Saints and Martyrs:

Vision – From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen Hildegard is a saint too few of us know. She was so courageous and so brilliant and often way ahead of her time. She encountered Jesus in so many ways, not only in her prophetic visions, but also through the stuff of earth–through honoring the everyday sacredness of things.

Therese about St. Therese of Lisieux. The call to live in and through love. We could all use a bit more of that, especially during Lent.

A Man for All Seasons  about St. Thomas More.  A man who refused to compromise his integrity no matter what. It cost him dearly.

For Greater Glory about Cristiada. Be prepared to weep. We watched this with our older children and it’s something we still talk about a year later.

The Reluctant Saint about St. Joseph of Cupertino. Beautiful old movie and appropriate for the whole family. It’ll make you want to fly!

Movies about Surrendering and/or God’s Will:

Henry Poole Is Here Surprisingly, this movie that no one ever saw, is profound. Really some great food for thought here, in a non-preachy way. (May not be appropriate for the whole family.)

Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty  (Evan is more appropriate for the whole family than Bruce.)

The Way This film about pilgrimage is beautiful shot. Stunning!  But the message is even better.

Movies about the Feast and the Fast:

Ashes to Glory: An Easter Devotional on DVD This DVD has a 2-3 minute video to watch each day with a little meditation for Lent. It draws from history, literature, music, and Scripture to give you one little nugget to take with you each day. My kids watch it each more during Lent and then we usually discuss briefly about the theme (sacrifice, charity, patience, etc.).

Babette’s Feast, a story of abundant grace that doesn’t calculate, but pours out liberally. It will move you.

Chocolat, It’s what happens when you observe Lent but miss the point entirely. (For a more mature audience.)

For Holy Week:

The Robe A classic story of redemption. I read the book to my kids one year for Lent. And then we all watched the movie together during Holy Week.

The Passion of the Christ  Yes, it’s difficult to watch Yes, I weep every time. But, I make myself sit through it every Good Friday. I need to be reminded.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe  Beyond a good story, you can discuss the themes of redemption, love, and sacrifice. And the literary concept of an allegory.

The Fourth Wise Man Ordinarily we watch this during the Christmas season, but it is equally appropriate for Lent and Holy Week as it culminates with Christ’s crucifixion.

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