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Monday, March 11, 2013

Many lies lie between one truth, no Doubt -PLAY

Doubt is a drama written by John Patrick Shanley
Doubts, gossips , parable
The Setting of the Play: Bronx, New York - 1964. The play takes place, mostly, in the offices of a Catholic School.

the playwright argues in his preface, "deep down, under the chatter we have come to a place where we know that we don't know... anything. But nobody's willing to say that.

to read about the plot, here


"Gossip kills three: the teller, the listener, and the subject."

 Having a sharp tongue may cut your own throat.

Click the link to enjoy The Sermons of Father Flynn (Doubt)

A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew— I know none of you have ever done this—that night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession.
She got the old parish priest, Father O’Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. “Is gossiping a sin?” she asked the old man. “Was that the hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution? Father, tell me, have I done something wrong?”
“Yes!” Father O’Rourke answered her. “Yes, you ignorant, badly brought-up female! You have borne false witness against your neighbor, you have played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!”
So the woman said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness. “Not so fast!” says O’Rourke. “I want you to go home, take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me!”
So the woman went home, took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to the roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. “Did you gut the pillow with the knife?” he says.”Yes, Father.” “And what was the result?” “Feathers,” she said. A world of feathers.
“Feathers?” he repeated. “Feathers everywhere, Father!”
“Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on the wind!”
“Well,” she said, “it can’t be done. I don’t know where they went. The wind took them all over.”
”And that,” said Father O’Rourke,“is gossip!”

What do you do when you’re not sure? That’s the topic of my sermon today.
Last year, when President Kennedy was assassinated, who among us did not experience the most profound disorientation? Despair? Which way? What now? What do I say to my kids? What do I tell myself? It was a time of people sitting together, bound together by a common feeling of hopelessness. But think of that! Your BOND with your fellow being was your Despair. It was a public experience. It was awful, but we were in it together. How much worse is it then for the lone man, the lone woman, stricken by a private calamity?
‘No one knows I’m sick.’
‘No one knows I’ve lost my last real friend.’
‘No one knows I’ve done something wrong.’
Imagine the isolation. Now you see the world as through a window. On one side of the glass: happy, untroubled people, and on the other side: you.
I want to tell you a story. A cargo ship sank one night. It caught fire and went down. And only this one sailor survived. He found a lifeboat, rigged a sail…and being of a nautical discipline…turned his eyes to the Heavens and read the stars. He set a course for his home, and exhausted, fell asleep. Clouds rolled in. And for the next twenty nights, he could no longer see the stars. He thought he was on course, but there was no way to be certain. And as the days rolled on, and the sailor wasted away, he began to have doubts. Had he set his course right? Was he still going on towards his home? Or was he horribly lost… and doomed to a terrible death? No way to know. The message of the constellations – had he imagined it because of his desperate circumstance? Or had he seen truth once… and now had to hold on to it without further reassurance? There are those of you in church today who know exactly the crisis of faith I describe. And I want to say to you: DOUBT can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.

On the subject of doubt, Rabbi Sholom Ciment told this story:
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island.  He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions.  But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.
The worst had happened; everything was lost.  He was stung with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me?" he cried.  (He certainly had his doubts about God!)  Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island.  It had come to rescue him.  "How did you know I was here?" the weary man asked his rescuers.  "We saw your smoke signal," they replied."
  (Source:  "Fire And Smoke," by  Rabbi Sholom Ciment, The Jewish TImes) 

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