I watched The Thorn Birds last week. The Thorn Birds was a 1983 miniseries about a priest, Ralph de Bricassart, who was in love with a woman named Meggie. It was based on a 1977 novel by Colleen McCullough.
It was quite a miniseries, let me tell you that! Overall, I liked
the characters and the actors and actresses playing them. My main
problem, however, is that I do not entirely understand Father Ralph’s
Throughout the miniseries, Father Ralph believes that he must choose
between God and Meggie. I can understand his conceptualization of the
“Meggie” choice: part of him wants to be with the woman he loves and to
have a family with her. What is unclear to me is how he was
conceptualizing the “God” choice. Did that entail serving others? In
the first episode, Father Ralph tells Frank about his desire to be a
conduit for God. The thing is, though, Father Ralph would leave
Australia, the place of his service, so that he could become a Cardinal
and later an Archbishop. Maybe he was even hoping to become pope!
Father Ralph did have ambition. He did not just want to be a lowly
priest serving people in Australia. He wanted more than that. But how
is that serving God? I think part of my problem is my lack of knowledge
of what a Cardinal or Archbishop actually does. To me, Father Ralph
was serving God most when he was being a loving presence in Australia.
What was his service to God like when he was a Cardinal and Archbishop?
Anyway, my Mom has read the book, and she says it goes into more detail about Father Ralph’s religious struggle. I may read it.
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