Artists have the uncanny ability to recognize the beauty in challenging and difficult life experiences. This is exactly what Alfred Eaker has done with this novel. Calvin is raised by a dysfunctional and abusive family. His lone confidant is his grandfather, the only member of his family to understand and support him, and the one who passes on an appreciation of art and music. It is Calvin’s skill and understanding of the fine arts that gives him the strength to move into a stable and productive adult life.
Interwoven into the story are psychological, theological, ethical, and religious dimensions that call organized religion as well as social and moral structures to accountability. These deeper aspects of the story will challenge readers to reflect on their own lives and to develop the empathy we all need to make our lives ever better and better.
This story has motivated me to review again the Mahler Symphonies!
Fr. Justin Belitz OFM
Justin Belitz, The Dancing Monk ©Alfred Eaker, 2019
“Giving thanks, he broke the bread, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me.”
Fr. Justin Belitz O.F.M. (Following in the footsteps of St. Paul) © Alfred Eaker, 2019
The following is a transcript of Fr. Justin Belitz’ speech from W: The Movie (2009).
“Jesus came and Buddha too, along with Abraham, not to mention Rumi, Francis, Clare, and Muslim saints: All intent on bringing peace to our battered world. Still today, we long to see just the faintest glimmer. Well my friend, you have to know how to do the task. Peace is here, believe you me, but it’s all inside.
Jesus said: The kingdom’s here. It is within us all. Deep inside everyone-endless peace presides. In our midst are two worlds: One you see all day, but yet there’s another realm. That’s the one of spirit. Hidden all around the globe are people full of love, reaching out to help their friends and even all their foes. You may not hear about these folks: those like Jimmy Carter using private funds to fight African disease. Or, artist’s works like Al Eaker’s bible modernized. There are millions just like these-freely giving peace. No big bang or press release; just the flow of love.
You can be a peacer too. All you have to do is quiet down and go inside. Let your peace abide. “