Long ago, scores were settled not only with swords but also with paint, canvas and stone. In spite of humanity’s foibles and compelled by a force within, great art was unveiled and magnificent churches and cathedrals sprang forth glorifying and teaching about God.
Building on this lesson in history, Goodness Reigns: Share the Story is an endeavor to call upon the faithful, teens and young adults in particular, in the spirit of good-natured competition to use the current medium of choice–technology–to produce short films depicting the history, teachings, sacramental life and present-day missionary spirit of the Catholic Church.
– Pope John Paul II
Not only does Goodness Reigns seek to show goodness but it also aspires to be a launching point for cultivating goodness in one’s life. Submitted films will be available for viewing on the Goodness Reigns website with the hope of effectively reaching and teaching Catholics, and others, on the faith and provide resources instructing how to best live life to the full as promised by Jesus Christ.
In his 2009 address “New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship,” Pope Benedict XVI connects the universal attraction to goodness with the search for fulfillment this way: “Life is not just a succession of events or experiences: it is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this — in truth, in goodness, and in beauty — that we find happiness and joy.”
In my work as a Catholic journalist one story I recall is of a college student who began his journey to the Catholic faith, and now to the priesthood, on the day in 2005 when he sat down in his dormitory and watched the funeral of Pope John Paul II on television. It wasn’t only a picture or just a word, but the merger of the two that led to reflection and later to action.
Not long after the televised funeral, in an interview with the sitting president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, his Excellency Cardinal John Patrick Foley commented on the power of that particular broadcast: “For me it was very consoling because it showed how people react to goodness, and I think that’s what we should offer the people more – examples of goodness.”
– Cardinal John P. Foley
Since his arrival on earth Jesus Christ has sparked countless artistic works. It is through Jesus Christ, who continues to reveal God to man, that humanity comes to terms with his true identity. “I came that you might have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
In his “Letter to Artists,” released in 1999, Pope John Paul II spoke of “new epiphanies” and our ensuing call to communicate goodness and beauty through art. “In Christ, God has reconciled the world to himself. … It is up to you, men and women who have given your lives to art, to declare with all the wealth of your ingenuity that in Christ the world is redeemed: the human person is redeemed, the human body is redeemed, and the whole of creation which, according to Saint Paul, ‘awaits impatiently the revelation of the children of God,’ is redeemed. This is your task. Humanity in every age, and even today, looks to works of art to shed light upon its path and its destiny.”
“Goodness Reigns through Jesus Christ!” Go, then, and make that movie!