The Third Miracle Essay Research Paper

The Third Miracle Essay, Research Paper

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing

is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."

Albert Einstein

Director Agnieszka Holland has produced a thoughtful and thought-provoking

film in The Third Miracle. It centers on the complicated character, Father Frank

Moore. This troubled priest recently found by Bishop Cahill?s secretary hiding

in a downtown soup kitchen is also the diocesan postulator for any alleged

supernatural activity in the region. He is most known for earlier exposing what

many considered a saint, as a sexually tortured man who eventually committed

suicide. This incident branded him the ?miracle killer?. In the beginning,

even he had begun to believe in the intercession of this legendary Fr. Falcone.

Discovering the truth left him with a scarred psyche filled with regret from

years of shooting holes in people’s beliefs.

While in a crisis of faith he is asked by his prelate to investigate a new

case — Helen O?Regan and a miracle at St. Stanislaus parish in a dilapidated

urban area. The miracle was a girl named Maria, cured of terminal Lupus after

praying for the intercession of the recently deceased O?Regan. Included with

the physical healing was a yearly manifestation where a favorite statue of Helen?s

would shed tears of blood. The blood matched Helen?s type. Maria went on to

become a prostitute and drug addict leading her mother to claim ?God wasted a

miracle?. Additionally, Helen?s daughter Roxane struggled with the

investigation since she had bitterness toward her mother for leaving her at age

16 by moving into the parish rectory. For her religion was ?pathetic? and

her bitterness prevented her from seeing how God could work miracles through a

flawed human being like her mother. The added dimension of a romantic

relationship between her and Fr. Malone was unnecessary and incidental to the

story, except to show the loneliness and humanity of the postulator. This new

endeavor reinvigorates Fr. Frank. He sees it as a possibility to redeem his

past, this is manifested in a poignant scene where he cries out, ?I want God

to show his face again?. He acknowledges his weakness in view of her character

by declaring, ?Her [Helen?s] heart was full of love. I?m not even a good

priest. Make me worthy?

Miracles are an invitation to faith. I think this is an appropriate theme for

this movie because the primary miracles associated with Helen become invitations

to faith for each of the characters in the movie. For Fr. Frank, they are an

invitation to renew and rediscover his own faith, and his priestly vows through

his relationship with Roxanne. For Archbishop Werner, who plays the part of the

religious yet skeptical devil?s advocate, they also issue an invitation. His

biggest problem is the source of the miracle. Sainthood, according to him,

should be reserved for the heroic martyr not for an American housewife. Yet

ironically, he was one of the few witnesses of Helen?s miracle when she was

just a child. As a German soldier passing through her town he witnessed how her

intercession appeared to stop bombs midair. So for him it was an invitation to

faith in miracles coming from unexpected and even flawed mediums. A later second

miracle which saves Maria?s life again ? it is an invitation for Maria?s

mother and Maria to effect change in their lives and embrace the Christian faith

and morality which are connected with the events. These miracles, as invitations

to faith, open up the possibility of liberation, healing and transformation for

each of the characters, in their own way. We are left to wonder to what degree

they each respond to this compelling invitation


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