Rise and Dream: “I have to try and try and try so that I can do it.”

Jennifer Fulwiler mentioned this on her blog this morning and I wanted to pass it along.

In the turmoil of the southern Philippines, a celebration on the edge of the jungle stands to defy the chaos. The documentary “Rise and Dream” brings you into the lives of 13 students whose spirits outshine the fierce obstacles of their reality. When the students accept a challenge to learn their own traditional instruments, the struggle to balance between dreams and obligations tests their limits as they prepare for a performance on the biggest stage of their lives.

For more information, please visit: RiseAndDream.com

Watching a few scenes from this documentary immediately brought to mind something I’d read on Friday in the Office of Readings. It’s from St. Leo the Great in which he is talking about the Beatitudes:

There is no doubt that the poor find it easier than the rich to receive the blessing of humility; for gentleness goes with poverty just as pride more commonly goes with riches. Nevertheless, very many rich people find that their wealth does not swell them up with pride: rather, they do good and benevolent things with it. For these people the greatest treasure is what they spend in relieving the distress and hardship of others.

In the virtue of humility men of every kind and every standing meet together, because though they differ in their means they share a common purpose. Their inequality of wealth makes no difference if they are equal in spiritual blessings.

What kind of poverty, then, is blessed? The kind that is not in love with earthly things and does not seek worldly riches: the kind that longs to be filled with the blessings of heaven.

In the trailer one of the girls explains that “even though we are unfortunate in terms of money matters we are still confident and ready to face everything.” I think that’s what St. Leo was talking about.

In our country we live in an age in which our politicians pit us against one another in the most blatant forms of class warfare. America is now a place where everyone seems overly concerned with “who’s got what and how much of it they got and where’s my share of entitlements” and the word occupy has become a noun as well as a verb. In the midst of all our whining and envy I see in these kids an attitude to which I want to belong: one in which a spirit of humility outshines my worldly love for earthly things and riches and instead “longs to be filled with the blessings of heaven.”

That would be a worthy goal for not just the 1% or the 99%, but for the 100%.

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