|Lilies of the Field by William E. Barrett|
First Published in 1962
Over Thanksgiving, my son (whose birthday is today!) surprised me with a copy of Lilies of the Field. We both love a good book and enjoy browsing through used book stores. Anyways, in one store, he happened upon this book, and remembered watching the movie as a child - it was one of our favorite family movies. So, he bought the book for me.
If was fun to read the book - it's always interesting to compare a book with its movie. I was impressed - it was a pretty close match.
Here are a few quotes from the book that made me chuckle, think, or pause ...
~ ~ ~
There was a crucifix above the door, not a rugged Protestant cross, but a crucifix. The word, "Catholic" came to his mind and with it the strange, awesome word, "nun." It had not occurred to him that these women were nuns. He found the idea incredible. What were they doing out here building fences?
~ ~ ~
"Schmidt," Mother Maria Marthe said, "Ve build a shapel. I show you." ... "Who builds it?" he said. Her eyes drilled into him. ... "If you think that I'm building that, you're out of your mind," he said.
~ ~ ~
Mother Maria Marthe did not change expression. Without returning to consult her Bible, she wrote again on the fragment of cigarette package, Matthew 6:28,29. "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin." "And yet, I say unto you. That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
~ ~ ~
The voices of the nuns came in again and his voice joined them.
Ave maris stella
Dei mater alma
Atque semper virgo
... he had spells of dark brooding during which he wondered why he was working harder than he had ever worked in his life, and for no pay; why he was staying here on this sun-baked prairie with so much world yet to see. It was a dull wonder, requiring no answer from him. The answer was before him. He was building a church.
~ ~ ~
"It is finish - nearly - der shapel," she said. "Almost." She nodded, her eyes momentarily closed. "Ja. Gott ist gutt, Schmidt. Sunday, Father Gomez say Mass in dis shapel, der first mass. You vill sit dere. Der front pew."
The Trailer from the Movie Based on The Lilies of the Field