The Purple Rose of Cairo
n 1993 while doing the forty day IgNation retreat in Guelph, one homily stays in my memory. Father Shano was talking about how God invites us into relationship. To strengthen his point he showed a short clip from Woody Allen’s film: “The Purple Rose of Cairo.”
It’s about a waitress Cecilia played by Mia Farrow, who frequently goes to the movies to escape her bleak life, and loveless abusive marriage. She’s invited by a character on the screen to join them. “You mean me? You want me?”
Although this movie plot is pure fantasy, the notion of being invited to join, to be included, parallels what we believe as Christians happens upon baptism. We are anointed as worthy. As hard to believe as it sometimes is, it’s not fantasy. Unlike the actor playing a part, God actually exists.
In contemplating my elderly life, I understand membership in our Catholic community more fully than ever. While it’s good to hear the invitation of a religious authority figure to tell me I’m wanted, even without that, count me in.