May 26, 2015

THERE'S ONLY ONE STORY:

Shane by Jack Schaefer (PAUL JOSEPH PREZZIA, 5/21/15, Crisis ; The Civilized Reader)

As in any good Western, there is a love story; or rather there are love stories. They are hidden deep inside the characters, emerging to be transfigured like the man Shane himself. There is Bob's love for Shane, a love that prepares and enkindles the boy's deeper love for his father. It is a love that helps him in finding a way for "living out his boyhood" and for growing "straight inside as man should." There is a potentially adulterous love that seems to threaten the sanctity of the family, but ultimately ends with the kind of self-sacrifice that only a good and restrained loved can achieve.

While guns abound, they do not blaze until the final chapters. Shane's gun is sensed throughout the book, but only appears in the final pages, to disappear along with the man when the need and hour of trial have passed.

In these days after Ascension, it is appropriate to meditate on the Lord who seemed to have left us, while yet becoming present throughout His Church. Shane is like Christ in this way. As Marian Starret points out at the end of the book, "He's not gone. He's here, in this place, in this place he gave us. He's all around us and in us, and he always will be."

The film, of course, ends with the obligatory crucifix scene.
Posted by at May 26, 2015 12:16 PM
  

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