Decades ago Robert Bresson turned a great novel by Georges Bernanos—Diary of a Country Priest—into a great film (1950).

Is there suffering in the priestly life?  There can be, yes—plenty of it—and there is for the country padre (Claude Laydu) in this work.  Along with being dissatisfied with himself and his service to God, he has come down with stomach cancer.  Apropos of service to God, the priest is put to the test by people who are far from the Lord, by rebels, albeit a rebel like Chantal (Nicole Ladmiral) suffers too.  Like the priest, she is rejected.

In any event, the world does not understand the Christian.  Even in a country village a priest is but a stranger and a pilgrim, to use biblical language.  But locations in what is (in various ways) a cancer-ridden world do not matter, for Grace, the film tells us, is everywhere.

(In French with English subtitles)


Diary of a Country Priest

Diary of a Country Priest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)