Curious about the hidden world of the Carmelite Nuns, I was recently enlightened by who they are and the lives that they live as I watched, No Greater Love- A Unique Portrait of the Carmelite Nuns.
A mulit-award winning documentary, No Greater Love shows filmmaker, Michael Whyte’s rare experience within the community of the monastery of the Most Holy Trinity, in London’s Notting Hill, which is the home of the nuns of the Displaced Order of Carmelites.
Never before has anyone had this type of access to this community and what a treasure this DVD is. I was drawn to the ways of life that these women live and how committed they are to prayer, work and reflection. Their commitment to doing these things includes having their days be done in complete silence, minus only twice a day during recreation, and commitment to staying at the montasery continually only leaving to visit the doctor or the dentist.
Their lives are without things such as television, newspapers or radio, yet their perspective seems to be informed, educated and very applicable. One interview in particular proved to me that television, newspaper and radio can often be better at cluttering our minds and thoughts than helping us see things for the value that they have. When Michael Whyte asked one of the nuns if whether or not she felt that there was any truth to the thought that nuns live a life avoiding the hard stuff that people outside of the montasory have to live, I was moved by her response. She replied by saying the hardest thing to live with is yourself. And in the montesory that is who you live with and who you have to come to terms with. She said that once you can live/deal with yourself, you can live with anything.
Wow, she is so right. I can see that the society I live in is full of people, including myself, buying things, eating things, busying themselves, all to avoid dealing with themselves. People often try to satisfy themselves with quick resolutions instead of coming to terms with themselves and who they are before God.
As mentioned previously, the monastery is an environment of silence the majority of the day, which may at first probe you to think that this documentary couldn’t possibly hold your attention as you watch the nuns daily lives, but I was surprised by how drawn I was to the silence. There was an indescribable peace and serenity that flowed in their lives and viewing their selfless, committed ways of living was captivating. It was calming and peaceful to watch as they worked and prayed throughout the day.
No Greater Love is a hidden treasure in the sense that this documentary is of rare footage and experiences within a community that has committed themselves to the Lord. A treasure also in the sense that you will be inspired by their commitment, moved by their faith and truly enlightened by the meaningful lives that they live.