The movie, Dead Man Walking, is the story of Matthew Poncelet, a convicted killer on death row, and his relationship with Sr. Helen Prejean, a Catholic nun who serves as his spiritual director.
In a scene near the end of the movie, it is the final evening before his scheduled execution, and all appeals have been denied.
Prejean, played by Susan Sarandon, talks honestly about the horrifying crime Poncelet, played by Sean Penn, committed and its impact upon the victims’ families, and his readiness to face death.
In the midst of these painfully honest remembrances, Sr. Prejean reminds Matthew Poncelet: “You are a son of God.” Moments of shocked silence follow, and then the one facing a mandated death sentence confesses, “No one’s ever said that to me before. Plenty of times I’ve been called a son of something else, but never a son of God.”
One senses that it is a truth that all too late in life begins to settle in the convicted killer’s heart. Yet even at that late date, it is a gift that carries with it the power to transform and make new.
Thanks to Joel D. Kline for sharing. Thanks to Daria Liudnaya for the photo.
How often do YOU say to yourself, “I am a Child of God,” and truly believe it? Then go and live as a Child of God!
BECAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST, OUR FAILURES DO NO HAVE TO DEFINE US. THEY CAN REFINE US!!
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