A lesson from Inigo Montoya (Princess Bride)
Growing up in a large family, it was common for us to gather around the television on the weekend to watch some of our favorite movies. If it was not Star Wars or Indiana Jones, it was often a movie that was silly enough for us to laugh at, and later quote over and over again. One of those movies was The Princess Bride (1987). No matter what we were talking about, the words of Wesley (the protagonist of the story who was eager to regain his lost love with the Princess), a.k.a. “the Man in Black”, and Inigo Montoya (who was somewhat obsessed with a grave injustice done to him early in his life), had their way of being a part of our living room conversations. The Princess Bride quickly became a Hollcraft pastime.
Fast forward twenty-seven years, and it should come to no surprise that we are still shamelessly quoting those cast of characters. In point of fact, it was just a few months ago that I found myself quoting the sword-fighting Montoya's timeless words: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”, when it occurred to me that the Spaniard who lived to avenge his father’s death has an important lesson for us today. Essentially: “know what you mean to say, and keep it in its proper context."
Words have meaning and purpose. We dialogue with words in order to create an understanding of tthe culture we live in, and the truth about the world around us. For this reason, it is important to know the meaning of the words we use, and keep in mind their proper use.
That being said, words are never to be reduced to what is heard. What do I mean? The origin of every word we utter comes from a place that is inaudible; the man who first thinks and feels within himself. Consequently, the inflection and tone of the words we use point as much to the interior life as they do to the world we hear and see. It is not enough to say that words are important, and be done with it. Words are important because they point to the contemplative state: the place where God inserts words into mind and heart that we might proclaim and live the eternal Word, Jesus Christ (cf. Jn 1:1). In both our prayer, and the relationships we share, words are to affirm the beauty of truth, and encourage the love that abides in that truth. Indeed, words are life giving when they are drawn from the Source that gives life.
With its words, this blog intends to encourage critical thought and dialogue about subject matter that intersects faith and contemporary culture. Dialogues are much more interesting than monologues. If you would like to chat about the words on this blog, please do not hesitate to contact me (link).
Along with periodical reflections that will respond to contemporary questions, this blog will be highlighted by the Sacred Word, Sacred Scripture. In this way, we will be better served to advance our religious conversations in their truth, beauty, and goodness.
All will be in the name of Jesus Christ!