Faith in God is not unlike most other things. It exist out in a particular world understood from a particular point of view.
But one crucial distinction that can be made here is the extent to which, out in this particular world, your faith in God is tested
And faith here can be tested either in relationship to personal experiences or tested in a general context in which the world [or much of it] is going through a crisis.
And few global calamities quite match the impact of World War II. There you are out in this particular world groping about in a particular context struggling to reconcile your faith in God with all that you have known, all that you have seen, all that you have experienced that can only
be described as a "test of faith".
Imagine, for example, a convent in Poland in which several of the "holy sisters" are in the advanced stages of pregnancy.
How does the war figure into it?
How does God figure into it?
You won't believe the fate of the babies here. But there are still a few of us around who were not at all shocked. Anything and everything can be rationalized. Either with or without God.
Still, we see clearly why God and religion are embraced even in the face of such terrible circumstances. After all, if God is not there to stuff everything into, then you have to accept the reality that these terrible things "just happened". And that those who perpetrated them will never be confronted [in the end] with Divine
And what is a convent but a world built by and for objectivists. And what was the Second World War but a conflagration set into motion by yet more objectivists still. And now the objectivists who call themselves Communists are on the scene.
And, then, when they collide....
So, in part, this is a film about men and women, brutally ensconced in these conflicted worlds -- right makes might! might makes right!-- coming up with a way in which to communicate. And then coming to grips with the consequences when they fail.
The film is said to be "based on actual events".IMDbAnne Fontaine originally met with Agata Kulesza in Poland because she was an admirer of her work, but told her that she didn't wish to cast her as the Mother Superior since she thought her too sexy for the role. The actress laughed and asked the director if she could put on a veil and read an extract for a Polish work. Once she did, Fontaine decided to give her the part.
at wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Innocents_(2016_film
THE INNOCENTS [Les Innocentes] 2016
Directed by Anne Fontaine Mother Superior: Who is this?
Sister: A doctor. I was worried.
Mother Superior: Go to your cell.
Mathilde [of a very pregnant young woman]: Has she been like this long?
Sister Maria: Since yesterday.
Mother Superior: Her family threw her out. We've secretly taken her in out of charity.
We suspect that is not the case at all.Mathilde: Tomorrow I will return to check for complications.
[Sister Maria says nothing]
Mathilde: Why not? It's a simple request.
Sister Maria: Simple for you, but not for us.
Mathilde: If the mother and baby die, you will be responsible too. Can I come back tomorrow or not?
Sister Maria: Come back at Lauds. The dawn prayer. While they pray, I'll let you in.
Mother Superior: We were persecuted by the Germans, then the Russians arrived. For us, when they burst into our convent, it was an indescribable nightmare. Only God's help will allow us to overcome it.
Mathilde: How many are in that condition?
Sister Maria: Seven. No, six now that Sister Zofia...
Mathilde: God's help won't be enough.
Mother Superior: We are in the hands of Providence.
Mathilde: You need someone qualified. I can send a Polish Red Cross midwife.
Sister Maria: If you do that, our convent will be shut down.
Mother Superior: If we're evicted, our girls will be objects of shame. People will find out. Everyone will reject them. Many will die. My duty is to protect our secret.
Mathilde: They'll give birth in..
Sister Maria: We'll help.
Mathilde: You already said that. They'll go to Heaven. Good for them. But I care about life.
Mother Superior: No one will enter this convent.
Mathidle: All right. I'll report this to my superiors.
Mathilde: In your opinion, how will the new regime treat the Polish Church?
Samuel [a doctor]: Why the hell should you care? The Polish Church interests you?
Mathilde: I'm just asking.
Samuel: I hope they'll piss it off. And not just the Church, the people too.
Mathilde: That's not very kind. What have the Poles done to you?
Samuel: I can't stand them. They got what they deserved with the Russians and the Germans.
Mathilde: You're very bitter.
Samuel: Maybe I have my reasons.
Sister: I can no longer reconcile my faith with these terrible events. God, of whom I still consider myself to be the divine bride, nonetheless wanted this.
Mother Superior: Wanted it?
Sister: If it happened that means He wanted it.
Mother Superior: We cannot know what God wants. The only truth is His love.
Sister: And this life that has been forced into me, that will soon come forth, what does He want me to do with it?
Mother Superior: Let us kneel, Sister. Let us pray? It's our only consollation.
This [to me] is religion in a nutshell. It's God or...nothing.Sister [one of the pregnant victims]: No...
Mathilde: She mustn't be afraid, I'll just check the baby's position.
Sister Maria: Don't be afraid, It's to see if the baby is all right.
Sister [anguished]: I don't want to go to Hell!
Sister Maria [to a perplexed Mathilde]: She fears damnation...It may seem incomprehensible to the outside world. Despite what has happened, we must still respect our vow of chastity.
Mathilde: I'm here to help. Tell me how.
Sister Maria: It's not easy. We're not allowed to show our bodies. And even less be touched. It's a sin.
Mathilde: I took risks to come here. Can't we set God aside while I examine them?
Sister Maria: You don't set God aside.
Mathilde: So what use am I?
Sister Maria: I'll talk to them.
Mathilde: Was the Mother Superior also...
[Sister Maria nods]
Mathilde: Ill need to examine her.
Sister Maria: She'll never let you. She'd rather put up with her ordeal.
Mathilde: Isn't pride a sin?
Sister Maria: She's our Mother. We cannot judge her, but merely obey her.
But then...Sister Maria [weeping]: Forgive me. However much I pray, I cannot find any consolation. Every day I relive what happened. Every day. I still smell the stench of them. They came back three times. They should have killed us.
Sister Maria: I had already known a man in my other life. Most of the Sisters were virgins.
Mathilde: But none have lost their faith?
Sister Maria: You know, faith....At first, you're like a child, holding your father's hand, feeling safe.
Sister Maria: Then a time comes -- and I think it always comes -- when your father lets go. You're lost, alone in the dark. You cry out, but no one answers. Even if you prepare for it you're caught unawares. It hits you right in the heart....That's the cross we bear. Behind all joy lies the cross.
And that explains what exactly? For some, of course, everything. Samuel: Work-wise, you're an excellent assistant. I don't want to lose you. Even if you are a Communist.
Mathilde: Not a party member.
Samuel: Maybe, but you believe in a brighter tomorrow.
Mathilde: We have to believe.
Mathilde [after examining the Mother Superior]: There are lesions. I'll do a test to be sure.
Mother Superior: A test?
Mathilde: It's advanced syphilis. I can get medicine to treat it.
Mother Superior: I don't need you to treat it.
Sister Maria: I arrived here in that dress. I was stylish. I liked men and men liked me.
Mathilde: Don't you ever regret it?
Sister Maria: Faith is twenty-four hours of doubt and one minute of hope. At first, I found the discipline hard to take. Chastity too. I know happiness is not the goal we pursue but without the war and without the horror that struck us...I could say I'm happy.
Sister Maria: What are you lacking?
Mathilde: Do you want to convert me?
Sister Maria: It's an honest question.
Mathilde [after a long pause]: No one can really answer that.
Sister Maria: No one in the outside world.
Mathilde [to the Mother Superior]: This is Dr. Samuel Lehmann.
Samuel: Yes, I'm Jewish. There are a few of us left. Now that's settled where are the patients.
Mathilde: He'll keep your secret.
Mother Superior: How many doctors did you bring?
Sister Maria: I wasn't expecting him.
Mother Superior: Don't you realize the danger?
Samuel: We can talk for hours. Women are suffering and in danger. I'm not baptized, I won't go to Heaven, but I'm a doctor. I don't need this. If we are not welcome say so and we'll leave.
Samuel [to Mathilde]: If someone had told me I'd end up delivering the babies of Polish nuns knocked up by Soviet grunts....
Mother Superior: I was right to be wary of the French woman. She has brought scandal and disorder.
Sister Maria: Forgive me, but scandal and disorder were already here.
Mother Superior: Enough!
Mother Superior [praying]: I beseech You to open the gates of Your Kingdom to me, to give me the courage to follow the path I have chosen....to help me bear this heavy cross....Help me.
Sister Maria: Sister Sofia made these for the baby.
Sofia's mother: What baby? All of my children are grown.
Sister Maria: But the baby...
[then she realizes...]
Sister Maria: Forgive me. May God protect you.
Sister Maria: Mother, I beseech you, tell me the truth. What did you do with the child?!
Mother Superior: What I had to.
Sister Maria: Meaning what?
Mother Superior: I entrusted him to God.
Sister Maria: I don't understand.
Mother Superior: You don't? Don't you believe in Providence?
Sister Maria: I do.
Mother Superior: I believe it embraced those children.
Sister Maria: What did you do?!
Mother Superior: What I could!.....I want to be alone! Get out!
Elderly Sister: But our Mother has found families for all the babies.
[she looks down at her]
Sister: Haven't you?
Sister Maria: Mother, speak, please.
Mother Superior: I wanted to spare all of you shame and dishonor. I damned myself to save you.
You can watch the film to see what she actually does with the babies. Sister Maria [in a letter to Mathilde]: "The dark clouds have moved on. The sun shines brightly in our sky. And you are in our hearts. Perhaps other wars will come. Other dangers threaten us. It will soon be harder to write to each other. But whatever fate awaits us, I feel ready to face it. I know, even if it makes you laugh, that God sent you. May He accompany you in your trials and may you always be joyful. Yours, Maria."