“The Revenant” and the Search for a Higher Justice | Word on Fire
Bishop Barron has relocated to Los Angeles, but that hasn't stopped him from his ministry of reading the latest movies through the eyes of Roman Catholic Christian faith. Let's face it: it is a ministry, and in this vocation he achieves much. The bishop, let's just say, can read a movie with sophistication and conviction.
He does include a spoiler, so consider that if you want to see The Revenant. Nevertheless, Barron's conclusion clinches the difference between revenge and higher justice:
"The film carries a crucially important message, especially for our secularist time, namely, that, as Evelyn Waugh put it in Brideshead Revisited, “the supernatural is the real.” The Revenant is unremittingly honest in its portrayal of people caught in the awful reality of this fallen world, which is marked through and through by violence, suspicion, hatred, revenge, and the constant struggle to survive in the context of an indifferent nature. For the denizens of this universe, the correct mottos are indeed “kill or be killed” and “love your friends but hate your enemies” and “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” If there is no God, as Fitzgerald suggests to one of his underlings, survival at any cost, the law of the jungle, is the supreme law. But if there is a dimension that transcends nature, if there is a God who provides a moral compass and presides over human affairs, then one can let go of vengeance and seek a higher justice."