“...See the victory the Lord will win for you today.” (Exodus 14:13). Many years ago, when Cecil B. De Mille came on stage and gave an introduction to his movie, “The Ten Commandments,” I was impressed for it seemed to lend a certain reverence to this sacred topic. However, as events unfolded on the screen, I was chagrined as I watched Hollywood’s special effects. I know the early writers of Scripture needed to use hyperbole to emphasize the great truths of God’s saving power, but this was too much. Hollywood had outdone Scripture! The film seemed to concentrate more on the spectacular than on God acting strongly on behalf of the people. Today, I feel the same, and prefer not to watch re-runs of the film. However, I do view the drama found in Scripture differently today. Truly, God does roll back the seas of destruction for me—at times in rather dramatic fashion. I enjoy imagining God throwing my inner enemies into a panic with a glance! And even though many Exodus events can be explained as natural phenomenon, the saving acts of God unfolding in my life cannot be so explained. My God remains a God of mystery to me, excitingly so. Jesus, keep me alert to the subtle, mysterious ways you are present in my life.
—Sr. Mary E. Penrose, OSB
Sister Mary E Penrose is a Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. She edits readings for the liturgical Hours and writes reflections for the Community. And she is a tutor for the African Sisters attending The College of St. Scholastica. She was editor of a journal, Spirit & Life, for 18 years.