“You possess a rare beauty, my love, in here,” Snow White’s mother tells her as she touches Snow White’s heart. “Never lose it.” The new film Snow White and the Huntsman captivates the audience with a dramatic retelling of the old fairy tale.  The key themes are beauty, power, and the desire to avoid growing old.

The film relies on beautiful scenery and costumes to transport the viewer to a time of medieval knights and French ambiance.  In this world, Snow White is a threat to the power hungry queen, Ravenna, who fights the ravages of time by sucking out the life of young countryside maidens.

Snow White’s strength comes not only from her physical beauty, but also her childlike purity.  She makes dolls and plays with girls much younger than she is.  She remains kind and faithful, even praying the Lord’s Prayer as she spends years locked in solitude in a dark and fetid prison cell.

Her character reminded me of St. Joan of Arc.  St. Joan was a young French girl who led forces in battle, in obedience to the voice of God.  A deep prayer life sustained Joan as she faced many challenges, including a trial for heresy.

Modern Christians also need a deep prayer life to sustain them through the trials we each face.   Monsignor Peter J. Vaghi’s fourth book in his Pillars of Faith series, The Prayer We Offer: A Catholic Guide to Communion with God, calls us each to a deeper understanding of prayer.

“Christian life, “ Vaghi explains, “is marked by much outward activity and a corresponding need for regular inner retreat.”  Even Jesus had a hard time escaping his followers to find a quite place to reconnect with his father in prayer.

To imitate Christ in his dialogue with his father, we employ the prayer known as the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer.  Vaghi explains how this prayer is “the fundamental Christian prayer,” and he encourages us to make it central to our prayer lives.

While most of us will not have to face a supernaturally powerful and evil queen aiming to suck the very life out of us, most of us face problems that seem as dark and inescapable.

When we remember that prayer can give us supernatural strength for the journey, we will have a rare beauty, in our hearts, that can never be lost.

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