The Tree of Life: The Way of Nature and the Way of Grace

Yesterday I quoted from Thomas à Kempis' The Imitation of Christ, comparing nature versus grace.

You may be aware that in the move The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick uses this contrast between "the way of nature" and the "way of grace" to frame the entire movie. Early on in the movie the mother says:

The nuns taught us there are two ways through life, the way of Nature and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow.

Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries.

Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.

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