Last Jour­ney

The Church of England - - COMMENT -

Maria von Trapp, a mem­ber of the singing fam­ily whose story in­spired the Sound of Mu­sic, died at the end of last month at her home in Ver­mont. She was 99. The fam­ily won fame around Europe for their singing and es­caped from Nazi-oc­cu­pied Aus­tria in 1938. For a time Maria tested her vo­ca­tion as a Bene­dic­tine nun and later worked as a lay mis­sion­ary in Pa­pua New Guinea where she adopted a son, Kikuli Mwanukuzi. The film in­spired by the von Trapp fam­ily story was one of the most suc­cess­ful ever made. Al­though press cov­er­age only touched on the sub­ject, Maria von Trapp’s faith was a key el­e­ment in her life. In Look back over the years, she once re­marked: “We can dis­cover how a red thread goes through the pat­tern of our lives: the will of God.” On an­other oc­ca­sion she de­scribed Chris­tian­ity as a big house­hold where many cousins live un­der the same roof. “They all be­long to the same clan, but at times they have dif­fer­ent ideas about how to run fam­ily af­fairs.” She went on to say that some of the cousins had given up on out­ward ex­pres­sions of faith, in­clud­ing liturgy, but voiced her own be­lief that we can­not lie on earth as pure spir­its. We have a body and faith pushes for bod­ily ex­pres­sion.

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