Prepare to die!

th-31Upon further review, that “prepare to die” thing with Inigo Montoya could go another way — something like this …

Instead of thinking of Inigo Montoya as basing his life on seeking revenge, since he is such a likable character whose determination, tenacity, and bent on seeing justice done are inspiring; maybe we should think of the Spaniard as illustrating for us, the way we should go about treating things in our own lives that need to be put to death. Ruthlessly. Listen to what Paul says about it, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature,” he writes in Colossians 3:5-6, and then he lists a few things, “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Let’s face it; we all have stuff we need to kill.  Let’s be as ruthless with ourselves as Inigo Montoya was with Count Rugen. And should that evil nature rise up and try and make deals with us, run it through. “You can’t give me my choices back, you son of a bitch!”

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The unsatisfying nature of revenge


“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

This is, without a doubt, the most famous line from The Princess Bride. It’s remembered because it is repeated so many times, and so much a part of the character played by Mandy Patinkin. Inigo Montoya is the Spaniard who joins up with Fezzik (Andre, the “gentle giant”) and Vizzini the Sicilian (Wally Shawn) as paid mercenaries to capture and ultimately kill the Princess. (They’ve actually been hired by the evil Prince Humperdinck to make it look like mercenaries from a neighboring enemy country killed his bride-to-be, so he could start a war with them). Westley ends up besting all three of them to briefly gain the Princess back only to lose her again, outmanned by Prince Humperdinck and his soldiers.

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Bluffing in the Spirit


My favorite part of The Princess Bride is the final scene (except for the kissing at the end). Westley has somehow managed to get into Buttercup’s bedroom, though he is completely powerless. He’s had the life sucked out of him by one of the Count’s torture machines, but his two new friends, Inigo Montoya the Spanish swordsman who is trying to avenge his father’s death, and Fezzig, the dumb giant, who, with Inigo, was trying to kidnap Buttercup, and now they are helping Westley save her — carry the dead Westley to Miracle Max (Billy Crystal), who mixes up a potion that brings Westley partially back to life. He has no movement in his arms and legs, but he can think and speak, and that’s what they need him for the most — to help engineer a plan to “storm the castle” where Inigo can avenge his father’s death, and Westley can rescue the Princess.

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True love


As Princess Buttercup pushes the Man in Black who she thinks is trying to kidnap her down a steep ravine, he calls out, as he tumbles head over heels, “As … you … wish!” Buttercup immediately realizes it is her beloved Westly after all behind that black mask, and preferring to risk her life with whatever was at the bottom of that ravine then to be separated from her true love, she plunges down the hill after him. She thought he was dead. She thought her life was not worth living. Her whole countenance had turned gray for three miserable years, but upon hearing that telltale phrase that had characterized his love for her, and desire to serve her completely, the color came back to her face. And there, in a breathless heap at the bottom of hill, the two were reunited.

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Riding on high adventure and intrigue


For the 10-year-old boy who doesn’t think he wants to hear a story called The Princess Bride, especially if it has any kissing in it, comes the author’s own description of the “good bits” from S. Morgenstern’s fictitious novel: Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautiful ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Pain. Death. Brave men. Cowardly men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles. Not to mention castles, sailing vessels, eel infested waters, suffering, betrayal and R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size). It is truly a dangerous high adventure one is about to embark on in taking on this book. It’s a wonder that the reader lives through it!

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Have a heart


Here’s the first thing I found out in reading As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride. I found out that the longevity of this movie’s popularity was not just luck or an accidental success. It began with the writer and the director, both of whom were passionately involved with this project from the beginning.

There was something special that imbued this entire production with heart. William Goldman, the author of the book and writer of the screenplay, was clear about the fact that this was his favorite story, and he’d been trying to get someone to make it into a movie for years, but everyone was afraid of it. It would take a certain kind of director to dance deftly through all the varying styles — fairy tale, adventure, romance, satire — and make them all work together, without sacrificing any one of them for another, and that director simply hadn’t shown up yet.

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‘As you wish.’


We are going to enjoy a bit of comic relief this week as a respite from the ever-present Trump and Hillary Show.* We are going to use as our source of inspiration the 1987 classic movie, The Princess Bride. If somehow this movie has escaped you, it is your assignment to see it this week. If you have seen it, it might be time to see it again, because that is one of the reasons it is a classic: it holds up magnificently well over repeated viewings. The dialogue is so good, it gets you every time, even though you know what’s coming.

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What we don’t like about grace but need desperately


Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God.

It is the knowledge that you are pleasing to God right now regardless of what you have or haven’t done.

Grace is the realization that you have already earned a place in the kingdom of God, but you didn’t do anything to get it.

Grace is knowing that the law has already been fulfilled. There isn’t anything more you can do or anything you can add on to make it any better.

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