Elvis Presley movies were a big part of my childhood. In the days when the midday movie was generally an Elvis one, my mother introduced us to the man many still grieve as having died too young. Unbeknownst to me, one of the ‘Elvis’ girls, who co-starred with him into two movies, and famously shared his first onscreen kiss, had a story that was more incredible than these entertaining tales.
Dolores Hart left a promising Hollywood career behind to follow God’s call and Ear of the Heart is her story, in her own words and it’s nothing short of fascinating.
Here is a woman who grew up unchurched, who somehow found her way to Catholicism and to monastic life. Mother Dolores’ style is open, honest and at times, humourous. It is easy to see why she remains a popular figure, even in her current role.
But this book is more than just a pure memoir or autobiographical tale. It gives a wonderful account of the realities of working in Hollywood, and the big personalities who dominated the landscape. I found her personal reflections and observations about other Hollywood stars really fascinating.
Her experiences filming Francis of Assisi, in which she played Saint Clare of Assisi, are thought provoking, as are her observations as a practising Catholic in Hollywood.
Ear of the Heart also chronicles the history and development of the Benedictine Congregation Regina Laudis of the Strict Observance, and the discernment process in some detail as well the inner sanctum of monastic life. The order’s history and apostolate are, in and of themselves, compelling reading.
I also found the exposition of how the Benedictine Congregation Regina Laudis responded to Vatican II, and dealt with the changes that it brought forward, very interesting. Certainly, we are all aware of the changes that came about with the Vatican Council, but it is another thing to understand how, and why, they adapted the way that they did.
This is so much more than purely a conversion story and I highly recommend it.
Ear of the Heart is available from Ignatius Press in a number of formats.
About the Author: I am a reformed perfectionist who is now a stay at home mum with five children under nine years of age. I am a qualified journalist and graphic designer with a decided creative streak, and run a hobby business called Emily Shaw Design + Write. I will attempt most craft activities and love to write about topical - and especially controversial - issues.