I've discussed my favorite movie, It's a Wonderful Life, at my Soccer Mom site. There I said this about it:
It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite movie. I love to watch it, even if it's not near Christmas, because it teaches a really important lesson to us. Clarence puts it well at the end: No man is a failure who has friends. But more than that, I have started to see it as teaching a great truth that the Catholic Church teaches: each of us has a vocation and living out that vocation makes life wonderful. And it's not just wonderful for the person who has been living out the vocation, but for those around him, as well.
...George suddenly realizes that he must seek out Mary, his wife, to see what happened to her. Because it was God's plan that George marry her, she never does marry. She has no children. She is an "old maid" and is terrified to be chased down the street by a stranger claiming to be her husband and the father of her four non-existent children.
It is at this point that George breaks, understanding that his vocation - husband to Mary Hatch, father to Pete, Janie, Tommy, and Zu Zu, chairman of the Bailey Building & Loan - is an important one. He understands that God's plan is perfect, even if it's never said that way.
When he returns, he doesn't care what happens to him, as long as his loved ones are safe, which they were not without him. His life is wonderful, after all, because he has been living God's plan for his life - living his vocation.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that a vocation means religious life, but that's not true. God has a special vocation for each of us, and we each build something big and important when we live that vocation - God's Kingdom. For me, my vocation is wife and mother. For someone else, it might be to be a doctor or nurse. For yet another person, it might be the single life. When we find that vocation in our lives, and we strive to live it, we have a wonderful life.
The Anchoress brought up similarities between it and the new Will Smith movie, Pursuit of Happyness. Then she links to a wonderful review written by Ed Morrissey, in which he compares It's a Wonderful Life to an Easter story. I loved it.
Now I have yet another way to view my favorite movie of all time. And, as usual, I don't have to wait for Christmas time to watch it.
If you don't have time to watch the whole thing today, may I suggest you watch this 30-second version? I highly recommend it!