In this excerpt from The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts ©2008, Father Tom Gannon talks about Chris Farley and faith:
Chris was caught in a transition in Catholicism between an old-church approach to faith and a newer way of thinking. The old view of spirituality was that life was like climbing a mountain. You have to fight onward and upward, climbing with your spiritual crampons until you reach the top – and that’s perfection. You pass the trial and you pass the test and you get so many gold stars in your copybook. Then you come before the heavenly throne for judgment, and maybe you got a couple of indulgences in your back pocket in case your accounting was wrong.
But that kind of faith only gets a person so far. Your spiritual life isn’t like climbing a mountain, waiting to find God at the top. It’s a journey, full of highs and lows, and God is there with you every step of the way, in the here and now and in the hereafter.The first approach is really a whole lot of smoke and mirrors. It’s only the second one that allows a person to grow, but that second view is hard for people to get a hold of unless they get in touch with themselves.
Chris didn’t feel that he was worthy of God’s love. He felt he had to prove himself. Well, you’re never going to get very far in any relationship with that kind of belief. Imagine if you had to prove yourself to your spouse every single day; that’s not the way love works. In all of our talks, that was the one thing I really tried to work with him on, adjusting to this different idea of faith, but he never really moved from one to the other. It’s hard. It takes a long time to come around to that way of thinking, and Chris just ran out of time.