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House of Flying Daggers

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Visually dazzling martial arts love story set in ancient China about a lawman (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who finds himself entangled in a web of desire and deception when his superior (Andy Lau) assigns him to infiltrate a gang of anti-imperial insurgents by escorting a beautiful blind courtesan (Ziyi Zhang) with ties to the group to the rebels' secret forest stronghold. Part action adventure, part triangular romance, director Zhang Yimou's melodramatic sword saga of passion, betrayal and the conflict between love and duty is full of eye-popping fight sequences, but its story sometimes gets drowned out by the artistic swirl of silk and steel. Subtitles. Much stylized action violence and associated gore, attempted rape and a sexual encounter. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, please fill my heart and soul with the confidence that you will always provide what I need, when I need it, and let me be obedient to you.

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