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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Henry Poole is Here

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Moving little fable of a depressed loner (Luke Wilson) whose life is changed when a warmhearted Latina busybody (Adriana Barraza) discerns a miraculous image of Christ’s face on his stucco wall, after which he slowly opens up to her and the other neighbors: an empathetic widow (Rahda Mitchell), her sad child (Morgan Lily), a nearsighted grocery clerk (Rachel Seiferth), and the local priest (George Lopez). Despite some formulaic turns and occasional platitudinous dialogue, director Mark Pellington sustains a suspenseful, sometimes poetic, generally unsentimental mood, not without humor, solidly anchored by Wilson whose transformation from spiritual emptiness to redemption is fully believable, with themes of faith and community strong plusses for the Catholic viewer. Two instances of profanity, a few crass words. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II – adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG – parental guidance suggested.

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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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