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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Ghost Rider

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Lightweight supernatural action adventure based on the Marvel Comics' character about a motorcycle daredevil, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage), who makes a deal with the devil (Peter Fonda) and is cursed with having to serve as his "bounty hunter" -- transforming into a flaming skeletal biker astride a fiery chopper by night -- to escape damnation by stopping a renegade fallen angel (Wes Bentley) from unleashing hell on earth. Despite a dumb script and risible theology, the film never takes itself too seriously, and Cage's campy but committed performance is laced with enough humor to make the hokey ride sufficiently diverting B-movie fare. Some parents may find the demonic elements problematic, but it's little more than a comic book retelling of "Faust," and while of greater concern that vengeance, not justice, is meted out by Blaze, love is ultimately shown to be stronger than evil, with a recurring theme of redemption and second chances. Stylized violence, some horror images, a vulgar gesture, scattered crude language and a couple of instances of profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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