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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Saint of 9/11

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Sir Ian McKellen narrates this moving tribute to Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, the New York fire chaplain who was the first official casualty of the World Trade Center terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001. Director Glenn Holsten's sentimental documentary features heartfelt testimonials from those whose lives he touched: firemen, alcoholics, the homeless, gays and AIDS patients, along all too little footage of Father Judge himself. Father Judge's homosexual orientation and status as a recovered alcoholic are not avoided, but there's an unfortunate inference in the film that in ministering to those groups he was being more compassionate than the church itself. Some disturbing images of the World Trade Center, reference to his gay orientation and former alcohol abuse, and remarks offering questionable criticisms of the church. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America.

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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 Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.

 
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