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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Bella

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Sweetly sentimental story about an unmarried New York waitress (an especially fine Tammy Blanchard) who loses her job after becoming pregnant, and her restaurant's empathetic chef (Mexican soap favorite Eduardo Verastegui) -- an ex-soccer star whose career ended after his car fatally struck a child -- who gives the young woman emotional support, takes her to visit his loving family, and gently tries to persuade her to keep the baby. Director and co-writer Alejandro Monteverde's impressive feature film debut is sometimes dramatically slack and implausible, but the sensitive performances, positive depiction of the chef's warm Latino family and, most of all, its affirmative pro-life message -- along with themes of self-forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption -- should resonate with Catholic viewers. Partially subtitled. A couple of crass words, a child's death, a drug reference, and the out-of-wedlock theme aside, the film is admirably free of objectionable elements. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. 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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John Joseph of the Cross: Self-denial is never an end in itself but is only a help toward greater charity—as the life of St. John Joseph shows. 
<p>John Joseph was very ascetic even as a young man. At 16 he joined the Franciscans in Naples; he was the first Italian to follow the reform movement of St. Peter Alcantara. John Joseph’s reputation for holiness prompted his superiors to put him in charge of establishing a new friary even before he was ordained. </p><p>Obedience moved John Joseph to accept appointments as novice master, guardian and, finally, provincial. His years of mortification enabled him to offer these services to the friars with great charity. As guardian he was not above working in the kitchen or carrying the wood and water needed by the friars. </p><p>When his term as provincial expired, John Joseph dedicated himself to hearing confessions and practicing mortification, two concerns contrary to the spirit of the dawning Age of Enlightenment. John Joseph was canonized in 1839.</p> American Catholic Blog Humility is possible only for the free. Those who are secure in the Father’s love, have no need of pomp and circumstance or people fawning on them. They know who they are, where they’ve come from, and where they are going. Not taking themselves too seriously, they can laugh at themselves. The proud cannot.


 
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