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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Good Shepherd, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Austere but generally absorbing over-the-years saga of a fictitious CIA man (a quietly intense Matt Damon) tracing his life from initiation into the secretive Yale Skull and Bones fraternity; his unhappy marriage to a classmate's sister (Angelina Jolie); his recruitment into the Office of Strategic Services during World War II; his role in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during John F. Kennedy's administration; and his poignant relationship with the son (Eddie Redmayne) with whom he could never be close. Robert De Niro (who plays a small part here) directs the fact-based film with a sure hand, and though the plot has some holes effectively demonstrates the emotional consequences of its protagonist's overly secretive life and the tragedy of sacrificing one's humanity for misplaced ideals. Adultery and premarital sex, a shadowy sexual encounter, innuendo, a predatory gay character, a couple of cold-blooded murders and other spy-related dirty doings, suicides, marital discord, partial nudity, drug use, a few expletives and racial epithets. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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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, the instructions of Ambrose 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.

Stumble Virtue Vice and the Space Between

 
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