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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Echoes of Innocence

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Source: Catholic News Service

Well-intentioned, Christian-flavored teen "romantic thriller" about a high school senior (Sara Simmonds) who is obsessed with St. Joan of Arc and whose childhood vow to remain a virgin until she can marry her long-disappeared first love attracts the curiosity -- and eventually, affections -- of a reporter from the school paper (Jake McDorman), as well as the predatory interest of a menacingly mysterious student (Matt Vodvarka). Earnestly directed by Nathan Todd Sims, the film's positive portrayal of religious belief and admirable pro-chastity message is greatly handicapped by the uneven performances and clumsy story line, little of which makes sense. An implied teen sexual encounter and sexual thematic elements, minimal violence, scattered crude expressions, and a questionable -- but reverent -- treatment of the sacraments of penance and marriage, making it suitable for older adolescents and up. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.



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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 Pope Francis said, “The Church gives us the life of faith in Baptism: that is the moment in which she gives birth to us as children of God, the moment she gives us the life of God, she engenders us as a mother would.”

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