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Black Snake Moan

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Source: Catholic News Service

Extremely lurid, but ultimately redemptive, melodrama set in rural Tennessee about an aging blues singer (Samuel L. Jackson) who nurses a badly beaten nymphomaniac (Christina Ricci) back to health, and gets her to overcome her drug and sexual addictions, conquering his own inner demons in the process. Writer-director Craig Brewer pulls out the stops with an intentionally florid style, while the impressive performances of the leads -- as well as those of John Cothran as a benevolent preacher, S. Epatha Merkerson as an empathetic friend and Justin Timberlake as an emotionally damaged soldier who loves the young woman -- overcome the more outrageous plot elements, The high quotient of sex, violence and foul language -- which walks the finest of lines between morally objectionable and dramatically valid -- will seriously limit the film's appeal to audiences, Catholic and otherwise. Pervasive rough and crude language and profanity, racial epithets, strong sexuality including a couple of graphic encounters without nudity, premarital situations, upper female nudity elsewhere, violence and drug use. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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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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