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Mona Lisa Smile

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Problematic drama set in 1953 about a free-spirited Berkeley grad (Julia Roberts) who lands a position teaching art history at a conservative all-girls New England college where she locks horns with the rigid faculty over her unorthodox methods, while empowering her students (including Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles) to free themselves from the future yoke of domesticity. Directed by Mike Newell, the film eschews character for caricature, advancing a misguided strain of feminism which, rather than fostering a deeper respect for women's dignity, promotes a view of marriage and motherhood as slave-state stumbling blocks to self-fulfillment. An antagonistic attitude toward traditional morality, an implied sexual encounter, as well as minimal crude language and profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. 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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Anthony Zaccaria: At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18 and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22 and, while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men and one for women, plus an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious and lay people. 
<p>Greatly inspired by St. Paul (his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint), Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions and was not ashamed of doing public penance. </p><p>He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. </p><p>His holiness moved many to reform their lives but, as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated. </p><p>While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, help me make my life more about you and less about me. May others see you in me—your image and likeness. Teach me ways to increase my time with you, my service to others, and my love for my family, for strangers, and for the poor. You are the light in the darkness. With each new day, may we be light to one another.

The Spirit of Saint Francis

 
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