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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Eastern Promises

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Taut, grippingly powerful story of the Russian underworld as a midwife in a London hospital (Naomi Watts) tries to locate the family of Russian girl who died giving birth; when she reveals she has the dead girl's incriminating diary, she becomes the target of a restaurateur-mobster (Armin Mueller-Stahl), his alcoholic bully of a son (Vincent Cassel) and their taciturn chauffeur (Viggo Mortensen). Director David Cronenberg's somber thriller is crafted with impressive artistry, and performances -- including those of Sinead Cusack and Jerzy Skolimowski -- are excellent, but though the violence is artistically valid extreme caution is advised as there are some graphic images and one intense sexual encounter. Brutal violence with bloodshed, the mutilation of a corpse, a graphic sexual act, rear and fleeting full-frontal-male and upper-female nudity, blood hemorrhaging, an extended tattooing sequence, rough language and profanity, and drug and rape references. 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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Thomas the Apostle: Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” (see John 20:24-28) and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29). 
<p>Thomas should be equally well known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).</p> American Catholic Blog Slow down as you make the Sign of the Cross. Intentionally purify your mind and your heart, and ask God to strengthen you to carry his love to the world.

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