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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Stranger Than Fiction

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Quirky dramatic comedy about a lonely and neurotic IRS auditor (Will Ferrell) who wakes to find his life being narrated by a seemingly omniscient voice only he can hear, which turns out to belong to a famous reclusive author (Emma Thompson) working on a new novel in which he is the protagonist and that predicts what will happen to him, including his death. By turns sentimental, funny and, in the end, modestly profound, director Marc Forster's existential farce touches on issues of fate and free will, while imparting a wonderful message that the little moments -- the smiles, hugs and small acts of kindness -- we often relegate to footnote status in the narrative of our daily living are what give life its meaning. An implied sexual encounter, brief locker-room rear nudity, a jarring traffic accident and one use of the f-word, as well as a couple of crude expressions and an instance of profanity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Ludovico of Casoria: Born in Casoria (near Naples), Arcangelo Palmentieri was a cabinet-maker before entering the Friars Minor in 1832, taking the name Ludovico. After his ordination five years later, he taught chemistry, physics and mathematics to younger members of his province for several years. 
<p>In 1847 he had a mystical experience which he later described as a cleansing. After that he dedicated his life to the poor and the infirm, establishing a dispensary for the poor, two schools for African children, an institute for the children of nobility, as well as an institution for orphans, the deaf and the speechless, and other institutes for the blind, elderly and for travelers. In addition to an infirmary for friars of his province, he began charitable institutes in Naples, Florence and Assisi. He once said, "Christ’s love has wounded my heart." This love prompted him to great acts of charity.
</p><p>To help continue these works of mercy, in 1859 he established the Gray Brothers, a religious community composed of men who formerly belonged to the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he founded the Gray Sisters of St. Elizabeth for the same purpose.
</p><p>Toward the beginning of his final, nine-year illness, Ludovico wrote a spiritual testament which described faith as "light in the darkness, help in sickness, blessing in tribulations, paradise in the crucifixion and life amid death." The local work for his beatification began within five months of Ludovico’s death. He was beatified in 1993.</p> American Catholic Blog Father, there are so many times when I attempt to do something good, and disturbing situations arise, as if someone or some power is trying to stop me. Give me the grace never to be afraid or avoid doing good for fear of Satan. In Jesus's name, Father, I ask for this grace, Amen.


 
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