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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Pan's Labyrinth

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Cinematically stunning adult tale set in 1944 Spain about an unhappy 11-year-old girl's (Ivana Baquero) emotional escape into a maze -- either real or imagined -- overseen by a faun (Doug Jones) attended by insect-fairies that help her cope with the horrors of the marriage of her ailing pregnant mother (Ariadna Gil) to a vicious fascist officer (Sergei Lopez) assigned to root out resistance fighters who are secretly aided by his housekeeper (Maribel Verdu) and physician (Alex Angulo). Though the main story outline is familiar in its classic structure, it is given new life by director Guillermo Del Toro's deft balancing of the harsh real world with the girl's mysterious parallel universe which sheds light on the former, and there are poignant elements of sacrifice and redemption. Subtitles. Rough and crude language and some profanity, several brutally violent episodes, torture, several murders, a nongraphic amputation, a mercy killing, occult plot aspects and graphic childbirth scenes. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.



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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.”

Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love

 
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The tears of this fourth-century mother contributed to her son's conversion to Christ.

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