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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Last Samurai, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

An embittered Civil War veteran (Tom Cruise), retained by the emperor of Japan to train a newly formed conscript army in the ways of modern warfare, finds himself torn between duty and honor when he befriends the man he has been hired to destroy, a Samurai general (Ken Watanabe) who is leading a band of renegade warriors against the imperial forces in an attempt to preserve their fading traditions and halt the encroachment of Westernization into the country. Lavishly shot with painstaking attention to historical detail, director Edward Zwick's epic 19th-century costume drama is, at its center, an intimate tale of one man's search to reclaim his soul; unfortunately, despite lofty platitudes about honor, the film's romanticized portrayal of the samurai's militaristic lifestyle results in an at times exalted view of war. Strong battlefield violence. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.

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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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