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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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Mary Angela Truszkowska: Today we honor a woman who submitted to God's will throughout her life—a life filled with pain and suffering. 
<p>Born in 1825 in central Poland and baptized Sophia, she contracted tuberculosis as a young girl. The forced period of convalescence gave her ample time for reflection. Sophia felt called to serve God by working with the poor, including street children and the elderly homeless in Warsaw's slums. In time, her cousin joined her in the work. </p><p>In 1855, the two women made private vows and consecrated themselves to the Blessed Mother. New followers joined them. Within two years they formed a new congregation, which came to be known as the Felician Sisters. As their numbers grew, so did their work, and so did the pressures on Mother Angela (the new name Sophia took in religious life). </p><p>Mother Angela served as superior for many years until ill health forced her to resign at the age of 44. She watched the order grow and expand, including missions to the United States among the sons and daughters of Polish immigrants. </p><p>Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993.</p> American Catholic Blog I truly seek a very solitary, simple and primitive life with no labels attached. However, there must be love in it, and not an abstract love but a real love for real people.

 
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