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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Ladder 49

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Above average -- if overly sentimental -- action drama and paean to firefighters concerning a young fireman (Joaquin Phoenix) as he progresses over the years from rookie to seasoned professional, with the unusual feature of there being as much screen time devoted to his domestic life as to the "Towering Inferno"-like fire sequences, which are generally more enervating than truly exciting. Director Jay Russell's drama -- which also features John Travolta as the paternal fire chief -- boasts a solid, appealing and down-to-earth performance from Phoenix and an authentic-seeming portrait of firehouse life with middle-class workers (mostly Catholic, as it happens) that compensates for the more conventional aspects of the plot. A couple of instances of crude language, an implication of premarital sex and some intense firefighting scenes. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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Bede the Venerable: Bede is one of the few saints honored as such even during his lifetime. His writings were filled with such faith and learning that even while he was still alive, a Church council ordered them to be read publicly in the churches. 
<p>At an early age Bede was entrusted to the care of the abbot of the Monastery of St. Paul, Jarrow. The happy combination of genius and the instruction of scholarly, saintly monks produced a saint and an extraordinary scholar, perhaps the most outstanding one of his day. He was deeply versed in all the sciences of his times: natural philosophy, the philosophical principles of Aristotle, astronomy, arithmetic, grammar, ecclesiastical history, the lives of the saints and, especially, Holy Scripture.</p><p>From the time of his ordination to the priesthood at 30 (he had been ordained deacon at 19) till his death, he was ever occupied with learning, writing and teaching. Besides the many books that he copied, he composed 45 of his own, including 30 commentaries on books of the Bible. </p><p>Although eagerly sought by kings and other notables, even Pope Sergius, Bede managed to remain in his own monastery till his death. Only once did he leave for a few months in order to teach in the school of the archbishop of York. Bede died in 735 praying his favorite prayer: “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As in the beginning, so now, and forever.” </p><p>His <i>Ecclesiastical History of the English People</i> is commonly regarded as of decisive importance in the art and science of writing history. A unique era was coming to an end at the time of Bede’s death: It had fulfilled its purpose of preparing Western Christianity to assimilate the non-Roman barbarian North. Bede recognized the opening to a new day in the life of the Church even as it was happening.</p> American Catholic Blog The truth is that suffering can be a beautiful thing, if we have the courage to trust God with everything, like Jesus did upon the cross.

The Spirit of Saint Francis

 
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