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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Year of the Dog

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Quirky tale -- by turns, wryly amusing, sad and thought-provoking -- about a lonely office worker (Molly Shannon) whose beloved beagle dies suddenly, prompting her to reevaluate her priorities as she interacts with her hunting-obsessed neighbor (John C. Reilly), an animal rights activist (Peter Sarsgaard), her paranoid boss (Josh Pais), best friend-officemate (Regina King), and upscale brother (Tom McCarthy) and sister-in-law (Laura Dern). Writer-director Mike White's low-keyed comedy avoids the predictable as it explores the validity of its heroine's increasing obsession with dogs and animal rights; performances are finely etched and a compassionate worldview informs the whole film. Brief innuendo and sexual banter and mild 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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Visitation: This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969 in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord (March 25) and precede the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24). 
<p>Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages. </p><p>It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist’s account of this meeting. Rather, Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet’s rendition of the scene. Elizabeth’s praise of Mary as “the mother of my Lord” can be viewed as the earliest Church’s devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth’s (the Church’s) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God’s words. </p><p>Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here Mary herself (like the Church) traces all her greatness to God.</p> American Catholic Blog Someone once told Pope Francis that his words had inspired him to give a lot more to the poor. Pope Francis’s response was to challenge the man not to just give money, but to roll up his sleeves, get his hands dirty, and actually reach out and help.

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