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Feast of Love


Source: Catholic News Service

Moving but excessively graphic examination of romantic love as experienced by a college professor (Morgan Freeman), his wife (Jane Alexander), the owner of a local cafe (Greg Kinnear), the two women for whom he sequentially falls (Selma Blair and Radha Mitchell), a hardened businessman (Billy Burke) and a young, Romeo and Juliet-like couple (Alexa Davalos and Toby Hemingway). The film, as directed by Robert Benton, is beautifully atmospheric and features some excellent performances, yet its script offers the audience a set of false choices, making an idol of erotic love and portraying that love with an intrusive frankness. Extensive frontal, rear and upper female nudity, sexual encounters, some of them graphic and adulterous, same-sex coupling, some rough language, occasional profanity, drug use and pornography. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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James of the Marche: Meet one of the fathers of the modern pawnshop! 
<p>James was born in the Marche of Ancona, in central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. After earning doctorates in canon and civil law at the University of Perugia, he joined the Friars Minor and began a very austere life. He fasted nine months of the year; he slept three hours a night. St. Bernardine of Siena told him to moderate his penances. </p><p>James studied theology with St. John of Capistrano. Ordained in 1420, James began a preaching career that took him all over Italy and through 13 Central and Eastern European countries. This extremely popular preacher converted many people (250,000 at one estimate) and helped spread devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. His sermons prompted numerous Catholics to reform their lives and many men joined the Franciscans under his influence. </p><p>With John of Capistrano, Albert of Sarteano and Bernardine of Siena, James is considered one of the "four pillars" of the Observant movement among the Franciscans. These friars became known especially for their preaching. </p><p>To combat extremely high interest rates, James established <i>montes pietatis</i> (literally, mountains of charity)--nonprofit credit organizations that lent money at very low rates on pawned objects. </p><p>Not everyone was happy with the work James did. Twice assassins lost their nerve when they came face to face with him. James died in 1476 and was canonized in 1726.</p> American Catholic Blog Let us never tire of seeking the Lord—of letting ourselves be sought by him—of tending over our relationship with him in silence and prayerful listening. Let us keep our gaze fixed on him, the center of time and history; let us make room for his presence within us.

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