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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Forbidden Kingdom, The

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Glossy kung fu fantasy in which a teenage martial-arts film fan (Michael Angarano) is transported to ancient China where he embarks on a quest to return a magical staff to the Monkey King (Jet Li) so that he can continue his age-old struggle against the evil Jade War Lord (Collin Chou), assisted along the way by a tippling poet (Jackie Chan), a reticent monk (also Li) and a girl (Liu Yifei) out to avenge the tyrant's murder of her parents. Director Rob Minkoff's saga features impressive action sequences and special effects, but only passable humor and virtually no emotional depth. Crass scene of urination, two uses of the s-word, occasional crass language and vulgar expressions, one profanity, and fantasy violence. 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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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.

 
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