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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Skyline

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service


Fighter jets attack an alien ship in the science-fiction thriller "Skyline."
There's a single fascinating moment in "Skyline" (Universal), an otherwise forgettable (but with sequels to come!) apocalyptic yarn about aliens who invade Los Angeles with the munchies for humans.

A giant insectlike spaceship sucks thousands of computer-generated sticklike people into the sky like a giant vacuum. This being a low-budget production, it's a brief special effect. But it's one of those rare New Testament moments in a horror film.

Fundamentalist Christians, especially, as well as Catholics, will instantly recognize it as looking like the rapture described in Chapter 4, Verses 14-17 of the First Letter to the Thessalonians, in which the dead in Christ will rise.

Too bad the rest of it is so dull. With their appetite not sated by the initial smorgasbord, the slimy aliens, also insectlike, break out to see what they can find on the a la carte menu, trapping a handful of frightened people, among them Jarrod (Eric Balfour), Elaine (Scottie Thompson), Candice (Brittany Daniel) and Terry (Donald Faison) in a high-rise apartment building.

They're hankering after human brains, although directing brothers Colin and Greg Strause and screenwriters Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell don't bother to explain why. No one even seems to know from whence the aliens came, and not even nuclear weapons can stop them.

The film contains fleeting crass language, a single profanity, a single implied instance of premarital sex, and darkly lit aliens eating glowing human brains. The Catholic News Service 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.

*****
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.


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Ignatius of Loyola: The founder of the Jesuits was on his way to military fame and fortune when a cannon ball shattered his leg. Because there were no books of romance on hand during his convalescence, Ignatius whiled away the time reading a life of Christ and lives of the saints. His conscience was deeply touched, and a long, painful turning to Christ began. Having seen the Mother of God in a vision, he made a pilgrimage to her shrine at Montserrat (near Barcelona). He remained for almost a year at nearby Manresa, sometimes with the Dominicans, sometimes in a pauper’s hospice, often in a cave in the hills praying. After a period of great peace of mind, he went through a harrowing trial of scruples. There was no comfort in anything—prayer, fasting, sacraments, penance. At length, his peace of mind returned. 
<p>It was during this year of conversion that Ignatius began to write down material that later became his greatest work, the <em>Spiritual Exercises</em>. </p><p>He finally achieved his purpose of going to the Holy Land, but could not remain, as he planned, because of the hostility of the Turks. He spent the next 11 years in various European universities, studying with great difficulty, beginning almost as a child. Like many others, his orthodoxy was questioned; Ignatius was twice jailed for brief periods. </p><p>In 1534, at the age of 43, he and six others (one of whom was St. Francis Xavier, December 2) vowed to live in poverty and chastity and to go to the Holy Land. If this became impossible, they vowed to offer themselves to the apostolic service of the pope. The latter became the only choice. Four years later Ignatius made the association permanent. The new Society of Jesus was approved by Paul III, and Ignatius was elected to serve as the first general. </p><p>When companions were sent on various missions by the pope, Ignatius remained in Rome, consolidating the new venture, but still finding time to found homes for orphans, catechumens and penitents. He founded the Roman College, intended to be the model of all other colleges of the Society. </p><p>Ignatius was a true mystic. He centered his spiritual life on the essential foundations of Christianity—the Trinity, Christ, the Eucharist. His spirituality is expressed in the Jesuit motto, <i>ad majorem Dei gloriam</i>—“for the greater glory of God.” In his concept, obedience was to be the prominent virtue, to assure the effectiveness and mobility of his men. All activity was to be guided by a true love of the Church and unconditional obedience to the Holy Father, for which reason all professed members took a fourth vow to go wherever the pope should send them for the salvation of souls.</p> American Catholic Blog Jesus’s humanity and His biological need to be fed Himself gives power and personal force to His teaching that when we feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty, we do it to Him.

 
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