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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Breaking Dawn

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: Catholic News Service

SPOLIER ALERT!
 
Last year I reviewed the “Twilight” film franchise (“Twilight”, “New Moon” and “Eclipse”) as a whole in “The Tidings” as “basically a love story.” http://www2.the-tidings.com/2010/071610/movies.htm. I wrote about the influence of author Stephenie Meyer’s Mormonism and did not think there was evidence of much, especially to anyone unfamiliar with the tenants of Mormonism. With this new film, I think there the Mormon influence is evident, at least on the level of allegory.
 
With “Breaking Dawn Part I” we are nearing the end of the benevolent (the Cullens no longer hunt for human blood like their counterparts who do) vampire-werewolf-human saga. Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattison) finally marry after Bella has a gory vision of all the wedding guests in a huge pile, dead and bleeding.
 
A child is conceived while Edward and Bella are on their honeymoon, but something is not right. The baby is growing too rapidly. Jacob (Taylor Lautner), the shape-shifting werewolf who loved Bella since they were children, becomes angry that Edward does not intend to “turn” Bella into a vampire before their wedding night, as a pregnancy with a half-human, half-vampire child could kill her. And it nearly does.
 
Jacob, along with two others, leaves their pack to protect Bella and her unborn baby from the werewolves. The wolves fear that the mixed child (that Edward thinks is a monster that he wants Bella to abort but she refuses) will eventually destroy them. At the end of the film, Jacob “imprints” himself on the baby to save her (according to the law of the wolves, they cannot destroy an intended spouse who has been imprinted) thus claiming the child for a wife.
 
This male domination for salvation scenario is a bit creepy. Consider that Edward is a hundred years old and he has been grooming Bella for about three years now, though it seems like she is pursuing him. Now Jacob has “imprinted” on an infant girl, binding all of them. Interesting.
 
There is a lot of blood in this film and if anything links it to the Mormon faith, it is the symbolic nature of the blood connecting families, past generations, and even those yet to be born. As vampires are immortal, so are Mormon men who are the channels of salvation and immortality for their wives.
 
I wanted to see the film just to see what happens; I only read the first novel and while interesting to begin with, it seemed to turn to producing words about 2/3 of the way through.
 
Only Bella has to change in this series so far; the male figures act and react in relation to her choices. But is she really free?
 
Maybe the “Twilight” franchise is more than a romance after all.  And perhaps “Breaking Dawn Part 1” is more than a bloody mess that will introduce us to Part II due in 2012. You have to be really invested in the characters to make this film work for you.


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Brother Juniper: "Would to God, my brothers, I had a whole forest of such Junipers," said Francis of this holy friar. 
<p>We don’t know much about Juniper before he joined the friars in 1210. Francis sent him to establish "places" for the friars in Gualdo Tadino and Viterbo. When St. Clare was dying, Juniper consoled her. He was devoted to the passion of Jesus and was known for his simplicity. </p><p>Several stories about Juniper in the <i>Little Flowers of St. Francis</i> illustrate his exasperating generosity. Once Juniper was taking care of a sick man who had a craving to eat pig’s feet. This helpful friar went to a nearby field, captured a pig and cut off one foot, and then served this meal to the sick man. The owner of the pig was furious and immediately went to Juniper’s superior. When Juniper saw his mistake, he apologized profusely. He also ended up talking this angry man into donating the rest of the pig to the friars! </p><p>Another time Juniper had been commanded to quit giving part of his clothing to the half-naked people he met on the road. Desiring to obey his superior, Juniper once told a man in need that he couldn’t give the man his tunic, but he wouldn’t prevent the man from taking it either. In time, the friars learned not to leave anything lying around, for Juniper would probably give it away. </p><p>He died in 1258 and is buried at Ara Coeli Church in Rome.</p> American Catholic Blog Is God in control of your life, or are you? Does He have your permission to take you where He wants to, or are you the control freak who wants Him in the car but won’t let Him steer?

 
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