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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

John Carter

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

This epically expensive film cost Disney $200 million dollars to produce. It’s both a throwback to American history and futuristic sci-fi story based on a character and series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs of “Tarzan” fame.
 
John Carter is a former Confederate soldier who heads west to Arizona Territory only for men to try to force him to fight their frontier battles. But John does not believe in war or violence and he resists. Then he is mysteriously transported to Mars where strange beings capture him. Some are kindly; they only want to communicate because they wonder about his amazing ability to jump huge distances and heights. He wonders about this himself and this gift comes in very handy as his adventures increase. Others do not like him. Humans are there, too, with one group is fighting to take over the other. He is attracted to the Princess of Helium who does not want to marry the head of the other city that her father thinks will ensure peace.
 
And on and on.
 
“John Carter” initials are “J.C.”, in other words, he could be considered a kind of savior figure to the people of Helium and other creatures of Mars or Barsoom as they call the planet. The only point I got out of this long and rambling movie – that is strangely watchable – is that Carter stands for peace and non-violence.
 
Otherwise much of the film, including the melodramatic music in the first part, is like a 1950s “B” movie. In other words, it’s corny and campy.
  If you know the Tarzan stories you will notice much similarity: men among aliens, in alien environments, one swings from trees in the jungle and the other jumps canyons and cliffs to escape danger, save the princess, and avoid conflict.


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Jerome: Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper! It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen. 
<p>He was above all a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. He also wrote commentaries which are a great source of scriptural inspiration for us today. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine (August 28) said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known." </p><p>St. Jerome is particularly important for having made a translation of the Bible which came to be called the Vulgate. It is not the most critical edition of the Bible, but its acceptance by the Church was fortunate. As a modern scholar says, "No man before Jerome or among his contemporaries and very few men for many centuries afterwards were so well qualified to do the work." The Council of Trent called for a new and corrected edition of the Vulgate, and declared it the authentic text to be used in the Church. </p><p>In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well. He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia). After his preliminary education he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time, and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers. He once served as private secretary of Pope Damasus (December 11).</p><p>After these preparatory studies he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ's life with an outpouring of devotion. Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ. On September 30 in the year 420, Jerome died in Bethlehem. The remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.</p> American Catholic Blog O fire of love! Was it not enough to gift us with creation in your image and likeness, and to create us anew to grace in your Son’s blood, without giving us yourself as food, the whole of divine being, the whole of God? What drove you? Nothing but your charity, mad with love as your are! –St. Catherine of Siena

 
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