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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

One Direction: This Is Us

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan star in a scene from the movie "One Direction: This Is Us."
While grumpy grammarians may grumble over its title, the parents of targeted teenyboppers will find little to object to in the mostly harmless concert film "One Direction: This Is Us" (TriStar).

Director Morgan Spurlock showcases the boy band of the title—made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson—capturing a number of their upbeat stage performances during a recent world tour. He also chronicles the group's creation by talent judge and pop impresario Simon Cowell.

Besides the good-natured horseplay going on backstage, viewers are also shown more serious aspects of the lads' lives, including their work for charity and strong emotional bonds with their families. We see them interacting with some of the African children who have benefitted from their philanthropy, and witness one performer's mother and sisters getting their first glimpse of the new, far more comfortable home he has purchased for them.

Irish-born Horan returns to his native Mullingar to participate in a (presumably Catholic) wedding ceremony. Some of the interview footage with him is filmed in the church where this event took place, suggesting it's a structure to which he feels at least some connection.

Still, a touch of salty language makes this otherwise benign picture unsuitable fare for the youngest moviegoers.

As for the inordinate number of shots showing the youthful stars either shirtless or in their underwear, they hint that all that screaming from overwrought fans isn't just about the music.

The film contains one use of profanity, brief scatological humor and a half-dozen mildly crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested.

*****
John Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.



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Monica: The circumstances of St. Monica’s life could have made her a nagging wife, a bitter daughter-in-law and a despairing parent, yet she did not give way to any of these temptations. Although she was a Christian, her parents gave her in marriage to a pagan, Patricius, who lived in her hometown of Tagaste in North Africa. Patricius had some redeeming features, but he had a violent temper and was licentious. Monica also had to bear with a cantankerous mother-in-law who lived in her home. Patricius criticized his wife because of her charity and piety, but always respected her. Monica’s prayers and example finally won her husband and mother-in-law to Christianity. Her husband died in 371, one year after his baptism. 
<p>Monica had at least three children who survived infancy. The oldest, Augustine (August 28) , is the most famous. At the time of his father’s death, Augustine was 17 and a rhetoric student in Carthage. Monica was distressed to learn that her son had accepted the Manichean heresy (all flesh is evil)  and was living an immoral life. For a while, she refused to let him eat or sleep in her house. Then one night she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith. From that time on, she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. In fact, she often stayed much closer than Augustine wanted. </p><p>When he was 29, Augustine decided to go to Rome to teach rhetoric. Monica was determined to go along. One night he told his mother that he was going to the dock to say goodbye to a friend. Instead, he set sail for Rome. Monica was heartbroken when she learned of Augustine’s trick, but she still followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan. Although travel was difficult, Monica pursued him to Milan. </p><p>In Milan, Augustine came under the influence of the bishop, St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. She accepted his advice in everything and had the humility to give up some practices that had become second nature to her (see Quote, below). Monica became a leader of the devout women in Milan as she had been in Tagaste. </p><p>She continued her prayers for Augustine during his years of instruction. At Easter, 387, St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends. Soon after, his party left for Africa. Although no one else was aware of it, Monica knew her life was near the end. She told Augustine, “Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.” She became ill shortly after and suffered severely for nine days before her death. </p><p>Almost all we know about St. Monica is in the writings of St. Augustine, especially his <i>Confessions</i>.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, I am sure there are frequently tiny miracles where you protect us and are present to us although you always remain anonymous. Help me appreciate how carefully you watch over me and my loved ones all day long, and be sensitive enough to stay close to you. I ask this in Jesus's name. Amen.

 
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