"REAPER"--A 21-year-old Wal-mart-like employee finds out that his parents sold his soul to the devil before he was born. He must now work for Satan, bounty-hunting souls that have escaped from hell. A blend of comedy, guy humor and special effects. The main character's slacker friend is very funny. Satan, looking like a mafia don, is non-scary and non-funny. The theology is skewed and illogical: Satan tells his new minion, "Don't worry, I saw how this all ends: God wins." Satan almost sounds like he's working for God, putting the "bad guys" away. I thought this might be more "Screwtape Letters," psychological thriller, but not so far. The dirt-devil vacuum as a soul-sucking device was amusing. Acting, dialogue, plot, not that snappy.
"GOSSIP GIRLS"--Based on the books touted as "Sex and the City for the teen set." Sigh. Mean Rich Girls. Bored Mean Rich Girls. Bored Mean Rich Humorless Girls Creating Drama (Unfortunately Much Sexual Drama) Because They're Bored. Bored Mean Rich Girls with Bored Mean Rich Parents. Created by the creator of "The O.C."--it's the same tenor.
"DIRTY, SEXY MONEY"--focuses on a lawyer for a mega-wealthy, eccentric, controlling, Kennedy-like family. His father before him was their lawyer. The stellar cast doesn't disappoint: Donald Sutherland, Jill Clayburgh, Peter Krause. This could be a very heavy drama, but has a light touch. Very well executed, but not completely riveting. Unfortunately, the nastiest family member is a nasty Roman Catholic priest with a son out of wedlock.
Franz Jagerstatter, a Catholic layman and father of three--one of the only Austrians to refuse to serve in Hitler's army and was executed for it--was declared "martyr" by the Catholic Church. He will be beatified in October! Check out the book on Franz' life: "In Solitary Witness" by Gordan Zahn.
He faced opposition from EVERYONE, including family, church, etc., that told him to just join the army like everyone else. They told him he was being selfish to follow his conscience (because of the possible reprisals against his family). Sure, he could have killed his conscience and gone with the flow. But now his grandkids get to say: "Franz Jagerstatter was my grandfather."
Peoria, IL, seminarians visit. Bishop Fulton Sheen is from Peoria, IL, and the rumor mill has it that the "Peoria 6" are going to Rochester, NY, to steal his bones and bring them back to Peoria. Where they belong.
I had to re-read John Paul II's "On Human Work, Laborem Exercens" for a project, and it became evident to me that everyone is ultimately working for the family, even those of us with no children, because we are working for the future. What is the future? Children. Where do children come from, where are they raised? The family.
"All professions serve the highest profession: homemaking." --C. S. Lewis
So, I attended this luncheon of the "Non-Crabby Women of Faith"* with a German Monsignor Schmidt who converted two real-life princesses to Jesus. One is German, one Italian. The Italian, who is a Borgia(!), wrote a best-selling book in Europe called "With New Eyes," that I and my partner in crime, Sheila Liaugminas, are going to strong-arm him into getting into English.
When one of the women asked Monsignor: "How do we bring Jesus to the world when we leave Mass?" He said, get this, "The family table. All of life should be liturgy. If the Mass is the heavenly banquet, so should our family table be, also for all those who join us at it (hospitality)." He said: "You should use your fine china for your family several times a week. Celebrate." Wow.
Linda Weaver, our amazing hostess and evangelizer par excellence, said: "If evangelizing is inviting people to the heavenly banquet...then I'm God's party planner!" _____________ *We're not allowed to complain about our lives, the Church or anything! Only positive energy. Like Jesus who was always "yes."
It has been revealed that Mother Teresa experienced--for most of her life--the same feeling of darkness and abandonment that many atheists feel. This incredible woman had one mission on earth: to the poorest of the poor, and now from heaven a mission to those in doubt and darkness. I hope that just in the way she also raised awareness of the poorest of the poor, she will raise awareness of the plight of atheists. I have never been completely without faith (I believed in the creator-watchmaker-God-of-the-Deists until I was 15), but in my teenage years before I met a personal God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit--my life was very dark, and I would never want to go back there. Fr. Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, posits that atheists may be the souls "dearest to the heart of God."