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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Faith & Film Night: The Kid

The next feature film presentation in our Lights, Camera...Faith series is Disney's The Kid, starring Bruce Willis. This film ties in with the liturgical readings for this coming Sunday, the Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

If you haven't seen it yet, this is a charming comedic film with important life themes. Here's a great write-up about it from Amazon.com, followed by the trailer. Please join us this Friday, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Disney's The Kid
Russ Duritz (Bruce Willis) is an ultra-cynical, 40-year-old L.A. image consultant who fashions bogus façades for scumbag clients. Oblivious to his own need for a makeover, he's a tyrant in the office (to the chagrin of his sarcastic assistant, played to perfection by Lily Tomlin), and he's emotionally unavailable to the morally centered woman (Emily Mortimer) who senses goodness beneath Russ's hardened veneer. Not a moment too soon, a pudgy kid (Spencer Breslin) mysteriously appears in Russ's life, revealing himself to be Rusty Duritz--that is, Russ's 8-year-old self, arriving by some magic to put the adult Russ's life into beneficial perspective. This variation on A Christmas Carol has Rusty guiding Russ on a tour of his past to reveal how he became a loveless, hard-shelled loser. It takes a bit of smarmy chicken-soup psychology to explain it all, but The Kid is an otherwise charming and involving fantasy, suggesting that perhaps we'd all benefit from a bit of counseling by our younger selves. Written with admirable restraint by Audrey Wells (who brought a similar appeal to The Truth About Cats and Dogs) and directed by Jon Turteltaub (Cool Runnings), the movie doesn't force its supernatural elements or attempt to explain Rusty's existence. It's just a fable for our modern age and a reminder to embrace the better angels of our nature. Delivered with an easy blend of humor and sentiment, that message makes The Kid an unexpected pleasure. (Look closely for Matthew Perry as Willis's shaggy-haired client.) --Jeff Shannon


Lectio Divina: Allowing God's Word to Guide Our Lives

Interested in learning how Sacred Scripture can draw you to a deeper union with God? Want to experience a keener insight into the Lord's vision and plan for your daily life? Then we here at Pauline Books & Media invite you to explore with us the ancient practice of Lectio Divina--a slow, contemplative, prayerful reading of the scriptures.

Lectio Divina enables us to discern an underlying rhythm in our daily life. Within this rhythm, we discover an increasing ability to offer more of ourselves and our relationships to the Father, and to accept the embrace that God continually extends to us in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ.

To facilitate this encounter with God through his holy Word, we will be meeting twice a month on every other Tuesday, beginning October 13th at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested, please join us for this time of shared contemplation.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Catholic Fiction Book Club--A Correction

Hi, everyone. Just a heads up that our upcoming Catholic Fiction Book Club, which begins NEXT WEEK on September 9th, will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (I've corrected the time on the post below.) Apologies for having misinformed you about the time.

By way of a reminder, the first book we will be covering is Ron Hansen's Exiles. Here is a write-up about the book:

Veteran historical novelist Hansen (whose previous works include Atticus, 1996, and Hitler’s Niece, 1999) brilliantly, if soberly, weaves two interrelated story lines into a riveting novel based on the factual background to the writing of Victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins’ classic epic poem “The Wreck of the Deutschland.” The two story lines—one, about what drew Hopkins to write the poem, and, two, about the lives of five Catholic nuns who drowned in the grounding of the German liner off the coast of England in 1875—are thematically connected, in addition to the literal one between author and poetic work. Born and raised in the Church of England, Hopkins as a young man not only converted to Roman Catholicism but also became a Jesuit priest. Thus, he was in spiritual exile from his original church and from his family, who were uncomfortable with his conversion, and when sent by the Jesuits to teach in Dublin, he was cast into physical exile from his native country. The five nuns, whose individual stories Hansen brings to light, were being sent into exile in the U.S. by their convent in Germany, in the shadow of the anti-Catholic laws being promulgated by the Bismarck regime. The tragic voyage of the ship the nuns were unfortunate enough to book passage on is itself chronicled with a heart-thumping vividness. --Brad Hooper

You can obtain a copy of Exiles from our Pauline Center. We hope to see many of you on the 9th for the Book Club!

Ancient Prayers, Ever New: Praying with the Psalms

The Psalms not only enhance our liturgies and are the official prayer of the Church, the Divine Office, but they lift our spirits and express the deepest yearnings of the human heart.

We at Pauline Books & Media would like to invite you to
embark on a journey into the world of the Psalms: their types, characteristics, language, metaphors and spirituality. Our moderator, Sr. Leonora Wilson, will help us explore methods for studying and praying the Psalms. Together we will experience the wealth and beauty of these ancient prayers of Israel and their relevance for our life of faith today.

So please join us for
Ancient Prayers, Ever New: Praying with the Psalms, hosted at Pauline Books & Media at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16th.

Please bring your Bible with you!