Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How Super Catholics could relearn the basics of their faith by watching the film The Apostle

"Jesus is here right now."

Nearly twenty years on, The Apostle is aging well. Recently viewing this film - not having seen it since 98 - I was impressed with not only how well it holds up, but how much better it was than the last viewing. The first time watching it, I knew that there was something very unique taking place; I was struck most of all by an unabashed, unaided truth coruscating through the frame. On my latest viewing there was deep impact. While the film's qualities were certainly recognized by critics upon its release, I think this film is still sort of one of those not yet sufficiently recognized classics. It has not yet taken that place among the quiet late bloomers, like Casablanca and It's a Wonderful Life (neither of which I'm a fan of), but I am pretty certain it will. Moreover, I'm convinced - and some may laugh - that the Holy Spirit breathes through this film in an effusive, unstoppable way.

Therein lies the great surprise of this film, not to mention its actual greatness. You may chuckle at the white suit preacher repeating "Holy Ghost power" or you may find Billy Bob Thornton's conversion quaint, and so on, but towards the end, something like a chill sweat threatens to break over you, and the recognition that this film is, as a narrow sluice channel, delivering. Holy Ghost power. Very much in the same way this flawed preacher man - do you trust him? Is he just nuts? - is an instrument of "an acceptable time", a channel for Evangelium, so it goes with the film itself.

It is not a psychological portrait. It is not southern gothic. It is not genre. It is not ironical or cynical commentary. It is most certainly not sentimental. Only a conception, a script, gestating in the mind of Robert Duvall for thirteen years could have ended up becoming this film. I find comparisons that put the film in the company of the stories of Flannery O'Connor and other authors to be superficial, brittle observations; putting the film on the safe shelf.

The late Roger Ebert wrote about the almost documentary-like way in which this film unfolds and flows. You never feel - not once - that this film is fulfilling the requirements of a story arch. Other critics have used the words "electrifying" and "unapologetic" to describe that very particular course this film takes. The general reception of this film was quite positive.

I think one of the most startling things about this film is the revelation that Duvall's character, Sonny, is indeed doing the work of Jesus, of planting and spreading the Gospel. It's so convincing because you see that even when he realizes that his big sin of wrath - of murder - is catching up to him and he knows he must pay for it - that the mettle of his gospel convictions are tested: you see that while he knew his crime and indeed, fled from turning himself in, knew he was sooner or later going to be arrested and taken to jail, he still moves forward to spread the gospel in the ways he can. And more, that the Holy Spirit is working through this man. We see this emphasized also at the very end while the credits roll: Sonny is part of a chain gang at the side of a road and he's the leader in their song. He poses the questions, while the other convicts answer "Jesus". He's clearly continuing to do the work of the Lord while in jail.

I liked the very last words we hear before the final fade out:

"Who is Mary's little darling?"


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"Smugness is the Great Catholic Sin." --Flannery O'Connor

Sing it, Bruno

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“I think in the whole world things are going very badly. People are becoming more materialist and cruel ... Cruel by laziness, by indifference, egotism, because they only think about themselves and not at all about what is happening around them, so they let everything grow ugly and stupid. They are all interested in money only. Money is becoming their God. God doesn't exist for many. Money is becoming something you must live for. You know, even your astronauts, the first one who put his foot on the moon, said that when he first saw our earth, he said it was something so miraculous, so marvelous, don't spoil it, don't touch it. More deeply I feel the rotten way they are spoiling the earth. All the countries. Silence doesn't exist anymore; you can't find it. That, for me, would make it impossible to live.” --Robert Bresson

Friday, November 6, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Medjugorje Message - Nov. 2

"Dear children. Anew I desire to talk about love. I gathered you around me on behalf of my Son through His will. I want my children who understand the love of my Son and follow it to live in love and hope. They came to know God's love. Therefore, dear children, pray, pray that you can love more and do acts of love, because faith alone, without love and without acts of love, is not what I ask from you. My children, that is the illusion of faith. That is self-boasting. My Son asks for faith and acts, love and goodness. I pray, and I am asking you to pray and live love because I desire that my Son, when looking at the hearts of all my children, may see in them love and goodness, not hatred and ambivalence. My children, apostles of my love, do not lose hope, do not lose strength. You can do it. I am encouraging and blessing you, because all of these earthly things—which are unfortunately placed in the first place by many of my children—will vanish, and love alone and acts of love will stay and open the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. At those gates I will be waiting for you. At those gates I want to greet and hug all of my children. Thank you!"

Friday, October 30, 2015

Title: Nativity with Shepherd

Medium: Oil on board

Size: 12in x 16 in

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Over

"The metal age of money is over now. Central banks all round the world are already selling their stocks of gold, as discreetly as possible, and as slowly as necessary to avoid a gold-price collapse." --Creating New Money, Joseph Huber and James Robertson

"They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin." --Ezekiel 7:19

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Watch Iceland. End the debt!

Since 2008 the monetary reform issue has been brewing well in Iceland.

"In theory, banks are only supposed to lend out 9 times the amount of cash they actually have in reserve. Yes, they get to counterfeit 900% of the money they actually have and charge us interest on it. That's outrageous. This is the very definition of the word 'usury'. Fractional reserve banking is practiced worldwide now. Over 90% of all new money in every nation on earth now is created by banks in the loan-making process."

"This debt-money system is nothing but legalized counterfeiting of national money. It is worldwide in scale. It is slowly breaking the backs of the economies of every nation and will eventually lead to an even larger worldwide banking system collapse."

"Many Americans, in the wake of Ron Paul's influence, believe that ending the Federal Reserve system is the answer. It's not. Yes, the Fed tries to control the quantity of money in the American system. But who are they really trying to control? The banks. Especially the biggest banks. The banks are in total and complete control of how much money there is, because they create all of it, except coins and paper money which is less than 10% of the money supply in America."

"Gold-backing would make zero difference."

What are the foundations of our money supply?

1. How is the supply of money put into circulation, for all the members of society to use?

2. How does the government raise its revenue? What does it tax and what does it not tax?

3. How does the government spend the revenue on public purposes?

"Have got all of them badly wrong."

Time stamped:

"The public money supply should not be a source of private profit."

Cause after Effect

If I cared to make a top ten list of my all-time favourite films, no matter what films would drop off and others take their place down the years, Au Hasard Balthasar would always remain in the top five, no matter what. Absolutely.

It kills me that so many people go through life watching so much celluloid dross and never see this film, or any of Bresson's films.

"...Thanks to that extraordinary device, the miraculous machine called a camera. As a matter of fact, what surprises me is that such an incredible device, capable of recording what our eye cannot, or more precisely, what our mind does not, is only used to show us tricks and falsehoods. That's what surprises me." 

Did he just hit the bulls-eye or what.

And listen to what else he has to say. I think Robert Bresson was prophetic.