Bella – Review

http://www.bellamoviesite.com/

Bella, released in 2006 at the Toronto International Film Festival, is one of those movies that I really meant to see, but never got around to it.  Thanks to Netflix, I finally did, and wow, what a great movie!

The story, which takes place in one day, may get a little confusing as the backstory unfolds in flashbacks.  Jose, a soccer star who has just signed a lucrative contract, accidentally kills a small child and serves time in prison.  After his release, he works in his brother’s restaurant as a chef, where he meets Nina, a waitress who has a brief affair (not with Jose) which ends in an unplanned pregnancy.  Nina’s solution is to end the pregnancy, but Jose has other ideas, and Nina changes her plans (as shown in flash-forwards, confused yet?).  The subtle anti-abortion message is so powerful, that I can see why pro-life groups adopted this movie and helped to heavily promote it.  

I enjoyed the portrayal of Jose’s family and particularly his interaction with his brother Manny, whose compulsive reactions Jose responds to with calm dismissal.  Such as when Manny fires Jose, who simply walks out the back door of the restaurant, then returns the next morning and cooks Manny breakfast as if nothing happened.

My favorite scene has to be Jose, sitting with a rosary in his hand, while Nina is taken into the back of the abortion clinic.  It’s something you might miss, if you weren’t Catholic, but to me, it screamed the power of Our Blessed Mother’s intercession.

Bella is a story about imperfect people, living sometimes difficult lives and facing complicated choices.  It’s about the power of God bringing awesome good out of our human weakness.

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Memorial To The Unborn

St. Germaine, Prescott Valley, AZ

What is a Memorial to the Unborn?  They have been popping up all over in the last number of years.  Ranging from a simple headstone in a flower bed, to small parks at the side of a church, to Facebook pages, these memorials all have one thing in common – to honor babies who died before birth.  Whether the loss was by abortion, miscarriage or stillbirth, memorials also serve as part of the healing process for parents and loved ones of these babies.


St. Germaine, Prescott Valley, AZ

The National Memorial to the Unborn stands on the site of a former abortion clinic and now houses a pregnancy care center as well, where women can receive counseling, learn about alternatives to abortion and get real, practical help.


St. Germaine, Prescott Valley, AZ

Some memorials offer private services and placement of name plates,  small headstones or brick pavers to honor the child.  Others such as UnbornMemorials.com offer a place online for people to post memorials to their own or other’s unborn babies.  The Knights of Columbus are very pro-active in building memorials at Catholic parishes, such as the one where I took these pictures, St. Germaine in Prescott Valley, AZ.

As tragic as Roe vs. Wade (the US Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion on demand) was, and as important as it is to continue to fight to overturn it, there will continue to be a deep-seated need to provide healing and resources to parents of aborted, miscarried and stillborn children.  Memorials to the unborn, support groups and other resources can help.

St. Germaine, Prescott Valley, AZ

To locate a memorial to visit or for further information on memorials to the unborn try these sites in addition to the links above:




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Compelling Interest – Review

http://christianaudio.com/compelling-interest-roger-resler-1

 

 

 

40 years after Roe vs. Wade, Compelling Interest, by Roger Resler offers an interesting look behind the scenes of the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States.  From the appalling ignorance of the attorneys handling the defense, to the twisting of language and history to manipulate the court’s decision, Resler makes a convincing case for life.  In his interviews with experts and research into other historic court cases, the author demonstrates that the justices and defense attorneys allowed the legal team pursuing the “right” to legal abortion to bamboozle them.
In Resler’s reading of his audiobook, actual conversations with the founders of the National Right to Life Committee,  author and speaker Randy Alcorn, bioethics professor Dr. Gerard Magill, and other experts add objectivity and credence to a usually explosive topic.  Doctors’ descriptions of the abortion process at every stage of pregnancy are graphic and disturbing.
In the end, the key point I detected, was NOT whether the embryo, fetus, baby or “tissue” (as the attorney for the plaintiff chose to refer to it), was a living, human being.  The question of life starting at fertilization/conception had been scientifically and irrefutably proven long before this case came to trial.  The question before the court was whether this “tissue” had any “Constitutional Rights or protection” due to it.  Unfortunately, as no precedent had been established, the best the defense could come up with was that “natural born” citizens were due protection of life, liberty, etc. under the Constitution of the United States.  Sarah Weddington, attorney for the plaintiff, argued that this meant that since the “tissue” was not yet born, it had no rights.  The Supreme Court justices fell for it.
In the ensuing arguments about how early a fetus could survive outside the womb, “quality of life” issues were introduced.  Now we have a disturbing precedent.  If the “quality of life” that a premature baby can enjoy is not of the quality deemed necessary by the court, what about the “quality of life” of the disabled, the elderly, the poor?  It is frightening to see these very issues beginning to be addressed 40 years later.  
I don’t know about anyone else, but after giving birth to 4 children, I greatly respect the life that grows inside a woman’s womb, however conceived, and however little “hope” there is for “quality” for that life.  I also do not want anyone but my God deciding when my “quality of life” has ended and so, therefore, must my actual life.  
As a narrator, the author has a deep, commanding presence and the interspersed voices of experts he interviewed for the book offer a pleasant variety and help to keep the reader’s interest.
I do not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 16, due to the subject matter and graphic descriptions of the abortion process.   

 

 

By Roger Resler, © 2012

 

ISBN-10: 1618431137

 

ISBN-13: 978-1618431134

 

www.christianaudio.com       12.4 hrs.         $14.98

 

read by:  Roger Resler and various guests
 
Thank you to www.christianaudio.com for the opportunity to review this book.  A free copy was provided for that purpose, no other compensation was received.

 

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God, Religion and the First President of the United States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gilbert_Stuart,_George_Washington_(Lansdowne_portrait,_1796).jpg

The other night I watched a video I received in the mail, documenting some of the writings of America’s Founding Fathers, in reference to the need for Godly principles in American public life and excerpts from court cases upholding those principles.

George Washington, himself, in his Farewell Address, wrote that our country would fail without them.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington’s_Farewell_Address

As I consider how successful special interest groups have been in removing God and religion from so much of our public life, I could not help but draw a parallel to this past Sunday’s first reading from Nehemiah 8:2-10.  After years of captivity and being forbidden to hear the Word of God in public or practice their religion, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.  “Ezra the priest…standing at the open place…read out of the book…and all the people listened…all the people were weeping as they heard the words…”  I cannot help but think that what was foretold by President Washington if we exclude religion, is coming to pass.  I do not believe religion or faith should be forced upon a person –  the Catholic Church practiced that grievous mistake for hundreds of years.  This, after having it practiced on us for hundreds of years in an attempt to suppress us.  God gave us free will that we may come to him willingly and joyfully if we so choose.

As a modern, American Catholic, I am very comfortable with my religious freedom.  Maybe even complacent.  However, I have been hearing warning bells, and must pull myself out of my complacency.  Lest we be dragged into the abyss of secular humanism, let those of us who have faith, pray.  Let those of us who have wits, join the fray and educate, legislate and lobby to keep our Constitutional rights.  Let those of us who waver, not be swayed by popular opinion, but seek truth on our own, delve deeper into the issues, and draw our own conclusions, instead of jumping on someone else’s bandwagon in ignorant bliss.

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Julie Carrick – Living The Faith Boldly

Year of Faith Events – Carrick Ministries

Julie Carrick sang her first solo at the age of 5.  Since then, she has devoted her life and her music to Jesus.  Even after surviving a rare form of lung cancer a few years ago, Julie continues to minister and share her faith with Catholics all over the world.  We were recently blessed to once again host one of Julie’s fantastic missions:  Living Our Catholic Creed.  

One thing you will notice about Julie is that she is humble and transparent.  She shares freely of her own pain and her own joy.  Her music flows from a wellspring of experience throughout her life.

She proudly tells of how her husband of nearly 30 years bore witness to his Catholic faith to a co-worker.

She shares her agony upon learning that her daughter had been raped and subsequently became pregnant.  Her daughter Edel’s courage in accepting and embracing that new life is also a part of Carrick Ministries.

She shares her own story of temptation, when she has to make a choice between a lucrative recording contract with “stipulations” and her own morals and values.

Throughout the evening, Julie performs her award winning compositions, as well as classic hymns, interweaving inspiration with quotes from St. Teresa of Avila and an attentive reading of the Creed. 

This mini concert/mission is perfect for the “Year of Faith”.  You will truly be inspired to live your faith boldly, taking a stand for marriage, for life, and for what “We Believe”.

For more information on Carrick Ministries, available concert and event dates and to order Julie’s recordings, see Carrick Ministries.

No compensation was received for this review.

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