Wonderful Life

The Sri Lanka Terrorists: Martyrs or Murderers?

More than 290 are dead and 500 wounded in an Easter Sunday jihad massacre in Sri Lanka. The terrorists targeted three Catholic Churches and three luxury hotels frequented by foreigners. Government officials blame the attack on “religious extremists,” though no group has claimed responsibility. The term “religious extremists” implies that the vast majority of Muslims [...]

The Catholic Vision of Frank Capra

The career of Frank Capra coincided with the golden age of Hollywood, and many of his films are recognized as classics. Still, most critics seem not to have noticed that Capra's work reflects a profoundly Catholic vision of reality, a vision framed by the Sermon on the Mount. Because his cinema does not have an [...]

Hollywood Knows Him Not: Christmas Movies You Want to See

Christmas is to Hollywood what a bank is to a crook. The kids are home for the holidays, the house is full of restless guests who need tending -- so why not take the afternoon off and go to the movies? And go we do, in numbers that fill the larcenous hearts of studio moguls [...]

Have Yourself a Scary Little Christmas

Christmas is closely associated with coziness, and reasonably so. It happens at the time of year (in the northern hemisphere) when we are all snugged up like badgers while it snows, blows, and rains outside. What with all the lights, hot chocolate, cheery fires, and beautiful music of the time (not to mention the warm [...]

Revisiting ‘Christian Art’

Two years ago, Todd created a schema for discussing Christian Art that I've found very useful, even as I've made some adjustments to it.  Todd originally suggested: Category one: Directly Christian works. This category comprises works of art that have the mysteries of the Faith as their direct subject; eg Christ the Lord or "The [...]

What movies best represent the seven virtues and the theological gifts? The Regina Coeli Academy in Philadelphia is putting together a list of recommended films for students. One of the founders, Barbara Henkels, asked me to put the word out for some recommendations, which I am delighted to do. Here is my preliminary list for the virtues: [...]

What Movies Best Exemplify the Seven Virtues?

What movies best represent the seven virtues and the theological gifts? The Regina Coeli Academy in Philadelphia is putting together a list of recommended films for students. One of the founders, Barbara Henkels, asked me to put the word out for some recommendations, which I am delighted to do. Here is my preliminary list for the virtues: [...]

I Sob Because I Care

When it was time for cake and ice cream following my eight-year-old son's recent birthday dinner, I donned a pair of sunglasses. My husband and kids knew exactly why I went for the eye cover. It was to spare my dignity.   You see, our family has a birthday tradition of taking turns around the [...]

The Fifty Best Catholic Movies of All Time

    The best religious films, and therefore the best Catholic films, convey the great truths of Christianity implicitly rather than explicitly, not unlike the mystery of incarnation itself, in which the Word became flesh in the person of an obscure carpenter from a hick town in a minor province. In addition, this list consists [...]

The Christmas Classic that Almost Wasn’t

  The other night, along with many other Americans, I watched the Frank Capra classic It's a Wonderful Life. Starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, the movie has become a Christmas staple -- but it was not always that way, and how it attained its holiday status has as much to do with the intricacies [...]

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