Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Pope Francis Prays for the Earthquake Victims in Central Italy-He Turns to the Rosary.......

I assume Pope Francis must have felt the earth shake as the terrible earthquake that hit central Italy in the middle of the night, was felt in Rome as well as other cities. Central Italian towns felt it the worst and have suffered devastation. It was a shallow earthquake, the worst kind. The hardest hit towns were the small towns of Amatrice, Accumoli, and Pescara del Tronto, about 62 miles (or further) northeast of Rome. The center of the small town of Amatrice was destroyed, and the people walked around in shock. So sad that the people there have suffered, some have died, others are grieving, others are confused and afraid. 
I've heard this before from priests, when there are no words, when one doesn't know what to do in the face of tragedy, the Rosary is a prayer that helps. That is probably why Pope Francis skipped his usual catechism for his Wednesday general audience and instead asked the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square to recite the Rosary. I remember years ago, a priest told a story that when the rectory where he was residing was faced with a tragic sudden loss, a rectory worker was killed in an accident, the Rosary consoled those who knew her, there were no other words that could help at that time. I remembered that story when I read that Pope Francis went to the Rosary to help heal and comfort and to pray for those who've lost loved ones and for the deceased.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Ben-Hur"-the 2016 Modern Version of the Classic

When I was a young girl my Aunt Mary who lived in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn picked me up in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn where I lived and brought me to see the movie, "Ben-Hur." I don't recall exactly what it was about that movie but it changed my life. It was a very good movie as it won 11 Academy Awards, but something else struck me as a child.  Along with the children's Bible she bought me for a special occasion, it was the Bible and the movie that influenced me and started me on a lifelong love of Christianity and most importantly a deep relationship with God.
I always tell my aunt that she gave me two important gifts, bringing me to see that movie and buying me that Bible. My mother would read me a Bible story each night before I went to bed, or I would read it later on to myself.  I still have that Bible. It is a treasured piece of my faith history.
Tonight I watched a segment of "The World Over" on EWTN. Raymond Arroyo, the host of the show interviewed Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, the married power couple, who have produced the Emmy-nominated series, "The Bible" as well as "The Dovekeepers" and the movie, "Son of God."
On August 19th MGM and Paramount will bring the latest movie for them to work on to theaters- a modern remake of "Ben-Hur."
I hope and pray the modern version of "Ben-Hur" will have a positive impact on audiences as the first movie had on me.