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FRI-SAT-SUN      May 28-30, 1999      SECTION ONE       vol 10, no. 104

To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO and SECTION THREE


Ewe should pay attention to God's "memory!"

      In this weekend's editorial we commemorate Memorial Day from the earliest of times, not counting the casualties of prey, but rather casual prayer for that is the lasting memorial to all men who died for God and country, especially for the Former, dating back to Abraham until our present day when the wars are more high tech but the results the same for no matter the age, God does not change. Rather He has aided us by giving us extra "memory" for our hard-drive souls so that we will do what Jesus asks when He says: "Do this in remembrance of Me." For this weekend's commentary, We can thank God everyday for providing the RAM to help us run true to Him!, click on CATHOLIC PewPOINT.

We can thank God everyday for providing the RAM to help us run true to Him!

Michael Cain, editor


The Phantom Menace heads into orbit as we resume summer movie reviews

     With this Memorial Day Weekend issue we kick off our summer schedule, bringing back the weekly reviews of the Top Ten Movies for the Week as reviewed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. This week, to no one's surprise "Star Wars - Episode One: The Phantom Menace" shot into hyperdrive launching itself past last week's champ "The Mummy" which still continued strong. Sean Connery's mystery intrigue thriller "Entrapment" came in thirdplace. For the Top Ten review for Memorial Day Weekend, click on MOVIES AND MORALS

TOP TEN MOVIES FOR FINAL WEEK OF MAY

  • 1.   STAR WARS: EPISODE ONE - THE PHANTOM MENACE
  • 2.   THE MUMMY
      (Universal)    $100.2 million in three weeks:
            Because of recurring stylized violence and fleeting partial nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The Mummy is a spirited horror adventure set in 1920's Egypt where a treasure hunting Yank (played by Brendan Fraser) is confronted by a revived 3,000 year-old mummy whose evil powers seemingly know no bounds. The lavishly shot action movie is stuffed with spooky special effects and comical moments that downplay horror in favor of rousing, old-fashioned entertainment. May 1999

  • 3.   ENTRAPMENT
      (20th Century Fox)    $49.9 million in four weeks
            Because of a romanticized view of crime, fleeting violence and a few instances of rough language and profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV, adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Entrapment is a mindless escapist caper in which a wily insurance investigator (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) appears to join forces with the world's craftiest art thief (played by Sean Connery) to nail him red-handed. The glossy fantasy of double-crossing daredevils is sluggishly directed which limits the suspense. April 1999

  • 4.   THE MATRIX
      (Warner Brothers)     $149.5 million in eight weeks
            Because of excessive violence and recurring profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification, O -- morally offensive. Motion Picture Association of America rating, R -- restricted The Matrix is a convoluted sci-fi tale in which a tiny band of cyber rebels led by Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne do battle with virtually indestructible humanoid killers from the 22nd centry. The action movie's violence is glorified, glamorized and made to look exciting with a dazzling array of eyepopping special effects. April 1999

  • 5.   THE LOVE LETTER
      (Dreamworks)    $2.7 million in one week
            Because of an off-screen affair, references to a same-sex relationship, fleeting nudity and a few instances of rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV, adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The Love Letter is a lightweight tale set in a New England village where romantic complications ensue among the residents (including Kate Capshaw, Tom Selleck, Tom Everett Scott and Ellen DeGeneres) when several of them believe they are the intended recipient of an anonymous love letter. The comedy's charms are minor and its resolution weakly dramatized. May 1999

  • 6.   A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
      (Fox Searchlight)    $8.2 million in two weeks
            Because of romantic complications and, fleeting nudity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is an uneven adaptation of the Bard's comedy in which forest fairy Puck causes all manner of romantic upheaval overnight by casting spells on a quartet of mismatched young lovers, a hammy actor (played by Kevin Kline) and fairy queen Michelle Pfeiffer. Not all the cast excel in articulating Shakespearean dialogue but the fanciful and luminous visuals look sprinkled with, fairy dust. May 1999

  • 7.   NEVER BEEN KISSED
      (Fox)    $46.2 million in seven weeks
            Because of implied affairs and sexual references, a sex-education scene involving condoms and occasional profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents are strongly cautioned that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Never Been Kissed is a bogus romantic comedy in which 25-year old rookie reporter Drew Barrymore goes undercover as a high school senior to write about teen life and ends up reliving her adolescent insecurities before winning the heart of her English teacher. Movie cliches and stereotypes abound, and Barrymore's clunky performance further sinks the contrived coming-of-age tale. April 1999

  • 8.   BLACK MASK
      (Artisan)    $7.3 million in two weeks
            Because of excessive violence with gore, a rough-sex encounter, much rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is 0 morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Black Mask, set in Hong Kong, a genetically enhanced human (played by Jet Li) joins forces with a cop to battle super criminals intent on world domination. The martial-arts slugfest seems intent only on cataloging myriad ways to maiza and slaughter opponents. May 1999

  • 9.   LIFE
      (Universal)    $57.5 million in six weeks
            Because of some violence, mild sexual innuendo, intermittent profanity and recurring rough language, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. In Life, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence spend six cantankerous decades stuck together on a Mississippi prison farm after being wrongly convicted of murder. The foul-mouthed comedians display some chemistry together but the bittersweet tale is often shapeless in its scattershot focus on racism and injustice. April 1999

  • 10.   ELECTION
      (Paramount)     $9.2 million in five weeks
            Because of several sexual situations, fleeting nudity, crude sex references, recurring rough language and an instance of profanity, the U.S. Catholic Conference classification is A-IV, adults, with reservations. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted. Election is a biting satire in which idealistic but flawed teacher Matthew Broderick goes overboard in trying to prevent scheming senior Reese Witherspoon from being elected president of the student council. The sharply observed comedy examines with ironic, sometimes nasty wit such human foibles as sexual obsession, hypocrisy and rationalization of such behavior. April 1999

    Consecration means total commitment

          In her column this week, Sister Mary Lucy Astuto shares with us the importance of saying "Yes" to the Blessed Virgin Mary through our Totus Tuus via the Consecration to her Immaculate Heart as passed down by Saint Louis de Montfort which Sister encourages all to take very seriously and commit to. For her column this weekend, Wrap yourselves in Our Lady's Mantle! click on GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

    WRAP YOURSELVES IN OUR LADY'S MANTLE!

            Frequently, Our Blessed Mother, in her various reported apparitions including Fatima and Medjugorje, has requested that we, her children, consecrate ourselves to her. As a matter of fact, with regard to those who have a special worry or concern about the unfaithful living of their children, for example, Our Lady of Medjugorje has said: "Consecrate your children to me and then don't worry about them." I am confident she did not mean that one is not to have a future care, but I always make a distinction between WORRY and CONCERN. I think that when people WORRY, they expend a great deal of energy which is wasted...something like a car spinning its wheels on ice. The vehicle is using gas and the engine's rpm's is exceeding the normal range for the car to move....and yet it goes nowhere. CHRISTIAN CONCERN, however, is LOVE that moves one to prayer and faith-filled reasonable action, but it is also mixed with a realization that we must trust that God, Who is All-Good and faithful to His promises will give to each of His children all the graces they need to come to Him. And so, while continuing to pray out of CONCERN, one also avoids WORRY, which lacks trust in God and wastes time and energy.

            What is CONSECRATION and why does Our Blessed Mother treasure the act of consecrating ourselves to her? First of all, Webster's New World Dictionary defines consecration as the act of setting something aside as holy and for sacred and serious use. This general definition bears out the various kinds of consecration. Of course, the holiest of all is that which takes place at every Mass when the priest prays the words: TAKE AND EAT... Thereby ordinary bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Our Savior and Lord, Jesus. There is then, as well, the special consecration of priests and religious men and women who of their own free will set themselves aside to work and pray all of their lives for the work of their own sanctification and that of others. But Our Lady is asking the laity to consecrate themselves, too. And perhaps no one has better assisted people to an understanding of the importance of consecrating themselves to Our Lady and assisting them with a FORM of doing so than St. Louis Marie de Monfort.

            St. Louis not only advocated strongly that everyone should consecrate themselves to Our Lady, but he taught earnestly that this consecration should not be taken lightly and that people should make a serious preparation for it. Although a preparation for a consecration can vary according to a person's needs and circumstances, St. Louis recommended a preparation that consisted of 12 days in which a person endeavors to rid himself/herself of the spirit of the world as opposed to the Spirit of Our Lord. This preparation is followed by 3 weeks of prayer and meditation in which a person strives to acquire a better knowledge of self (1st week),... of Our Lady (2nd week),... and of Jesus (3rd week). This preparation takes 33 days.

            The Monfort Fathers have assembled in one booklet the various prayers to aid people in the total consecration. This booklet is entitled PREPARATION FOR TOTAL CONSECRATION ACCORDING TO SAINT LOUIS MARIE de MONFORT. Local Catholic bookstores should have it and if not, I encourage you to contact me. This booklet even has a chart of suggested schedules for consecration to help make it easier to keep track of the preparation days. The remaining suggested beginning dates for the rest of this year are: April 28th...(ending May 31st); July 13th...(ending August 15th); and Nov. 5th...(ending December 8th).

            Why does Our Lady treasure the act of consecrating ourselves to her? First of all, the act of consecration according to its very definition, means that a person wants to be set aside for God and His service. The implication is that a person wants to be saved, wants to be pleasing to God, wants to do God's Will. What good mother doesn't want her child to be good? What good mother doesn't want to help her child to be good and do good? Our Blessed Mother, the perfect Mother, the Mother of God...our Mother, does not and cannot refuse a child who says in effect..."Mother, I want to be set aside for God and I want to do His Will?"

            Consecrating ourselves to Our Lady is the fastest way to place ourselves under the shelter of Our Lady's Mantle. We know from Scripture that Our dear Blessed Lady will crush the head of satan. (Can't come too soon for me! I'm getting very tired of the evil work he is clearly sowing in our world today.) The evil one cannot harm Our Lady in any way...cannot come close to her. The safest haven for us is under her Mantle. Those who ARE under her Mantle...in other words, those who have consecrated themselves to her are "safe"... are "set aside" for God.

            In case, you dear reader, have not as yet consecrated yourself to Our Lady, or would like to make a TOTAL consecration, I truly encourage you to do so....SOON. Time is not to be wasted. God love you and bless you!


    SIMPLY SHEEN: Service to others is priceless!

         They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "Loving and serving are inseparable . Such service, too, is self-denying and ego-effacing. To continue helping day after day in the midst of reproach and opposition and rejection means that one is governed by a higher law than the desire of applause. Such service cannot be bought, for no gold could purchase it, neither does it need to be bought, for it is freely rendered."


    May 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message

        Dear children! Also today I call you to convert and to more firmly believe in God. Children, you seek peace and pray in different ways, but you have not yet given your hearts to God for Him to fill them with His love. So, I am with you to teach you and to bring you closer to the love of God. If you love God above all else, it will be easy for you to pray and to open your hearts to Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.
    For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE

    The DAILY WORD

    "For God so loved the the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting."

    John 3: 16



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    May 28-30, 1999 volume 10, no. 104   DAILY CATHOLIC