Saturday, May 27, 2017

Save Filtering

Once upon a time in an older age when life was simpler, children played with toys or played outside instead of being glued to computers, tv's, and electronics. This has presented a challenge to parents to protect their families from the evils of our modern culture. Consequently, they must respond in a more diligent manner of being aware of and having some control over what comes into the home.

I only recently discovered that the idea of filtering was something possible. We get so used to things that we don't even stop and question, is this the best thing to be hearing? The concept of filtering makes movies family friendly so that from children to adults we don't have to watch everything that directors choose to put in their films. We have a right to exclude offensive things like language or inappropriate scenes. In a culture that is lacking Christian values and morals, we deserve to have the capability to screen out that unwanted content. 

One of the few companies that was providing such a service was VidAngel as streaming movies online. They are unjustly being sued for "violating copyrights" even though that's just a front from major companies because they want control over what goes into the home. Another option is Clear Play dvd or blu-ray players or the TV Guardians, but not having actually owned one, I can't vouch for how well they work.

The history of these filter companies has been that every time they try to provide movies in a wholesome way, someone tries to fight that they get shut down. If we want to control what we see and hear in films, we need to fight to save filtering. Support companies that offer these services or sign petitions to keep them going.

Why filtering do you say? I ask you why not? Why not choose to have a movie that does not offend God in any way? Why flood your mind with words and images that leave a negative impact on your life? We should be bothered by such things and not take a callous attitude toward them. We should be able to watch things according to morals, not according to liberal hollywood standards. For example, a few of the movies I once suggested on this blog like Jason Bourne, The Martian, and Captain America should be watched with a filter to enjoy an action packed film without things that are offensive.

So look into how to filter movies so that you can have family movie nights that are clean and fun.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The To-Do List

What do the words to-do list mean to you? Do you look at it and run away screaming? Are you OCD and write down everything you have to do? Do you have a daily list that you make the night before? Maybe you just have a grocery list and that's as far as lists mean to you?

I find to-do lists ironic because it is rare, at least for myself, that I accomplish everything that is on it. No one knows how their day is going to go. A million and one things can come up that require your attention and should be tackled. You must know the phrase: "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans."

To-do lists are all well and good if they help us remember things and focus our day so we are productive, but we can get carried away with them too and reproach ourselves for leaving lists undone and not accomplishing everything. 

"God doesn't require that we be successful, only that we be faithful," in the words of St. Mother Teresa. This means that we shouldn't make our life an endless list. We should be open to the day-to-day moments that will never make our actual list. That is what makes life . . . well, life.

I admit, I'm a big list person because I like organization and order, but they can take control of our lives in a bad way, where we feel like we are slaves of our own goals. It's okay if something is unfinished, as long as it isn't a symptom of laziness. Productivity should mean to us that we seek God in each moment--otherwise everything is just a waste of time anyway.

Put at the top of your to-do list: become a saint. Then everything else will follow.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Fatima Anniversary

This year that is dedicated to remembering the 100th anniversary of Fatima is a great time to refocus on deepening our union with God through prayer. One of Our Lady's special requests was the recitation of the daily rosary. How sorely this is needed now more than ever. Even if we already pray the daily rosary, we should reexamine how devoutly we are praying it.

We should also look at how we are responding to her request to make sacrifices for sinners and do penance, particularly through performing our daily duties well and with virtue. Every moment of every day provides us with opportunities to love God. We do not need to seek out sufferings, but rather accept the ones that come our way day by day and try to bear them in union with Christ on the cross.

Lucia said the most moving words made by Our Lady were: "Do not offend Our Lord and God any more for He is already too much offended." She also asked the devotion of the First Saturdays in reparation to her Immaculate Heart: to go to Confession, receive Holy Communion, pray five decades of the rosary, and spend 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the rosary.

Let us pray during this 100th year from her apparitions that the requests of Our Lady will be heeded, especially the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. And let us take to heart the words of Our Lady in her first apparition in May: "Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?"

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Deanna Durbin: It Started With Eve

If you've never seen Deanna Durbin, It Started With Eve is her best. Even if you aren't a big fan of old movies or can barely tolerate a few songs now and again, you will still love the heartwarming story and good laughs that come from this delightful film.

Deanna Durbin plays Ann, who works as a hat-checker in a hotel but actually dreams of singing. Robert Cummings plays Johnny whose father, played by Charles Laughton, is dying. Unable to find his fiance and fearing it may become too late, Johnny discovers Ann working in the hotel and asks her to come see his father, pretending to be the fiance.

Comedic twist? The father doesn't die and he wants to see Johnny's fiance. Johnny has to keep up the game with Ann's character until he can figure out what to do about introducing his real fiance, Gloria. That presents a problem because Johnny's father has already fallen in love with Ann's character and her remarkable singing.

Filled with non-stop laughter with the amazing duo of Durbin and Cummings, It Started with Eve is Deanna's greatest film. While her later films are not very good, Mad About Music and Three Smart Girls Grow Up are two other good early movies.

Trivia: Deanna Durbin was paid $400,000 for this movie in 1941, which would be the equivalent of nearly $6,000,000 today. She was one of the highest paid movie actresses of her time. Deanna left show business during the height of her career at age 29 because she always wanted a quiet life and moved to France with her third husband where she died in 2013.