Friday, March 13, 2009

How Low Can We Go?

I've never been a fan of horror movies. Neither in my past life as one who consumed movies like candy - nor in my current one where me watching a movie is about as common as lunar eclipse.

I do, however, watch an occasional television program, so I see the ads for what is coming out in the theaters.

The influx of disgusting, over-the-top, slasher flics like "Hostel," the "Saw" series and the like, make me wonder what the world is coming to.

Recently I saw an ad for a movie called "The Last House on The Left." I remember when the first version came to cable in the early 1970's. I could not recall what it was about, so when MSN posted a "review" (and I use that term loosely) for the film, I decided to see what they had to say about such a revolting indulgence.

It was while reading this review (which was more of a review for the previous incarnations) that I came a cross a phrase I had never heard before. It was a phrase used to refer to movies such as this and the ones I mentioned earlier. The phrase was: "torture-porn."

Now, while the phrase alone should make anyone with a soul cringe, it was the apparent "throw away" usage of the word that hit me the hardest.

Shouldn't this phrase, and the movies it represents, absolutely infuriate every single living, breathing human being? Is anyone out there actually "pro torture-porn?"

As a matter of fact, the reviewer is woman. Does she feel nothing when she sees the portayal of women as nothing more than magnets for sex and violence? Does a paycheck make her numb?

How much lower can we go when "torture-porn" is synonymous with "entertainment?"

The word "repent" has no better application than for those who create, fund and promote such destructive content.

In this Lenten season, pray for these people. Their desert is vast and wide, and they are giving into the tempations of the Evil One.

Repent and believe in the Gosepl.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Listen to the Cross

History tells us that St. Francis of Assisi - while praying in front of the crucifix - heard Jesus say to him three times, "Francis, go and repair My house, which you see is falling down."

Francis thought He meant the physical structure he was praying in, and set out fix the church brick by brick. It was later revealed that the crucified Christ was referring to the state of The Church and her people.

But the question I pose today is this: Does the cross still speak to us today? And more than just the simple symbol of the cross - but the glory of the crucifix.

Yes, there is glory in the pain and anguish of the crucifix. There are lessons to be learned by each of us. Whether it be of suffering, service, denying yourself, or sacrifice - or all of the above.

One night in prayer, I asked Jesus about His agony in carrying the cross through the city streets on His way to Calvary. My specific question was, "When you were carrying the cross, were you trying to get to the mountain as quickly as possible so that you could fulfill your destiny, or were you so scared that you were goining as slowly as you could to delay this pain?"

And Jesus answered me. He told me, "I walked just fast enough so they wouldn't beat me any more."

A glorious answer from the God-Man. So divine and so human.

He may not have exactly spoken to me from the cross, but his passion, death and resurrection speak to us every day. Sit in front of the crucifix and listen to what Jesus has to say to you. He has a message that He wants you to hear. A message just for you - his precious child.

Come to Him as a child. Sit at His feet and listen to the Master. There are words of wisdom, love and life from the King of Kings!

Embrace the Cross!