The Catholic Center for Family Spirituality presents its fall 2009 book and film recommendations.
The Jeweller's Shop
This movie is based on the play written in 1960 by Pope John Paul II while he was Bishop of Krakow, Poland. The book has been translated into 22 languages and has sold over 50 million copies. The 1988 film stars Burt Lancaster as the mysterious Jeweller and includes internationally acclaimed actors Olivia Hussey and Ben Cross. John Paul II described this movie as the "best possible film based upon my play."
The movie opens in Krakow, Poland in 1939 on the eve of World War II, with two couples deciding to get married. The Jeweller (Burt Lancaster) acts as the spiritual advisor to one of the couples, counseling them to keep love at the center of their lives. He describes to them the significance of the wedding ring as symbols of love and their everlasting unity. The movie plot spans two generations and two continents and covers the pain of war and tragedy, the challenges of love and marriage and hope for the future.
St. Monica: The Power of a Mother's Love
By Reverend Giovanni Falbo, pastor of the Church of St. Monica in Ostia Lido, Rome, and scholar of the writings of the Church Fathers.
This is a genuine biography on St. Monica that largely draws upon the writings of her son, St. Augustine. It is an extremely readable book written in a style that situates St. Monica's life in the historical context of her times. Reverend Falbo paints a portrait of St. Monica that helps the reader understand and fully appreciate her life and her Christian character and virtues. He points out in his concluding chapter the relevance of St. Monica for families in today's world:
"Monica is a shining example for families today, bringing them courage and hope by guaranteeing that with the grace of God, good will, and perseverance, any difficulty can be overcome in building a true Christian family founded upon the values of the Gospel."
Categories: Faith and Service