Hope for the hopeless: A Review of the film Room (2015)

27 06 2021
Room(2015) Joy and her son Jack

There is a saying that every child is a gift that comes with one mouth to feed, two hands to help and one brain to innovate. This is true even for a child born in great injustice of rape and kidnapping. Such was the case in the movie Room (2015); the story of a young girl kidnapped and held hostage for seven years by a pervert. Joy Newsom(Brie Larson was only 17 when her world came crashing down: a man tricked her into his garage and locked the door. There she remained for seven years, weeping and asking for death a million times over but he thwarted all her attempts at escape or to kill herself.

But all that changed when she had a child. There’s something about child that brings hope with it.

“My whole world changed when I had Jack (Jacob Tremblay) because he was so beautiful,” Joy said during an interview after she had been released from captivity, and she got reasonably upset when the interviewer insensitively asked her why she raised Jack in captivity rather than encourage her captor to take him away.

 “He brought meaning back into my life.” Joy rightly said, and when asked if it does not bother her that Jack’s biological father is a pervert, she responded, ” Everything about that child is me, he has nothing to do with him, because being a father is not about fathering a child, it is about loving a child” and she clung on to her son protecting him in every way, ensuring that her captor never saw him nor felt threatened by him so they he wouldn’t kill him or take him away from her. For instance she would hide him in the closet whenever he is around having his way with her. But when he is gone, Joy will bath him, clean him and together they would play and do exercises. Her son Jack helped her to live and when he was five, she began planning how both of them could escape.

She eventually managed to get Jack to play dead and convinced her captor that he was dead and thus on his way to bury him, Jack escaped and alerted passerby who called the police and located his mother and freed her.

The film has won multiple awards, and was voted one of the best films of 2015 not just because it caused great emotion in people who wondered what could account for the great evil found residing in the human heart and what drives people to do unspeakable things such as this, but also because it shows that good eventually win over evil at the end. The birth of Jack in the midst of the pit of captivity and despair was a gift to his mother that helped her hold on to the tread of life which would have easily snapped if he was not there. That is why those who advocate for abortion even in the most egregious circumstances are so very mistaken, for a child is blessing and a source of hope even for the most hopeless.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





Angelic example in suffering: AGT 2021 Golden buzzer Jane Marczewski (Nightbirde)

13 06 2021

“You cannot wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to be happy,” these were stunning words from Jane, a 30 year old young woman recently won a golden buzzer for her original song “it’s Ok” But what captivated and captured hearts of audience and viewers around world was that she has advance cancer and yet smiles shares happiness all around.

The judges and audience at the American got talent (AGT) where taken aback when she casually told them she has been dealing with cancer. “When they last tested, I had cancer in my lungs, spine, and liver,” she said, “but I want all to know that I am much more important than all the bad things that has happen to me.”

And a lot has happen to her including the loss of her husband of 5 years who abandoned her in 2020 because of her illness which started two years after their marriage.  She is presently going through chemotherapy with the resultant weight and hair loss and the cancer keeps recurring, doctors says she has just two percent chance of surviving.

“Yet two percent is not zero, and people don’t know how amazing that is,” she said.

 “I have had cancer three times now, and I have barely passed thirty” she said. “There are times when I wonder what I must have done to deserve such a story. I fear sometimes that when I die and meet with God that He will say I disappointed him, or offended him, or failed Him.”

 On the contrary, God must be rather pleased with her ability to be happy in spite of all and right now she is an inspiration to millions who perhaps do not know how to be happy.

“You cannot wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to be happy,” she said to the lead Judge Simon who was struggling to find words to describe her courage and cheerfulness in the face of so much suffering. Words many people around the world would forever remember when they have to deal with one trouble or the other in their lives. And for that Simone gave her the golden buzzer even with the stunning rendition of her original song to a standing ovation

 As for me, Jane Marczewski is a most inspiring young woman, an angelic example to many who bulk in the face of inexplicable suffering and losing their happiness become a prey to the vicious wolf of sadness and depression. This woman shines a brilliant light through the tunnel of darkness. I love her

Article by Chinwuba Iyizoba





An African Gift: The story of Anja

6 06 2021

This 5 mins video demonstrates that when we help we are helping ourselves.

https://rumble.com/vi5s07-african-gift.html

https://rumble.com/vi5s07-african-gift.html





Still a Virgin and not ready for sex but boyfriend is asking? How not to lose your Virginity before marriage.

26 05 2021

In today’s sexually permissive world, hardly have people met but they already thinking of having sex yet there are people who sincerely value sex, and know that it is best within a lifelong commitment of marriage and would like to keep their virginity till their wedding night as a special gift to their husband’s and future father of their children but they find themselves pressured, seduced, tempted and literally forced to give it. This is the case of 21 year old, Caroline, a tall, a good looking girl with large dark eyes and full lips; she is madly in love with Mike, athletic and intelligent, and handsome in mischievous but Mike wants sex. She puts it this way:

How do I make my boyfriend understand that I love him so much but I’m just not ready for sex yet?

I’m 21 and a virgin. I’ve known him for about two months but we’ve been dating for about a month. He’s really nice, really sweet, He’s basically everything I want and I really love him. He’s more experienced than I am socially, sexually and so on. I’m ridiculously quiet, shy and reserved. The first time I visited him, we kissed and got all romantic but I told him that I’m a virgin and I’m not ready yet. He said I should let someone who loves me disvirgin me (meaning I should let him do it). But I insisted and he stopped.

I was supposed to meet him the next day, He texted me and told me he wants us to make love. I told him I’m not yet ready. I’ve been able to resist his requests for sex. Every time we meet he asks for it. Every single time.

He told me one time that we are not kids, we are adults that we should behave like adults……I should behave like an adult. That he can’t keep doing this. That he has emotions and he doesn’t want to cheat on me but if I keep refusing he might be tempted to cheat.

I feel so pressured. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose him. But i want my first time to happen when I’m ready and without one single doubt. I don’t want to regret the day i lost my virginity. I think he’s gradually pulling away from me because of this. Because I can’t give him what he wants so badly. I don’t know how long I will be able to resist the requests.

I fear =>
I might end up having sex with him just to make him happy,
or I might loose him because I couldn’t have sex with him

I don’t know what to do. I love to do. I love him so much. I’ve never felt this way about anyone

Any advice?

My advice to Carol is to think about the other girls who were part of Mike’s past sexual experiences what happened to them? Why did he ditch them? Perhaps they have given him sex made him happy and now he has left them. Same would happen to her if he gets the sex he wants from her. Furthermore, Mike is sweet and charming because that how he attracts girls, and she is attracted to him because he is sweet and nice, but she better beware, for it soon wears thin.

Similarly, Carol thinks that she really loves him, but the question is does he really love her? If he does, then what is he waiting for? Why does he not propose to her and let them get married? If he does not, then they are both wasting each other’s time, and worse she could get hurt.

In addition, when she tells him that she is not ready for sex, and he says she should let someone who loves her disvirgin her, meaning that she should let him do it. So Mike here isn’t proposing but wants her virginity. Rob Kowalski in his blog on 10 reasons not to have sex before marriage says that people find it difficult to understand “no sex before marriage” but when you say no “sex before love” they get it, but then how do people know they love each other? The answer would be if they want to marry each other. If a Mike truly loves Carol the only proof of that is that he would want to marry her and spend the rest of his life with her, if he is doe not, then he is simply lusting after her body and he would be done with her as soon as he has had his satisfaction and that is the truth, any other way you look at it is a lie. Now the funny thing is that we human have a high tendency to deceive ourselves, to believe even  lies so that we get what we went, it is easy to believe or make ourselves believe that someone loves us, but the only way to find out if what is believe is true is to test it. Thus if Mike says to Carol, “Because I love you lets have sex,” Carol should say to him, “If you love me, prove it, marry me and then you can have all the sex you want.” Let’s see how that works out. My guess is that Mike would probably run away and never come back. Thus marriage is the real test of love, talk is cheap, marriage is action and that is hard. No one marries someone just to have sex, but people marry because they love.

Yet according to Carol, every time they meet, Mike asks for sex every single time and not once has he asked her to marry him. This guy is probably a sex addict, you see that is the thing, people think they can satisfy the urge for sex by having sex, rather the urge for sex only grows fiercer the more sex they have. Mike has had plenty of sex, and with girls he never would marry so he only sees sex when he sees a woman and Carol is no different to him than the other girls he has used and moved on. All that sweet talk and nicety is to attract girls like sugar attracts ants and he is unrelenting in his demand for sex gradually wearing Carol down, the only goal, the mains aim is her body, to have sex with her and nothing more. His urge is growing with each conquest and he is not going to stop with Carol. Furthermore, multiple sex partners increases Mike’s chance of having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) which he would soon transmit to Carol. Furthermore, men don’t get pregnant and that’s why sex for them, sex is risk free, but not for girls,; there is a good possibility that Carol could get pregnant and since Mike does not love her enough to marry her, she could find herself having a baby with someone who doesn’t want her around him forever, and that is a bad, this could get her into having an abortion (which is killing of a human being by the way) or having to be an unwed mother.

Again, Carol should know that easy come easy go, what comes easy is often not cherished. I think it was Mohammed Ali that said that diamonds are buried deep underground thus by the efforts it takes to get them they are often very expensive and hence very much treasured, if they were easy to get, then they would not be so valuable. Furthermore, as Rob Kowalski puts it rather simplistically that,   in a relationship, a man says to a woman, “I will give you security (marriage) if you give me sex.” Thus a woman who gives sex without receiving security is often regarded as a hoe, while the man who gets sex without giving security is often praised as a stud. But in reality it is much more than that, since sex has a much deeper meaning especially in a Christian context, sex is the consummation or the fulfillment of the covenantal self exchange between a man and woman, as the Holy book says, “By this a man would leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh,” Sex is the physical expression of the self donation between the man and woman when they exchange the marital vows, “I am yours and you are mine” which is by its very nature is meant to last till death. So it makes little sense to have sex with someone who has not made a prior commitment to become yours forever, and think about it,  your future husband would be very happy that you did not sleep with all those men.  And finally, physical attraction diminishes and wears off with time and if there is nothing connecting two people together other than physical sex attraction then they are treading on very thin ice. This is again were marriage plays a significant role because two people who are married are admitting that their relationship goes way beyond the physical, they want to remain with each other come what may and are willing to face the odds of life together, in other words, it is a clear demonstration of their firm love and lasting friendship which nothing can stand in the way.

Below are interesting videos on strategies to use if you have a boyfriend and wish to keep your virginity till marriage





How to shine as a Parent

25 05 2021
Shine

Parenting is not an easy task, sometimes it requires more courage and right thinking than any other endeavor thus little wonder that many people shy away from having children.

In the film, Shine, child piano prodigy, David Helfgott has a father, Peter Helfgott, who is overbearing and turned their little family of four into tense and anxious place rather than a house of peace.  Peter Helfgott’s anger stems from his difficult childhood, a polish Jew and holocaust survivor, and having to struggle against great odd to fend for himself,  thus he never fails to remind David how lucky he is, often asking him to repeat the words, “ I am a very lucky boy”. Furthermore, he pushed the boy to win at all cost, and would shout and hit the table with his fists if he didn’t and even asked his tutor to teach the boy to play Rachmaninoff, a complicate piece music way above his age and yet would not permit him to accept a scholarship to the London school of music.  Consequently the adolescent David rebelled went off to London on scholarship prompting his father to repudiate him and break all ties with him. Nevertheless, at the London school, he finally leans enough to play the Rachmaninoff at an orchestra, monumental effort that triggers his psychosis. The entire plot of the movie leaves very little doubt that Peter Helfgott parenting style is not the right way to be a good parent.

The most importance lesson to be drawn from Helfgott family tragic history is that parental authority is not all about imposing your will on your children, or a kind of obedience at all cost attitude, in which children obey because they are terrified of the consequences of not doing so. David’s father threw the weight of his authority around every decision he made about David and would no broach a no for an answer and hardly even bothered to ask David’s opinion. For instance when David got the scholarship, despite his misgivings, He should have sat down with his son to discuss the pro and cons and listen to his son opinion after all it his future.

Although David true siblings has refuted the claims made in the film,  arguing that their father was not like that and that he was mischaracterized in the movie for commercial gains, it is still pertinent warning for other parents who perhaps may have toe that line

On the opposite extreme of Peter Helfgott, are parents who cave in to every demand of their children, we can call this defect permissive parenting, where the parents feel the need to cater for every whim and caprice of the child.  This is because, according to this article, ~ “parents fear disciplining their children due to some negative consequences they themselves have suffered because their own parents imposed things on them. Yet, to give to a child everything it wants is to lie to that child. Hence as a result we could conclude that the virtue of a good parent lies in the middle of both extreme. It is a balance between allowing them to act freely and teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions, because freedom and responsibility are inseparable. Furthermore, exercising authority comes from offering children the knowledge and tools they need to grow into responsible adults  and this lies precisely in giving them a good example which they can emulate since children generally observe and learn from what they see their parents and other adults do.  This website has videos explaining the common problem that often arises when bringing up children and it might be worth watching.





What Beowulf has to say to us?

21 05 2021
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is beowlf.jpg
Beowulf (2007)

Living in age where the nuclear family is under attack and fatherhood is considered irrelevant hold over from the middle ages, the epic poem, Beowulf, written probably in the 6th century by an unknown author may have something to say to us. Director Robert Zemeckis  2007 CG remake of the poem Beowulf is delight to watch.

The movie Beowulf (2007) is in 507 AD when a legendary warrior, Beowulf (Ray Winstone) comes with his band of soldiers to Denmark to the aid Danish King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) against the demon Grendel who torments his mead hall and kills and eats his men.  To confront the devil, Beowulf told the beautiful Danish Queen Wealtheow, whom he had fallen in love with, that since he had no weapon that could kill a demon, he would fight the devil naked and let fate decide who will win. Though funny, there is a fine logic behind Beowulf’s idea that reminds me of sayings of St. Josemaria, in his book the Way:

“Detach yourself from people and things until you are stripped of them. For, says Pope Saint Gregory, the devil has nothing of his own in this world, and naked he comes to battle. If you go clothed to fight him, you will soon be pulled to the ground: for he will have something to catch you by (The Way, pt 149).”

 If the devil has nothing and comes to battle naked, then those who wish to do battle with the devil must meet him on equal term by equally being naked, or else they would be putting themselves at great disadvantage the fight. Put in another way, if we are attached to anything, the devil will use that thing to defeat us. It happens all the time, for instance, a drunk attached to the bottle is dragged to the gutters by the devil through the bottle, and similarly a man attached to sex and women is dragged by the devil to his destruction through sex and women.

Thus, Beowulf strips himself of everything and lay naked waiting Grendel, and when Grendel (Crispin Glover) enters the mead hall that night catching and eating men, only Beowulf who was naked escapes his clutches and thus was able to fight him, cutting off his arm thus wounded Grendel ran off howling in anguish back to the swamp from which he came and there he died. The King Hrothgar gave a mighty feast in honor of Beowulf and made him a gift of his golden drinking horn. However, after the celebration, Beowulf wakes the next day to find that all his men have been slaughtered except for his friend Wiglaf who was not with the others.  King Hrothgar conjectures that must be Grendel’s mother who has done it, and called her the last of the water demons and confessing that he taught she was dead.

Thus Beowulf goes to the swamp to kill Grendel’s mother, queen of the devil, but she meets him in the form beautiful naked woman (Angelina Jolie) and enchants him, promising him to make him a king if he would love her and give her a child. She then took the dragon drinking horn from him and told him that as long as she keeps the horn she will never break her promises and Beowulf succumbs. Back home, Beowulf brings back Grendel head tells lies to his people, that he has killed the queen of the devils but the Hrothgar smells a rat and confronting him asks, “You have brought back the head of Grendel, but where is the head of the mother? To which Beowulf could give no answer except to retort, “Do you think she would’ve let me live if I didn’t kill her? And the old king suspecting what must have happened laughs and says to Beowulf, “It does not matter, what matters is that Grendel is dead and the curse of Grendel’s mother is no longer my problem.” It was then that Beowulf understood that he has now inherited the curse of childlessness and bareness with which King Hrothgars was accursed because of his sexual liaison with the queen of the devil.  Hrothgars then calling his people told them that since he has no son, upon his death, Beowulf would be king and with that he takes a leap through the window committing suicide.

Thus Beowulf becomes king and marries Queen Wealtheow but theirs is not a happy marriage and fifty years later, having conquered all the surrounding kingdoms, he is desperately unhappy and childless. However, Queen Wealtheow who is now a Christian sadly watches her husband’s infidelities, as he crawls into bed with different women, but thanks to her Christian faith  she was able to forgive. Then one day, a slave found the golden dragon cup returns it to Beowulf, who realizes that the evil queen was no longer protecting him and worries and prepares to returns to the swamp to try and return the golden cup. His wife, the queen, begs him not to go. Beowulf finally confesses all he has done and asks his wife forgiveness, declaring he has always loved her and she forgives and returns his love and affection. And his final words to her were that she should remember him, not as a warrior but as a man who had failings and weakness. With the love between him and his wife restored, Beowulf takes heart to confront the evil queen but it was too late for the fruit of their unholy liaison has grown into a mighty dragon that has already begun unleashing terror in the land and Beowulf dies from severe loss of blood because he had to cut off his own arm (much the same way that he cut Grendel’s arm) in other to kill the dragon and save his wife whom the dragon was about to slaughter.

There are many lessons to be learned from this film, one of them is the love of family, both on the side of the good guys and on the bad guys. Later in the film when we learn that the demon, Grendel was the son of Hrothgar, King of the Danes, through his unholy liaison with this Grendel’s mother, queen of the devil, we thus understand why Grendel did not harm Hrothgar, when he first attacked the mead hall, this was because even a demon does not kill his own father, Furthermore, when he returns  to the swamp, his mother, the queen of the devil asks him about his  father and Grendel quickly replied telling her, “I did no harm him,” which made her happy. Thus this film is very pro-family and fatherhood is sacred even to a heinous creature like Grendel.

The second lesson is revealed still in the opening scenes of the movie where we see the, Queen Wealtheow a modest and chaste woman who would not participate in the revelry and debauchery going on at the mead hall and thus when devil Grendel struck, it was as if Grendel had no power over her and she was invisible to him. This has been proven time and again, when girls and women guard their virginity through modesty and by not succumbing to the temptation turning their bodies into a canal play ground and toys, then they would not be tormented by the demons of abortions and others. But to do that they need to   shun pride and avoid dialoging with the devil. This was the mistake Eve made in the Garden of Eden according to the book of Genesis, when she willing entered into dialogue with the serpent in the garden, allowing him to fill her with his empty promises.  Beowulf equally made the same mistake when fell into the evil queen’s trap by dialoging with her and hence allowing her to fill him with her empty promises

 It is just as St. Josemaria advices those who wish to make progress in the interior life never to dialogue with the devil. The reason is because the devil is as old as the world and full of lies and empty promises, we cannot hope to match his capacity for deception, and the best thing is never to enter into dialogue and give the devil the opportunity to convince us because would lose we have an enemy within us that is attracted to sin from what spiritual writers call the wound of original sin. Thus we have a fallen nature and thus find it difficult to do good and easy to do evil, so the best defense against the devil who can easily seduce is never to dialogue. In conclusion, I would say that the movie Beowulf (2007) apart from a few incidents of bad language and adult scenes is very instructive and has a lot to teach us.

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





To love and to be loved: Lady Bird (Review)

18 04 2021
Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf play a daughter and mother who clash and connect in Lady Bird.

Today being mother’s day, I would like to dedicate a piece not just to mothers but especially to any mother who is experiencing the searing pain of being a failure in their children’s eye

This was the case of young, Christine (Saoirse Ronan) in the movie Lady Bird (2017), her desires for parties, boys and prom lead to frequent clash with her poor mother. She selfishly wished for another mother, someone richer, more beautiful or elegant and even made up stories of being born in palatial house for her friends at school hoping they never find out.  She was also ashamed of her unemployed father and wouldn’t let him drop her off at her school gates so her friends wouldn’t to get to know him or see their battered car. However, in trying to correct her daughter, her mother often gave in to resentment and anger and the recrimination and bickering escalated to such extent that, one day, to her mother’s horror, Christine leaped out of a moving car they were driving in.

It is a wonderful film and I would recommend it any parent who desires to understand the myriads social pressures bearing down on minds of the young girls and perhaps learn how to listen for the unspoken words and never ever lose their temper. It is important to know that children in their teens are in a delicate place full of insecurities, hormonal desires and unformed ambition that needs proper channeling, and that they just don’t know how to deal with it and knowing who to trust at this point in life can save them a lot of pains, and by avoiding arguments and shouting parent can help them grow out of their shame and discomfort and overcome peer pressure much more quickly. Furthermore, an important part of parenting is correcting children when they step out of line, nevertheless, when corrections must be made, it I best done without bitterness and rancor that only serves to escalate tensions. As we all know, it has never been easy to raise children, but it is exponentially more difficult in our time with the corruptive influence of social media transferring negative norms difficult to shield children from but if parents are strong and hope in the God, things will work out in the end, no matter how long it takes. For some it might take years, many  broken hearts, abortions, and even drug addiction, nevertheless, if parents remain strong and steadfast in their love, it will work out in the end, as it did for Christine who in the discovers that the boyfriend she adores is a homosexual, and another who took her virginity cares nothing for her and that she is just one more among many he sleeps around with, she finally discerns that all that glitters isn’t  gold, and that true gold in life is to  love and to be loved in return and after one Saturday night of binge drinking and ending up in a hospital, she realizes that she is killing herself and returns to her senses and goes repentant to Church and begins to reciprocate her mother’s love.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba 





What if Christians were one?

17 04 2021

There is a saying that fiction has to be believable but real life may not. Hence, I was barely was able to get through watching the movie “What if (2010)” endorsed by Pureflix as good Christian film, because of the myriads of unbelievable elements it contains. The story is about a business man, Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo) who, at the peak of his career gets whacked by an Angel into a “future” life he would miss if fails to be faithful to God’s call to become a preacher. The problem is that this life, the life of penny pushing pastor of a small town parish is nothing to compare with the power job he presently has but in the end he ditches it for preacher’s life and left me wondering if this isn’t a mockery Christianity.

Are the makers of this movie really saying that you can’t be a successful business man as well as a good Christian? Are the two really incompatible?  If that is so, then no should be surprised when Christianity is scorned in intellectual and artistic circles. But even more seriously, it would negate the very words of Jesus, “Go you therefore and make disciples of all (Mathew 28: 19), which would be impossible if only pastors could be good Christians. How about when Jesus talked about trading with the talents God gave us when he told the story of the man who about to engage in travel called his servants and entrusted them with talents with the expectation that they would trade and make profit (Luke 19:13) It would be impossible if all the talent that needs trading was that of a pastor. Furthermore, it would also negate the life of the early Christians many of whom where business people like Priscilla and Aquila(Acts 18:2-3), or Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:43)  and  many high ranking members of the Roman society who later converted to Christianity.  

Consequently, I would argue that the producers of this film misunderstand the basic tenets of biblical Christianity and that their misunderstanding has its roots in the crises of Christian division and disunity that became definitive in the 15th century with the protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther who broke with the Catholic Church (the only church exiting in the world since the time of Apostles) and founded the Lutheran church with separate doctrines and teachings. As a consequence, today, there is probablly perhaps up to 50 thousand different Christian sects all with conflicting interpretation of scriptures a great obstacle to understanding what Christians really believe. And this incoherence introduces a profound dysfunction such that Christians end up producing movies that are contradictory to scriptural teachings.

In the movie, for instance, an angel who happens to be a mechanic and who delights in whacking people over the head to get them do what he wants kidnaps Walker and forces him to become a pastor, with wife and kids he does not want all in the name of a God who is love? How in the world would atheists watching this film ever take God or Christian faith seriously. How I long for Christian films like Hollywood’s greats like the “Ten Commandment (1956)” by Cecil Be De Mills with masterful dialogue and great stories. In contrast, “What if”, though styled like “It’s a wonderful life (1946)”, is simply artistic dwarf.

 As the movie progressed, Walker easily ditches his successful life and accepts his new life as a pastor and his pastor’s wife (Kristy Swanson) all smiles she wakes up to find him reading the bible, a transformed man. The problem is that real life does not work that way, it takes much more than that to get someone to change his life. Usually, such transformation is a slow and painful process. Besides it can be argued that there is really no reason for Walker change. His life as a successful business man was fascinating, even altruistic and progressive, and there was no real mission or great commission he had in abandoning it to become a pastor, and besides according to St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, every noble human work can be a path to holiness

In the final scene, Pastor Walker goes to the hospital to save the soul of a dying man, telling him to repent. Usually this is the ultimate price, or golden globe of spiritual life for every pastor, but the moment was marred when the dying man looks up and seeing a man with a bible and thinking him to be a catholic priest says to him, “I did not ask for priest.” Walker replies “I am not a priest— same league different teams”. Walker meant that as a protestant pastor he was playing the same leagues as a catholic priest but in a different team. Pastor and the priest both profess the same Christianity yet have opposing views, different doctrine and different teachings.

When the dying man, a little embarrassed, says to Walker, “How are we going to do this”: what if I repent, how are you going to forgive me if you are not a priest? Only the Catholic church claims the power to forgive sins in the name of Jesus based on the power that Christ handed down to his apostle in John 20:23, ” Who so ever sins you forgive they are forgiven and who sin you retain they are retained”. The Catholic Church teaches that this power is transferred down through apostolic succession to the Pope and bishops in communion with him and the bishops delegate this power to the priests.

Walker says to him “I believe that God knows your heart and he can forgive you.”  I think this is a pitiful assurance to give to dying man in place of powerful sacrament of reconciliation as instituted by Jesus Christ and contained in the deposit of faith uncontaminated and unchanged for 2000 years in the Catholic church . Christian disunity is the reason that Christian teams are consistently losing out to the worldly teams in the all the game of life, politics, movies, science and arts, as Jesus predicted and leaves one wondering:  What if Christians were one?





When would modern day Hollywood ever portray the Catholic priesthood right again?

10 04 2021

In Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “I Confess (1953)”, a priest, Fr. Michael Logan would rather face death than violate the sanctity of confessional when falsely accused of murder. In such movies, one learned something of the dedication and firmness of the conviction of those who are called to the catholic priesthood. In today’s Hollywood however, all a priest has to do is open his mouth and you realize he knows nothing about the priesthood, the church or the Christian altogether and his words are filled with shallow and pathetic clichés. Today, Hollywood script writers feel no need or obligation to truthfulness and accuracy regarding the priesthood and bend over backwards to present priest as fools, clumsy and dimwitted.  Thus when I watched Bishop Baron sterling review of a movie “Calvary (2014), about a priest who threatened with death went on to offer his life as an offer of love and forgiveness, I wanted to watch the movie “Calvary” to see if Hollywood has finally got it right.

The story is set in Ireland, a priest, Fr James Lavelle (Bleedon Gleeson), is accosted in confessional by a very bitter man who threatens to kill him in 7 days time, because he was abused by a priest, and thus wanted revenge. The angry man would not give his name but told the priest that he will give him seven days to put his affairs in order at the end of which he would meet him at the beach for the kill. The next seven days tried the nerves of the priest who had to resist the temptation fleeing and brace up to meet the killer on the appointed date.

Yet, in spite of Bishop Barron’s excellent review, and in spite of great cinematography, I was left once again with a hint of disappointment by the scripts portrayal of Fr James character. He comes across as a frustrated man. Granted that post sex abuse scandal Ireland is a difficult place for a priest, and his cynical parishioners often mocked him, nevertheless, he lacks deep knowledge of theology and ability to refute errors so beloved in St. Thomas Aquinas and he is often tongue tied when he comes up against the postmodernist arguments of his cynical parishioners.

In the movies opening scenes, Fr. James worries about a very promiscuous woman parishioner who was often beaten by her lovers, in one instance she comes to church with bruises on her face, he tries to get her to say who did it but she wouldn’t tell, so he asks her husband who is a butcher but he says it wasn’t him but a black man who is her latest boyfriend. So he confronts the black man and tells him not to do it again, but the man gets angry and throws a cigarette butt at him practically telling to shove off and mind his own business. It can be argued that as a priest, Fr. James overstepped his boundaries there and should not have taken the path of confrontation, of playing the neighborhood policeman but rather should have restricted himself to praying and administering the sacraments of penance to this woman, hoping that she will of her own accord change her ways.

That is what Jesus would do isn’t it? Take for example the case of Mary Magdalene. Jesus did not go chasing down all the men with Mary Magdalene and having a word with them. Rather he spoke to Magdalena, and his words brought her peace and encouragement and she finally decided to change her ways. Similarly, Christ spoke in dept with his flock and was not afraid of telling them difficult truths even if they wished to kill him. It is not difficult to see that there were many of Fr. James’ parishioners who needed to hear healing but Fr. James seemed strangely incapable of providing that healing perhaps out fear of rejection. This perhaps denotes a lack of faith typical of the modern clerics as well as too much reliance on human logic.

In another scene, Fr. James goes to visit a serial killer in prison, yet again he failed to initiate the type of conversation that could lead to repentance and in the ended up screaming accusations at the sinner. He should have helped this killer ask God’s mercy or does he not believe in the power of prayers himself? Then there is the issue of the drinking. Towards the end of the movies, when his time was almost near, and knowing that time is running out, Fr. James  took to drinking, this is of course is very bad for a priest, whisky and prayers aren’t the best of friends; it is either one or the other. Compare this with what Jesus did during his last hour, Christ rejected the cup of sour wine offered to him on the cross, but even more, he prayed for those who where crucifying him. This is what I would have expected Fr. James to do if he wished to portray the image of true priest rather than a caricature.

I believe a priest can triumph even in an environment of great cynicism through prayers, fasting and penance bringing about the conversion of hearts because the Holy Spirit is the one that acts. That is how Cure of Ars was able to covert his whole parish in post- French revolution France. He had long conversations in spiritual directions with his parishioner helping them examine their souls and resume a relationship with God.

Finally, the theme of Calvary is forgiveness, a much underrated virtue in modern society, as father James told his daughter, Fiona.  Christianity brought forgiveness to the world and it is the first thing the world chunks out when it throws Christianity out the window and thus its cities are full of people locked in a vicious circle, men like Jack Brennan (Chris O’Dowdy)  threatening to kill Fr. James,  because he cannot forgive, and has grown old in angst because of an evil that happened years past, when he was a child and which he has allowed to consumes his  present, such that he is ready to kill, not just the guilty party, but anyone. As unspeakable as the clerical abuse scandal in Ireland and elsewhere was, it is still staggering that in a society where sex is promoted as a commodity for recreation, its abuse by a minority of unfortunate clerics calls for the killing of the name of every good priest to satiate the thirst of unforgiving hearts, yet to err is human and to forgive is divine. Thus Fiona’s visiting him in prison after he had killed her father embodies for him the superiority of Christian forgiveness and hope. 

By Chinwuba Iyizoba





The devil wears Prada (A review)

7 04 2021
Andrea and her live in boyfriend

I just saw the movie, “The devil wears Prada (2006),” and thinking to myself that it is unusual for Hollywood films to have a name referring to supernatural things like the devil, so naturally, I was curious and watched it. It is the story of a Andrea (Anne Hathaway), a collage graduate who gets a job in a high fashion industry and in other to impress her overbearing boss (Meryl Streep) and keep her job, she metamorphose from a simple girl who loves wearing flat shoes to a high heeled catwalk model much to the chagrin of her boyfriend and ends up wrecking their marriage? No their living together.

Yes, you heard me right, Andrea and her boyfriend aren’t husband and wife. They are just living together, enjoying all the entitlement of married life without actually being married. Her boyfriend wants her to be there for him, to work less, and come home on time for “family” time, yet they aren’t actually a family. The film ends in a high note when Andrea quits her job, walking out on her overbearing boss because she realizes that she really doesn’t want to be like her boss who has had series of divorces and was just beginning another one with her latest husband. So she quits her hugely successful career, but for what? So that she could be a perfect girlfriend to her neglected boyfriend?

 I think there is something wrong with Hollywood wanting us to believe that live in relationships are equivalent to marriage when they aren’t and until Andrea and her boyfriend decides to get married they are basically living a lie since the marital bond is what create the family, any other thing is just a shame, and they may wake up one day and walk out and that is the end of it. Even a temporal thing like getting a job needs some form of formal agreement, a contract and employment letter and terms of agreements that enable both parties understand the relationship between themselves and the different obligations that each owes to the other. Similarly, a football player is received into a new team and signs a new contract in which the terms of understanding between the club and the players are clearly spelt out. Thus, a relationship between Andrea and her boyfriend, though they pretend to be husband and wife yet because they  have no formal  marriage contract can at best be likened to a player playing  all the major games but without a signed contracts or a employee that works hard daily in a nice company but has no employment contract. In both case the situation is indefensible. This is but a weak analogy because marriage is much more than a contract; it is actually a covenant in which two persons exchange vows of giving themselves whole an entire to the other. As Professor Scott Hahn puts it, “In a contract, there is an exchange of goods, in marriage; there is the exchange of persons.” The sacrament or vow of marriage is what makes a family, any other thing would be a pretence and untruthful.

Still in the same line, the movie portrays Andrea as having a flippant attitude about sex; she treats it as a casual pastime. As such when she was on the trip to Paris, and she meets a friend who had helped in the past, and has been desiring her since, so they go out and have some drinks and the next thing they are kissing and Voila! She ends up in bed with him. But the next morning, it was as if nothing happened, she casually picks up her things and walks out. I beg to disagree. There is nothing casual about sex. It is actually very serious and should be treated like so. How so? Well for one, sex leads not just to emotional bonding but also physical bonding such that if one is afflicted with a disease let’s say for example HIV/AIDs or any of the deadly sexually transmitted diseases, the other might just catch it, so don’t let Hollywood fool you. Similarly, during sex, there is a whole exchange of bodily fluids that are sometimes unpleasant.  But even more important regardless of the deception and denial of the modern age, sex is a source of human life and really meant for people who are married

To sum, the whole point the movie is straining to make is that one must get ones priorities right, placing family over fortunes but the problem is that the movie misses the more fundamental point that there is no family without marriage and that a job contract is far more secure relationship than a live-in-boyfriend and sometimes last longer. Hollywood has to help bring back the right concept of family and stop promoting harmful practices.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





It all begins at home

7 02 2021

On a chilly September night in 1994, two teenage brothers forced an 11 year old boy, Robert Sandifer into the back of a car, drove him to an alley, told him to get out and on his knees and shot him twice at the back of the head killing him. Robert (also called “Yummy”) and the teenage brothers where part of a gang robbing, raping and dealing drugs in the neighborhood, and Yummy was on the run for killing a teenage girl, the problem was that the brothers felt Yummy was compromised and could give them away and the only way to deal with that was to take him out. The news broke in Chicago media and indeed the world was amazed that such young boys where capable of such crime, and the Times featured Yummy’s picture on the front page with the title, “Too young to kill, too young to die.” The two brothers were arrested however, the older who was 16 at the time was sentenced to 60 years jail time, while the younger 14, got 45 year jail.

How did things come to such a pass and how did these youngsters turn killers. Some people blame this tragic incident on the failure of the system to provide guidance, encouragement for youngsters. But all time superstars, Denzel Washington disagrees.

“It all begins at the home,” he says, “because the time the system comes into play, the damage is done. Where was his father? It starts in the house, it starts in the home… If the father is not home, then the street becomes the father.”

So, where were Yummy’s mother and father? Yummy mother was arrested multiple times for prostitution, and his father was in jail for felony and he was seriously abused boy, who ran away juvenile home authorities sent him after his mother’s arrest, and at age of 8 lived out on the streets where he joined up with gangs running drugs and robbing people. 

“So we have to ask where Yummy’s father was.” Washington continues “and if you say he is jail, I would ask where the father of Yummy’s father was?”

Denzel Washington

What Washington is saying is that parents are the first educators of their children and if they fail in that duty, it is usually too late to help. And he is not the only one saying it. The Catholic Church has been preaching this for centuries, that parents have the great duty to bring up their children to be good citizens and no system, or government agency can play that role effectively, making it all important that governments should promote stable families.

 Pope Francis adds that the family is the “center of love” where the law of respect and communion reigns and is able to resist the pressure of manipulation and domination from the world’s ‘power centers’. In the heart of the family, the person naturally and harmoniously blends into a human group, overcoming the false opposition between the individual and society.

St. Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei, when asked about how parents can become good fathers and good mothers said:

Parents teach their children mainly through their own conduct. What a son or daughter looks for in a father or mother is not only a certain amount of knowledge or some more or less effective advice, but primarily something more important: a proof of the value and meaning of life, shown through the life of a specific person, and confirmed in the different situations and circumstances that occur over a period of time. He continues saying that

The parents are the first people responsible for the education of their children, in human as well as in spiritual matters. They should be conscious of the extent of their responsibility. To fulfill it, they need prudence, understanding, a capacity to love and a concern for giving good example.

Being a father or a mother is not simply a matter of bringing children into the world. The capacity for generation, which is a share in the creative power of God, is meant to have a continuation. Parents are called to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in the development of their children into men and women who will be authentic Christians.

It is true that in today’s busy world parents have to grapple with lots of things, including not having enough time to be with their children as a result of work or lack of it, or some other circumstances that impede them from carrying out this duty, but St. Josemaria insist:

Parents should find time to spend with their children, to talk with them. They are the most important thing – more important than business or work or rest. In their conversations “parents should make an effort to listen, to pay attention, to understand, to recognize the fact that their children are sometimes partly right – or even completely right – in some of their rebellious attitudes. At the same time, they should help their children to direct their efforts and to carry out their projects properly, teaching them to consider things and to reason them out. It is not a matter of imposing a line of conduct, but rather of showing the human and supernatural motives for it. In a word, parents have to respect their children’s freedom, because there is no real education without personal responsibility, and there is no responsibility without freedom.”

And in January 16, 1915, speaking at a meeting of Families in Manila, Pope Francis also warned of some ideologies seeking to destroy the family:

“The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life and adds that every threat to the family is a threat to society itself.”

Not to mention the sexual revolution that has been wrecking havoc since its inception in the 60’s on the lives of vulnerable young men and women, resulting in spiking teenage pregnancies, poverty, crime, school dropout and substance abuse. This comes out graphically in the case of Yummy and the two teenage boys who killed him. Lottie Joiner, writing for the Center for Health Journalism, lives in a neighborhood four miles from U.S Capitol claims that “73 percent of children in the neighborhood live in households headed by a woman.”

“And research show,” she continues, “that children in fatherless homes easily drop out of school, exhibit behavioral problems, end up in the criminal justice system, suffer unemployment, and are at a greater risk of substance and drug abuse.”

University of California San Francisco Professor Howard Pinderhughes adds that “If you don’t have a father in the home who can act as a source of support and one of your pillars for your formation of resilience, then you’re less likely to be resilient in the face of a lot of sources of trauma.”

Family therapist Ayize Ma’at chips in that 90 percent of his clients are black boys without fathers, many of whom come in with major depression disorders.

“We look at our youth and say that they’re bad. I like to say they’re hurting,” said Ma’at. “Their behaviors are behaviors of them acting out pain. They’re just trying to meet a need — the need to be included, to be loved, to be welcomed, respected and wanted.”

The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family,” Pope Francis continues:

So protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments. Families will always have their trials, but may you never add to them! Instead, be living examples of love, forgiveness and care. Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death. What a gift this would be to society, if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation! So rise with Jesus and Mary, and set out on the path the Lord traces for each of you.

by Chinwuba Iyizoba





Wisdom from a third grade dropout: Story of Rick Rigsby

21 01 2021

A few days after, a Journalist, Rick Rigsby, delivered this speech, it received more than 130 million views on YouTube, and it is called the most motivational speeches ever given. In his speech, he said that one of the wisest person he ever met in his life was a third grade dropout, who taught him to combine knowledge with wisdom to make an impact–his father.

A simple cook who left school to help out in the family, his father believed he left school not education, and never let his lack of education get in the way of his achievements. He taught himself how to read and write and decided to be a man: not a black man or white man, but a man. His father challenged him and his brothers to be the best they could saying, “Boys, I have no problem if you aim high and miss. But I have a problem if you aim low and hit.” Again he would say, ” Son, you better be an hour early, than a minute late.”  

Citing Aristotle, his father used to tell them, “Son, you are what you repeatedly do. Therefore excellence has to be a habit and not an act.”

One of kind with a mind chockfull of life changing wisdom, little wonder Rick has three degree and a PhD and his brother is a Judge all because  their third grade dropout Dad. The video below of the talk by Rick Rigby is worth 10 minutes of your time.





US Elections: Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.

5 01 2021
US elections

Just a few odds years ago, election fraud used to be a federal crime in the US, punishable by long jail sentences, but come January 6, 2021, the world would hear of election crimes as brazen as they come. They would hear about dead people voting in Michigan, they would watch footage of fake ballots pulled out of under the table in the middle of the night in Georgia, and voter intimidation, deception and fraud in Pennsylvania and so many more, all in the recent November 3rd US general elections. The only problem is that they would hear and watch these frauds knowing that the perpetrators aren’t hidden, but sitting right there in congress and nothing was going to be done about them and no arrest would be made. So what has changed in just a few odd years in America to make such travesty possible? The simple answer is n the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere.”

For years, the American people accepted injustices more egregious then racism and slavery, and did nothing about it. American congressmen and legislators have become accomplices in the violators of human life. Judges and politicians have grown old defending indefensible acts and passed judgments that violated tenants of law and justice. Law enforcements and intelligence communities have enforced unjust laws and Americans rolled over and moved on getting on with their lives.

Record has it that perhaps more than 1 million infants are killed each year in the US and more than 40 million since Reo v Wade in 1973 that legalized abortion in all three trimesters of pregnancy. Susan E. Wills, associate director of education for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, USCCB, argues that “Roe is a symptom of and catalyst for a continuing decline in American culture and institutions.”  It represents a tragic failure of the government, an abdication of its duty to defend the vulnerable and innocent.”

With Roe, Americans ditched nobility and valor for cowardice and foolishness. Susan Will claims that “the judicially-created regime permitting abortion on request throughout pregnancy has eroded principles on which this nation was founded – the sanctity of life, the equal dignity of all, and impartial justice. Even the fundamental principle of self-government is shaken when seven unelected judges can overturn the will of the people expressed in the laws of 50 states.”

These judges usurped the right and duties of congress and legislature and fabricated a “right of privacy” that is not in the constitution and foisted it on the constitution and used it to strike down legitimate laws in all 50 states against abortion.

Their newly minted right gave women rights to terminate their unborn children in the womb without consequences. These judges also falsified history, claiming that abortion was a celebrated medical practice in the past that was interrupted by 19th century Christian prudes, a claim abhorrent to the Hippocratic Oath which has guided medical practice for 2000 years: “I will give no deadly medicine to anyone if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.”

Furthermore, these perjuring judges also falsified “personhood,” claiming that the unborn child is not a person because he cannot vote, a claim that Susan refutes as absurd  arguing that, “one does not have to be a “person” in the full constitutional sense, however, for a state to validly protect one’s life. Dogs can be protected from killing although they are not “persons.”13 And under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), people are prosecuted, fined and jailed for acts that may harm creatures, such as sea turtles, that are not “persons” in the full constitutional sense. Sea turtles are protected not only after they are hatched, but even while in the egg. In fact, each sea turtle egg removed from its nest constitutes a separate violation under the ESA, regardless of whether the sea turtle egg contained an embryo that was alive or “quick” or “viable” or even already deceased at the time of the taking.”

She concludes that Roe must be reversed to restore integrity to the Court, meaning to the Constitution, political rights to the people and their elected representatives, and most importantly, the right to life to children in the womb.

In conclusion,  Americans have not forgotten what election integrity is, they have only lost the moral authority to defend their most cherish values by failing to defend the most fundamental one on which the others rest, that is the  “right to life”.  You can read Susan Wills Ten Legal Reasons to Reject Roe








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