March 3, 2004
vol 15, no. 63

The People Speak
Heart-felt sharing on 'The Passion of The Christ'
    Editor's Note: Following are several more of the comments we received from readers sharing their personal views and emotions and how they were personally touched by seeing Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of The Christ'. If you would like to contribute your comments, send them to My take on The Passion

Part Two Feedback from seven more readers:

from Father James F. Wathen

   If I may venture a comment about the movie, The Passion, which I have not seen. It is strange that the Jews have made such a commotion about it. Evidently, they imagined their influence greater than what it is. More likely, they reacted without due deliberation. Someone told me they succeeded in banning it in France.

   Through their loud protests, the Jews did nothing more than call attention to the part of the Jews in the Passion and Death of our Lord. I may be wrong, but I imagine that, even in this Post-Christian age, few indeed are the people who do not know that it was Christ's "own nation," as Pilate put it, who handed him over to the Romans, and brought all the pressure they could upon him to impose the horrifying and ignominious sentence upon Him. According to the Gospelwriters, after our Lord's terrible scourging, Pilate brought him forth before the people (not the priests, His accusers) in the hope of eliciting some pity from them to outweigh the demands of the Jewish leaders. But "scribes and pharisees "had anticipated this move and excited the crowd to shout for his crucifixion; in a word, they organized the mob. When Christ was on the cross, their hatred was unsatiated until He was dead. It was a Roman legionaire who exclaimed, "Truly, this man was the Son of God," not any of the Jewish leaders. Their first thought was to seal the tomb and post a guard to made sure they had put an end to the affair once and for all. And to this day, they blame Christ as the one Person Who has thwarted their omnivorous ambitions for world power and possession.

   The Jews say they opposed this movie because they fear that it will spark some kind of Christian backlash against them. It will not, of course. Christians and other nations have never recriminated against the Jews because of what their forebearers did to Christ. Any time the Jews were made to suffer as a nation, as a foreign nation within a nation, it was always because time and again, finally, the host nation awakened to the fact that they no longer possessed their own land; that the Jews had gradually and methodically wormed their way into the places of influence and total control; or they were, as a guest people, conspiring with the enemies of their host, to bring about the downfall of that nation. It is because the Christian people have experienced this again and again from the days of the Roman empire, that the Church has seen fit to call them "a perfidious people" in its prayers for their conversion. If the American people ever move against the Jews to take back their country, it will not be because of a movie, surely not because of their devotion to Christ, of which they have very little to speak of (none of any great depth, that is), but because they have come to realize that what has happened to other nations has happened to their own, and the Jews are very much a part of that Force within the vitals of their government which is bent on demoralizing and enslaving them, leaving them without liberty and without hope, as is the case with the poor people of China and North Korea, to mention two nations among many. Begging God's grace upon you, and encouraging you to make a good Lent, I remain, yours sincerely in Christ, Fr. Wathen

    Please keep Fr. James in your prayers during his recuperation period. He is presently undergoing chemotherapy. We need dedicated priests like him around as long as God will permit.

from Gary L. Morella

   My family and I just saw what I consider the most magnificent motion picture ever made. All of the positives that I have put out on this masterpiece over the course of the last few weeks do not come close to doing justice to it. It is a religious experience of the highest order, and your faith will be strengthened for watching it. There is nothing, I repeat, nothing to criticize in this movie, a treasure that will rekindle a lost faith on the part of many, and kindle a spark of the faith in the faithless.

   It is Divinely inspired. The acting is tremendous with the use of Aramaic and Latin adding to the realism that would have been lost with the vernacular in the same manner that a sense of the Sacred Mysteries has been lost with the vernacular in the Mass today. The imagery of the Mass as Holy Sacrifice is unmistakable with the flashbacks that are used to the First Consecration at the Last Supper as Christ on the Cross is raised on Calvary. Your heart will go out to Mary who is suffering with her Son, which is beautifully portrayed.

   The Passion of Christ is an exercise in Catholic catechesis. It does not let us forget that without the Cross, there is NO Resurrection. It does not let us forget that sin EXISTS with it horrible effect on the Son of the Living God, the Savior of the World Who died that man might have a chance at eternal life. It is the Supreme Catholic message of Redemptive Suffering in following Christ's example by picking up His Cross and following Him for the sake of our eternity.

   I cannot recommend this motion picture highly enough.

from Dr. Pillai

   This Movie, by Mel Gibson, has portrayed the Real Passion of Christ, as written in the Bible, which many avoid acknowledging as they are continually being influenced by the EVIL ONE, to give contradictory interpretations of the Real Passion (in the name of research), to confuse people of other faiths, so that Satan can have complete control over non-believers both from those of other faiths, as well as among Christians. There isn't absolute doubt any more On Christ's Passion for Humanity. God Loved His Men, so much so, He Gave His Only Begotten Son, to be born As Son of Man, to teach His ways, yet Men continued to remain in their ways.

   Jesus Passion is His Unending Love for us. His Love for us is the manifestation of the God's Love, for all humanity which is good for all eternity, as His Love is Unending. The Love of the Creator who took Human Form to Express His Love, proclaimed, that "I and my Father is One and the Same and Nobody goes to my Father, except through me" . In Genesis, God Said, "I have created you in my own likeness and image" All these are being defied by Satan through ungrateful and sinful man. All other religious were founded by man so they of worldly ways, with the influence of the Evil One.

   Jesus' religion of Love is for all humanity. All other religions depict human weakness and sinful natures which need to be overcome by ritual and sacrifices. Whereas, Jesus (God Himself) Himself became the Sacrifice for all eternity. There is Real Salvation through Jesus and not by any other means or methods. Many religions have satanic influence and satanic solutions for human weaknesses. Even Protestanism get to these extremes when there is no forgiveness, tolerance or understanding.

   Not so Catholicism, which was founded by Jesus Himself Upon Peter, the Rock, yet Protestants doubt that founding of the Church and have come over with various explanations and to justify their actions against Christ Founded Church. All atrocities in the christian world are by non-believers who are under the strong influence of the Evil One. In the Muslim and Hindu world the atrocities against humanity are caused again by the Evil One. The Evil One, has been active, ever since, the fall of the first man and woman.

   Finally, Catholicism is grossly a misunderstood religion which is complete, unless you are one and practicing it, while Protestanism is tailor made to the requirements of modern man by the evil one, basically to protest and do everything possible against God without realizing it. For their days are counted on earth, as it is being counted in the Heavens.

from Thomas Gonzalez

   All I can say is WOW. My total understanding of Our Blessed Lord's suffering will now be forever altered. I didn't cry at all but after this agonizing film I couldn't move from my seat, my body and soul were both so completely exhausted that rising was an impossiblity. Interestingly enough (God's hand no doubt) I wasn't alone in the inability to move, nearly everyone else in the theater sat immobile contemplating what had just been seen. I only arose once all the credits had finished as did the other movie patrons and with the exception of some hushed whispers EVERYONE left in complete silence. I do believe that conversions took place there. Hopefully this movie will be remembered in history as a defining moment in people's lives and the begining of the end for the wicked oppresion of all Traditional Catholics.

   Also as for the Anti-Semitism charge, I personally think that the Roman soldiers were the most sadistic characters in the movie but it won't inspire any Nativism in Americans (for me it would mean attacking my family). Goes to show you that Mr. Foxman etc. have another agenda in mind.

from Scott Curran

   Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is a profound and powerful movie. It is a graphic portrayal of the suffering and crucifixion of Christ, culminating in the resurrection. It is a truly inspired work of art that proclaims the Truth.

   The chatterers of the Secular Left Elite, who so vehemently despise this film and who attack Mel Gibson, are merely contemporary exemplars of the age-old inclination of those not liking the message wanting to kill the messenger. As a philosopher once remarked, a work of art is like a mirror and, therefore, you can't expect an angel to be looking out, if an animal is looking in.

   Those seeking spiritual Truth, find it revealed, deeply and profoundly, in this awe-inspiring movie.

   Congratulations to Mel Gibson for this courageous and brilliant production!

from Jeffrey Smith

   I saw the film last night. I kept thinking and later said to my family "this is the most Catholic film you will ever see. This is our faith!" What a wonderful tool this movie will be for our efforts to spread the One True Faith. For Traditionalists and for all Catholics, Mel Gibson's film is the opportunity of a lifetime. Now our real work begins. We must invite our friends to see this film and accompany them so we can share the truth.

from Michael H. Pierce

   The specter of ignorance has reared its ugly head again, in American criticism; the tortures exhibited in Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of The Christ, are the supposed cause; it is something much deeper that has erupted within the multiplicitious, negative and fear-laden reactions penned these past months. Many critics are deeply afraid of the truths depicted within this film: thus, they attack it and its producer with venom. These many criticisms will dissolve soon enough and some will find another cause to hound, for their derision is insatiable, but then what of the messages in this film?

   I hope that the indelible mark this new film about the last twelve hours of Christ’s life may leave within your soul will be neither transitory, nor ephemeral, but a signal towards future holiness. I felt so deeply wounded by the story that was presented at 12:05 on Wednesday Morning, that it would be hard to really say just what caused it as it was so overt. With Thursday's reflections upon me, it was, in a phrase, a deep horror for my sins. The Passion of The Christ will leave its marks on any who see it, but there was something horrific about the film that accompanied me all the way home that night; it was deeply tangible. I kept asking God for forgiveness, although I have been to confession many times since January, more than once a month. I was so deeply shocked, drunk and sated with horror—stunned by this blood soaked film.

   The sadistic, protracted scourging scene was horrible, demonic! The terrible enthusiastic depictions that both Romans and Jews showed in their physical hatred towards Him and in their persistent blaspheming of Jesus at His trial and up until His Crucifixion was sobering, and all too accurate historically, despite what the phony historians have alleged, what many media mavens with their pusillanimous critiques have written. The deliberate hatred portrayed in this film stunned me. I thought that perhaps I was naive, about its existence, but it was more than that. Have I, as with many, been denying that this type of hatred does exist in abundance and especially now, what with terrorism and the Middle East? Why should I be so shocked at this violent and bloody film when blood baths are all around me? Am I desensitized, perhaps, or is it something more? Am I too self-absorbed to care about what the world portrays so avidly, in the media? I do not want to confront hatred with love, perhaps, at least with an honest description of what is taking place? Am I too lazy too actually, at least through prayer, to help alter the conditions?

   Reflections are too personal to share about such an experience as what took place in this film. It was a bloody and persistent meditation on the Passion of Christ that has never been captured, properly, in the over one hundred years of film making and it remains a singular reminder of what we are: an avaricious species, self-willed and proud as the Life of Christ and His mission have made such little, major difference at times, in this world. My wounds were exemplified, certainly, by copious tears, these water wounds of repentance. That is all we can do, really, is repent, with hope.

   Yet, we persist in our sins of pride and anger, not to mention lust. We constantly and mortally wound ourselves and Christ every time we flagrantly fling our willfulness in His face and we must remember that we placed Him on that cross—all of us who sin—and still do and will, until the end of time. We love to sin too much! I hope you pray for peace; the fact that war is punishment for sin—for we are still at war, is a constant reminder that The Passion of The Christ as a film, will be effective in some way, yes, but that the real fruits of that Passion are constantly thwarted, disavowed, of which our willful ignorance is the cause.

    March 3, 2004
    vol 15, no. 63
    Vox Populi