My very dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
My, but time slips by so quickly and again it has been a while since I’ve written to all.
I will say more on this later, but first and foremost I want to thank you for all of your prayers charitable support, which helped this family in more ways that you can imagine when I was stricken with severe pneumonia mid-September. All these months later, I am better, but I know now that I will never be the person I was prior to the attack. I still have three doctors I see regularly and a fourth specialist is being sought who takes Medicaid.
But, the important thing here is that over the months I saved every ounce of energy I gained, gathered through your prayers and through my own, to do the Will of the Lord.
Mine was a mission of joyful suffering, and of uniting myself even more securely and strongly to the Passion of Our dear Lord and Savior for redemptive suffering. And due to the conservation of energy and your prayers I was able to begin Lent this year in a way that surpassed my every expectation. I would like to share that with you.
I am talking about my ability to go to see 'The Passion of The Christ', Mel Gibson’s masterpiece. When the controversy began about this movie a long time ago, that told me right away that this was of and from God, and it was a must-see for any person who believed in Jesus Christ, anyone who wanted to increase their Faith, anyone who wanted to understand in their soul, in the particular way Jesus would give them at the time, how our individual sins condemned Him and Crucified Him to such a horrible death…of Love!
I have had a very difficult time since my illness watching anything that has violence (I am speaking here of secular movies, TV, or having my senses assaulted by impurity. I knew this would be a “tough” movie to watch, but I also knew that your prayers and God’s mercy had given me the strength and I was going…no matter what. I figured even if I died in the middle of the movie, I’d be far closer to Heaven than I could imagine. In fact, one person out of the millions that did go see 'The Passion' did die in a theater in Kansas and it was during the Crucifixion scene. I quite suspect, pray and hope Dismas the good thief might have interceded for that lady.
But back to Ash Wednesday. I am so pleased to announce that I was not disappointed even for a second. The moment the film began, with the beautiful ICON logo which incorporates the eye from the Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, I was only partially there in that theater. Rather, I was THERE, with Christ, my Lord, God, and Savior, my best friend, my true Love, in the Garden of Olives. And I wept. No, I did not weep out loud, but I wept for a steady stream of tears coursed down my cheeks from beginning to end. Just enough to dab at, but not to disturb anyone else in the theater. In fact, I took notice that at the showing we attended, which was nearly sold out on a Wednesday in this little place where we live, that you could have heard a pin drop from first to last.
That reverent silence reminded me of the way the Consecration used to be in truly Roman Catholic Churches, when no one moved, or coughed or made any disturbance to the awesome mystery taking place upon the Altar as the bread and wine became the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This movie only increased my thirst for and love of the Most Blessed Sacrament in a way that defies words…but it is a fire that consumes me, but does not destroy, only fuels further love.
I found that the entire movie was directed by Mel Gibson, but he’d be the first to tell you that it was really the Holy Ghost Who did the work. Never could such a masterpiece be made so perfectly without Heavenly assistance. I cannot recommend this movie strongly enough to ALL people, and I intend, if finances permit, to see it many times, for in this day when the true Faith is nearly eclipsed, the promise of Christ to His One True Church rang out loud and clear in this movie.
Oh, I’ve heard all the mean-spirited, cold-hearted words bandied about on every talk show from here to kingdom come, and I am tired of hearing them, because they are not even worthy of mention. The movie speaks for God, and God will have the victory, and those who have demeaned it, or Mel Gibson, or any of the actors or crew will have to answer to God, for they are telling God what is good, and what His Son really suffered. By the way, basically all their “opinions” are contrary to Sacred Scripture.
Faith needs witness; Faith needs to be nourished at the spring of everlasting life. If this movie does not increase your faith, then you need to go and seek a confessor to find out why. I myself was with Christ throughout the length of the movie, and I did not wish to leave Him for a second. In fact, of all the movies about the life of Christ I’ve seen in my lifetime, I always knew I was watching a movie, however inspiring it might have been. But when I saw 'The Passion of The Christ' I was not “seeing a movie”. No, I was participating in an event that took place 2,000 years ago and is as fresh today on all true Roman Catholic Altars as it was then. There can be no denying the Truth, though many try. I saw my sins, my brothers and sisters, in all their ugliness. I saw each and every one of them, some big specks of black against my soul, others a bit smaller, but sins all. And each one of them was a crack of those whips at the Scourging at the Pillar, at the Crowning of Thorns, the walk to Calvary, the Holy Women, His own Mother trying to get closer to Her Divine Son, and so much more. In the Sanhedrin, at Pilate’s judgment chair…I was there. And though I grieved within, my tears still coursing down the sides of my face, I was not made bitter, angry, or afraid in the least. I was there and I was drawn there by Love, Infinite Love that I came to better understand through this miracle than any other time in my life.
I feel this movie is a miracle, a masterpiece of God’s use of talents given to a man, and a man who cooperated to the full in using those talents to bring all of the world a miracle that we are all so much in need of. I couldn’t help but think of "The Warning," which was foretold by Church-approved visionaries prior to Vatican II, and wondered if this might be part of it, for I could not see how anyone who was present could not help but repent of their sins, and in so doing make a perfect act of contrition. I realized that I was doing that, and many others, and if I died then and there I would go to Heaven for my act of contrition had been that perfect. How could I give Him anything less than my “all”, when I saw “all” that He did and gave to me, his poorest and littlest child? Oh, my heart was crushed by the Scourging, and even more so at the Crucifixion. The terrible cruelty was obvious, but what I saw was the Infinite Love that existed for us, for which Christ endured all, and the Infinite Love that existed between Mother and Son. The role of the Blessed Mother in our salvation was very clear in this miraculous event. She did not have to speak. In fact, the ancient languages and the very few subtitles didn’t bother me at all…the pictures said it all, and that’s what we were there for. Oh, how I shuddered with the pounding of the nails, and the cruelty of flinging the cross over, dangling our dear Lord but an inch or so off the ground as the soldiers bent the nails so Christ’s Flesh wouldn’t tear through during the hours He was to hang there and die of suffocation.
I was there with all the apostles, and I wept for them, for I did not know what I would have done at that time had I truly been present, but I made to excuses for myself, seeing my weaknesses as great boulders that I have stumbled over all my life, and which God keeps giving me the grace to overcome. I made no pretense that I would have Veronica’s courage, or the courage of the Holy Women, especially Mary Magdalene who stood with Mary, Mother of God, at the foot of the Cross. I thought of all the faithful down through the centuries represented in Mary and the Beloved Disciple John (Mother and Son) as Christ’s life drew to a close. I wanted to reach out and put my arms around Mary, when I realized she had her arms around me already. We hugged.
And when the Mother of God, Mary Most Holy, was finally able to approach the Cross, where her beloved son hung in agony, and the Son-of-God had but a few minutes left of this earthly life, she kissed his bloodied feet. She did not attempt to rub the blood off when she stepped back, and she bore this as a badge of the sacrifice of her Divine Son given to satisfy the Justice of the Almighty Father for our sins, that we may have eternal life, and her role as Co-Redemptrix, Advocate and Mediatrix. While the modern Church hierarchs have dragged their collective clay feet over definitely declaring this dogma, Mel expressed the truth of this so clearly and simply for the entire world to see and realize.
And in the brilliance of the talents God has given him, Mel used a brief moment to show us another aspect of Christ, one we hardly ever think about. It was the brief scene when he was at home in Nazareth, working on a table, and Mary came to give him water to refresh himself, and to cleanse himself before He entered their humble home. The interplay between Mother and Son sent another wave of tears down my cheeks, for any mother could relate to this scene of such happy innocence…knowing what was coming and how horrible it would be. The contrast struck me with both joy and pain as I see my own sons torn between the straight and narrow path, and the siren call of this wicked world.
Oh, who would not want eternal life? Who would want to do anything but work without ceasing in this life to walk the straight and narrow path into the arms of Jesus? Oh, no fear…not for those who truly love Him, who truly follow all that He said and commanded. Love will greet us, for in the end it is Charity that remains, and Charity is Love and Truth as revealed by this act of such selflessness that Mel captured so perfectly for all of us to see, to ponder, and to live up to.
The Scribes and the Pharisees of Christ’s time, as well as many of the Jews, demanded a sign from Him that would prove He was the son of God. They wanted a “sign.” And Christ called them hypocrites and said that God would not give them a sign; the only sign they would have would be that of Jonah.
We are a generation that has had more signs than possibly any other generation since Adam and Eve, and we have clamored for more, even as we’ve closed our eyes to the truth of what has happened to the One True Faith—to the very Church Christ founded upon Peter, and for which He died that we, who would believe in Him, might have the means of salvation unto the end of time. And now, my beloved brothers and sisters, I confess that to me this is no mere movie, nor even a masterpiece of a movie (though it is truly a magnificent masterpiece that deserves awards both here on earth and in Heaven). I think Mel would settle for the Heavenly rewards above any others. But for me, this movie is "The Miracle" we’ve been begging for, and one, perhaps, promised; something we could all see and hear, but we could not touch.
All of us should carry this movie in our hearts and let it take deep root there and grow until we are filled with Faith, Hope, and Charity. Let it take deep root, so that we remember our roots in the One, True Church, the Church Christ founded, the Church of our Fathers, the Church of the Saints; and NOT the newchurch of “feel-good” universal salvation. We must remember Christ’s words in Scripture and believe them. We must remember the infallible teachings and traditions of Holy Mother Church and defend them and adhere to them, no matter what anyone, no matter how high in authority, says. If you waver, think of this miracle you now have in your heart, and you will find the strength you need, the patience, the long-suffering, the knowledge, and every other virtue, and you will be a true Soldier of Christ.
If you have not seen this movie 'The Passion of the Christ' I cannot urge you enough to go and see it, and be not afraid. Believe me, angels are there to help us, for we need to see and believe what Our Lord suffered for you and me. If you have seen it, see it again. We live in very dangerous times, and the last thing satan wants is for this miraculous movie to take root and begin to change the world back to Christ, to establish the Social Kingship of Christ, and to raise Holy Mother Church to glory again. Defeat the evil one and LOVE HIM, who so loved you that he laid down His life that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.
Let the tears flow. They cleanse. Let the heart repent. It is a perfect Act of Contrition. This is a grace from God and we must not let it pass us by. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll ponder and meditate upon it the rest of your life, and your Hope will be restored and your eagerness to convert so many to the one true faith will spring alive again.
May your Lent be a time of sincere reflection upon the Passion, and may Christ grant you all the graces necessary that your soul may be as pure as gold tried in a furnace as we reach Easter!
Your very little sister in Christ,