Ninety-one years ago today, the Mother of God appeared, as she promised, to the three children at the Cova where she chose to reveal to them visions of what hell is really like. Those doubting that hell exists, should have seen and experienced what Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto did that day in Portugal. Hell is definitely not a state of mind, as the late Karol Wojtyla tried to explain away, but a very real and everlasting place of eternal damnation. And that is the theme of today's commentary which dovetails into next Sunday's Gospel of Saint Matthew, you know, the famous verses in Chapter Seven where Christ affirms that we shall know them by their fruits. He assures us that a good tree cannot yield bad fruit and conversely a bad tree will not yield good fruit.
That brings us to a conundrum of sorts that calls for your heartfelt prayers for a man greatly haunted by demons, a man who has produced much good fruit but today is infected by a gout that has seaped into the bark of his thinking process and greatly skewered his ability to blossom further. We are speaking of none other than Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson, whom in the past we have directed many encomiums his way for his masterpiece The Passion of The Christ. Lately, he has seemed more like Judas than Peter or John. We can only pray his course follows the latter two and not the former.
Classic Literature is littered with tragic heroes. We see man's fallen human nature played out constantly in the Bible and the classics. From Aristotle to Cicero to Shakespeare to modern times, we see how things unraveled for men who took for granted what God had gifted them and allowed one of the seven deadly sins to overpower them. Tragic consequences come to mind for the actions of David and Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite whom David sent off to war so he could bed Bathsheba; of Antony and Cleopatra, whose legendary extra-marital affair eventually drove both to suicide in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, one with a dagger, the other an asp. Then there is Camelot's Arthur and Guinevere, who cheated on him with Sir Lancelot. And then we have Henry VIII whose divorce of Catherine of Aragon destroyed true Christendom in England, to name just a few tragic figures from history and literature.
To Traditional Catholics, probably the most tragic today is the rise and fall of Mel Gibson. It seems he is haunted like Hamlet, wanting the best for his family in the fashion of King Lear and yet suspicious of the Othellos out there, waiting to pounce, to exploit. To paraphrase the words of Mark Antony from William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "Friends, Romans, and countrymen, lend me your ears! I come to pray for Mel, not to praise him. The evil that men do is known to the good God above, the good is oft a salvific factor for restoring grace, so pray it be with Mel."
Just five short years ago he was hailed as a genius, albeit, even a "Fidei Defensor" with his magnificent Michelangelo-like work on film, The Passion of The Christ. Much was made of his making sure he had a true priest on set to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day during the shoot while on location. Indeed, Mel took the world by storm in upholding and spreading Catholic truth through his uncompromising opus that brought to life divine revelation and the prophesies of Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich's The Dolorous Passion of Christ.
I'll never forget how his reasoning touched me, when he insisted on using his own hands to nail the cruel spike into Our Savior's precious left hand so that Mel could show that it was our sins, Mel taking responsibility for his own, that killed Christ, not the Jews collectively. The Jews did not kill Christ, they rejected Him and still do today. That is their sin. Our own sins, yours, mine, and every human being ever created, past, present and future, are what Christ bore, shedding every last drop of His Most Precious Blood for our redemption. No Love could be greater. And, yet, we return that love by sinning?
How many times has each reader out there uttered those famous words of St. Francis of Assisi, "There, but for the Grace of God, go I"? Few out there would have predicted Mel's decline after his meteoric success with The Passion of The Christ which broke box office records and confounded industry wags and liberals. Just think what might have been had Mel taken our advice which I wrote five years and some five months ago to Mel on these pages:
Think about it, Mel. You have been able to accomplish a true ecumenical achievement in the fullness of the true sensus Catholicus by conveying the uncompromising truths of Divine Revelation and Tradition as always taught by Holy Mother the Church. When was the last time anyone had 90% of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, New Agers, Agnostics, Atheists and Pagans all talking about Jesus? I would venture to say: NEVER! Isn't it refreshing His name is being used in thought-provoking conversation about Him and not in a cursing way? Come to think about it with all the rhetoric about dialogue, isn't this what modern Rome wants? Guess not when it deals with the truth from a truly Traditional Catholic who won't kowtow to threats or intimidation, slander or lies and denial.
What does that tell you? It says that Our Lady's prophecy of La Salette is becoming a reality in these times - "Rome will lose the Faith and become the seat of the antichrist." Yet God does not abandon His Church for God has used you as His humble but powerful instrument to begin to rebuild His Church much in the same necessity He asked Saint Francis of Assisi to "rebuild My Church" in the 13th Century when things were in such turmoil within the Church. Fast forward eight centuries and it is deja vu all over again. Think about it. He has chosen a rich man to rebuild His Church just as Francis was a man of great wealth who turned his back on riches and stripped down in the public square. You've already done that in 'Lethal Weapon 3' so we realize those humiliating scenes are in your past and to be forgotten and forgiven, just as sins of the past are so mercifully forgotten by God and truly forgiven or we would never have had saints like Mary Magdalen, Saint Paul, Saint Augustine, and, well, the list is endless.
He is not asking you, Mel, to don a coarse woolen habit and shod yourself in sandals, save for the sandals of readiness in spreading the Gospel of peace which you are definitely doing. With your uncompromising adherence to the Scriptures and the Truths and Traditions handed down, you have definitely girded yourself in the Armor of God as Paul counsels in Ephesians 6: 11-18. You, above most, have seen your share of battle both on the big screen, within your own heart, and with the scurrilous attacks against you personally this past year. Consider it a badge of honor - for you have represented the Faith so well and defended the Traditional flanks. As many saints have foretold about these times, it would begin not with the hierarchy, but with the laity. And so it has begun.
Every Traditional Catholic truly believes what you accomplished with The Passion of The Christ could not have been possible without the inspiration and power of the Holy Ghost to Whom you have so generously attributed credit. Now, I truly believe the same Advocate is asking you to go even further, to be, if you will, the Lazarus to those disciples striving to spread the Gospel - the True Word of God.
Rather than being a philanthropist for the Traditional Catholic movement, Mel appropriately took care of his own family, but then took the money and ran; ran right back into the cesspool he had so tried to elevate himself above. With the profits he pocketed for a God-pleasing film, he could have invested in more wholesome fare that would not only have enhanced his reputation, but shown to the industry and the world that decency can not only win, but be preferred to the bilge Hollywood has been churning out. However, that was not to be and Mel's succeeding movies have been obscene in their violence and crassness. We still ask what was the redeeming merit of Apocalypto, especially at the very end where the "hero" turned away from the Word of God by his action, and from the True Faith by not welcoming the Spanish missionaries landing with the Conquistadors, but rather retreating back into the jungle to continue in ignorance his pagan ways? Mind you, Mel not only produced and directed, but wrote Apocalypto. In other words, he had full control of the script. At the time of seeing it, we were greatly dismayed and could only hope it was a prequel to another film he might do on Juan Diego at Guadalupe and somehow the hero or his son in Apocalypto would be converted through Our Lady of Guadalupe. But alas, that is not to be.
Rather, what followed was a series of self-destructing actions that illustrate he has not been able to exorcise the demons that continue to haunt him whether it be alcohol, his penchant for violent, brutal scenes or his wandering eye that prompted his loins to trump his heart, mind, and, and most important, his soul. By his adulterous affair with Ukranian model Oksana Grigorieva he has jeopardized his entire marriage for his wife of 29 years who, tragically, had had enough. Robyn Moore Gibson filed for divorce on Easter Monday, April 13 this year. The couple had separated back in August 2006 a month after Mel's scandalous DUI and obscene-tainted slurs against Jews and others when stopped by police who became suspicious when they saw his 2006 Lexus swerving on the road after a late night fling at a Malibu bar. For someone who supposedly knew What Women Want, he forgot what the only woman in his life wanted: love, fidelity and trust.
The crowning blow came during Lent this year when Robyn, herself a lifelong Episcopalian who somehow never received the graces to convert, discovered that Grigorieva was pregnant by Mel and that her famous husband had put the Soviet siren up in one of his mansions along with her eleven-year old son, sired by another actor Timothy Dalton. The woman whom Mel has long referred to as his "rock", crumbled. We doubt Robyn is the greedy type who wants to take her husband for everything she can, but a woman scorned is a woman to be feared. It greatly reminds one of Catherine of Aragon after being rejected by Henry VIII in favor of the courtesan and commoner Anne Boleyn. Catherine could have prompted her nephew the Emperor Charles V to invade England and wage war on Henry VIII, deposing him. But she was a woman of God who held her Faith paramount. Yay, had she been martyred along with St. John Fisher and Sir Thomas More, she would very well have been recognized as a saint of the Church. She had true love for England and the holy Faith. While Henry never reconciled with Catherine, we can only hope and pray Robyn and Mel will. But only with God's help and that is what Mel needs most, God's help. Oh, how far, how fast has a hero fallen. It reminds us of a few other "Defenders of the Faith," one faithful, the other prideful.
The faithful one being Richard of Gloucester, son of Richard of York and successor to his brother Edward IV as King Richard III of England, Ireland and France. Perhaps someday historians and theologians alike will see the similarities of this noble, yet greatly misunderstood Catholic monarch, with another holy king, St. Louis IX of France. The two century difference between these two rulers made a world of difference for Louis lived during a time when all Christendom was united against the infidels. In Richard's day, already the reformation was rumbling for clergy and hierarchy were becoming corrupt, manifested in the ordinaries not only in England but throughout Europe and especially in Rome where family clans dictated who would be pope and those elected were greatly corrupt, yet never decreed anything heretical in faith and morals. Concubines and courtesans were part of the courts of kings, emperors and prelates, even popes.
Not so, Richard. Though he had one early misstep in life and sired an illegitimate son whom he cared for as did his wife Lady Anne Neville of Warwick until her death. Many point to that period in Richard's life as being despondent over his childhood sweetheart Lady Anne being forced to marry the ambitious and cruel Edward of Lancaster for political expediency. He was the son of the wretched French Queen Margaret of Anjou, the estranged wife of the demented and deposed King Henry VI, imprisoned in the Tower by Edward IV. It was Richard and Edward's other brother Clarence who mercilessly killed Henry in the Tower and ironically, himself, drowned in a cask of wine in the very same Tower a few years later. While morals meant little to Clarence and even Edward, to Richard they were paramount. He was, in fact, a great Catholic ruler who promoted the Social Kingship of Christ throughout his kingdom and established Christian guilds and laws that are the foundation of many measures that have become the fabric of society even today. He sought desperately to curb corruption in the clergy and dioceses, many times reprimanding prelates for their scandalous ways. Someday, hopefully soon, you will know of the true story of this noble king. Shakespeare's account of this much maligned English monarch and last of the Plantagenets is a pure, poor propaganda piece that villainized Richard, demeaning him for the sake of pleasing Queen Elizabeth. Lies. Yes, the Bard lied to cover up the fact that the Tudor dynasty was illegitimate and that the last true King of England was Richard III who was loyal to God and man to the very end and lived up to his motto "Loyaulte me lie", "Loyalty binds me." He represents the greatness Mel achieved as well as the suffering he has experienced by the enemies of Christ who are out to destroy him.
The second "Defender of the Faith," the prideful one, would be the infamous King Henry VIII, the son of Henry of Richmond, the Tudor usurper King Henry VII who aligned with the House of Lancaster against the House of York to oust the Plantagenets from the throne of England in the bloody battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485 when Richard III was slain; a day when in our time we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
There was little pure about Harry Tudor, who was married to the faithful Catherine of Aragon, daughter of good King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. As we all know, Henry's eye caught the flirtatious Anne Boleyn in court and the rest, as they say, is history. Just as Henry threw away his marriage and with it, an entire kingdom that totally changed the course of Christendom with the break from Rome, Mel has seemingly discarded his marriage for the infatuation of a temptress, whom a friend of Mel's claims was set up by the Soviets.
We are speaking of Anne McGinn Cillis , the 80-year old Traditional Catholic pioneer who posted an article on OurLadyofGoodSuccess.com run by the Apostolate of Our Lady of Good Success. Anne's excellent 14-page pdf essay
Mel Gibson's Year of Living Dangerously addresses the problems Mel faces and why she truly believes temporal rewards will not sustain him, but only heavenly help. We urge you to read it for it is a heartfelt plea of prayer for Mel who is under great attack by the legions of hell. The demons must feel as though they have conquered, but we believe Mel is a fighter and will soon wake from his malaise and rescue his marriage, for his eternal soul is at stake and if anyone understands that, it is one who has lived as a Traditional Catholic all his life, though, true, not always a devout one. We dare say Robyn has been his rudder and without her he will stumble further and drift deeper into the depths where the denizens of the deep lie in wait to suck him under, drowning him in watery grave of Hollywood's cesspool.
While Anne suspects the Russians, Judith Sharpe, head of In The Spirit of Chartres at isoc.ws and creator of the magnificent conversion tape and DVD, "What We Have Lost", offers another take that is also credible in light of the vitriol spewed by the Synagogue of Satan. Below are her words which we share here with her permission:
After conferring with several people about the analysis of Mrs. Cillis, I have a few thoughts of theirs and mine I'd like to share.
Personally I believe, regarding the mess that Mel Gibson has gotten himself into, she is way off the mark in one major aspect of the report.
I do not believe for a minute that the Russians had anything to do with Mel Gibson's crash-and-burn involvement with the notorious social-climbing gold-digger, Oksana Grigorieva.
It's been made quite clear that the Russian leadership of today has been promoting its ancient Christian origins domestically as the glue to hold the country together in the wake of the vacuum caused by the demise and collapse of the old Soviet system. This is not to say that Putin and Mevedev are altar boys, but that they may simply be doing what good nationalistic leaders do (as opposed to internationalists like our neo-cons and lefties) - namely, looking out for the interests of their own country, whether they be economic, territorial, military or for security reasons.. Do they have an axe to grind with Mel Gibson, and in particular, any reason to be seeking revenge for his film, "The Passion of the Christ"? I don't think so. Do you?
To be sure, Communism is not dead! But let's be honest, it's simply changed the address of its headquarters from Moscow to Washington D.C., now the military epicenter for the drive toward a New World Order, and downtown Manhattan, which has always been the financial capital of Marxism. It must be remembered that from Manhattan, 50 million US dollars were given by the Jewish international banker, Jacob Schiff, to the Jewish Bolsheviks, then training in New York State to overthrow the Russian government in 1917, which resulted in Russia coming under the death grip of Judeo-Freemasonry in November of that year, and remaining under its control for the next eight decades.
Since the emergence of Vladimir Putin, Russia has been trying to pry itself loose from the stranglehold of international Jewry which runs the USA. For this reason alone, it is imperative that Russia be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by a true Pope and true Bishops of the true Church and be re-united with the authentic Catholic Church which Christ founded (once the true Church escapes her hidden imprisonment as well). There were already two occasions in the past when this re-unification might have taken place, once during the time of Czar Paul I, and later, Czar Nicholas I, the latter of whom became a Catholic shortly before his death as predicted by Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. Russia's return to the true Church is crucial for the "period of peace" promised by Our Lady of Fatima because it would then possess the spiritual fuel as well as the military might to face down the New World Order of Judeo-Freemasonry presently being imposed around the world by the USA.
In any event and in my opinion, Anne's essay is completely wrong in suggesting that the Russians had anything to do with "Traditional Catholic" Mel Gibson's illicit liaison with the (I suspect) "Russian seducer," who some including me believe is not Russian at all but a Khazar Jewess sent to entrap Mr. Mel not by the Kremlin, but by Abe Foxman and the ADL not unlike the many sent to seduce as we find in the Old Testament.
And too bad Anne's report ignores the "elephant in the room", namely Gibson's Jewish enemies (like Frank Rich to name but one) who have never forgiven him for his film that accurately portrayed the role they played in the passion and death of the Savior of the world. If they would send Monica Lewinsky to compromise Bill Clinton, when he was holding up billions of dollars in giveaways to Israel and delaying renewed bombing of Baghdad, demanded by Tel Aviv, which were both continued once the Lewinsky scandal achieved "critical mass" and Clinton's removal from office was finally on the table, they would have surely sought to bring down Gibson in some ignominious scandal to discredit him throughout the Christian world for the rest of his life.
And one additional thought that Mrs. Cillis may have suggested: "Traditional Catholic" Mel Gibson owes all traditional Catholics a public apology for the scandal he's brought upon all of us and believe me it's long overdue after a career of making so many other movies offensive to all good Christians.
But should we pray to Our Lady of Good Success for the Gibson family? You bet! My husband and I have been praying for Mel, Robyn and their family since the day Mel shot off his drunken mouth to that Malibu Police Officer. However -- the proverbial "however" -- we made the mistake of not starting our prayers for them the day we found out about his involvement in producing "The Passion…." Better late than never, right? Let's begin now.
Our Lady of Good Success, pray for the Gibson family.
We can't argue with either Anne or Judith. With that, we become an open target for the bigoted Southern Poverty Law Center that drums up hate in order to stay in business. To them we say, bring it on for we have much more on you than you do on us. If you don't believe us, see SPLC - The Real Hate Mongers .
Why, Mel? Why? Is it something about middle age angst? There is still hope, but the longer you wallow in the sewer by openly boasting of your affair with the Oksan mom, you not only hurt your own family more, destroy credibility that you are a sincere Catholic for your actions cry out scandal and hypocrisy, become a lemming of an industry that chews up and spits out its own, but more important than anything you have greatly jeopardized your immortal soul. Your depiction of how Judas was haunted by the demons was brilliant. We have to wonder how close to home that hit. Is that you? If so, please do not follow his path, but do as Peter did, go to the Blessed Mother, beg forgiveness, then go to the true mother of your legitimate children and beg forgiveness. Then make use of the greatest editing room ever created, the confessional where a true confessor can cast onto God's editing floor all of your sins and give you a second chance to redeem yourself with Him and with those who look upon you not as fans but as faithful Catholics who are still waiting for you to be the Lazarus of our day, as well as setting the example, because of your high visibility and name identity, of how Traditional Catholics should be expected to act at all times.
If you fail to heed such Catholic counsel, Mel, know that it is no Conspiracy Theory that a Mad Max Maverick like you cannot have a Braveheart when your soul is as fragile as a Bird on the Wire and the Signs show that Payback will be exacted for you cannot remain Forever Young and a Man without a Face before God. We pray that you will not Ransom your eternal soul for a Tequila Sunrise where the Paparazzi prowl. If you are The Patriot we hope you are, we pray we will not look back and say We Were Soldiers of Christ and we lost one who defected to the Edge of Darkness, whose behavior was both a scandal and a betrayal to God and souls everywhere for what Our Lady revealed to the children at Fatima 91 years ago today was to remind all of the consequences of sin: the Devil's Lethal Weapon.