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For Greater Glory

The Must-see Film in America, 2012

Father Celatus POSTED: 6/28/12

The Church recently celebrated the great Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ. The focus of this Feast is appropriately the Holy Eucharist, which is carried in Corpus Christi processions in churches and through communities worldwide. At the same time, there is another manner in which the Body of Christ exists here on Earth, namely, as the Catholic Church. This ecclesiastical reality is readily confirmed in New Testament texts. For instance, when Saul was knocked to the ground en route to arrest Christians, the Lord Jesus asked, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Clearly, the persecution of the Church is equivalent to the persecution of Christ. Even more explicit biblical support for this is what the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians: “If one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glories, all the members rejoice. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members.”

Speaking of suffering members of the Body of Christ, a recently released movie vividly portrays the terrible persecution inflicted upon the Catholic Church by the Mexican government in the 1920’s. You will not hear much about this movie, For Greater Glory, in the secular press. According to one movie critic, this movie is “too Catholic” and he calls into question whether there is an historical basis for what it depicts. Do you think he denies the Nazi Holocaust? I doubt it, as that would be politically incorrect.

Another reason the secularists largely ignore this otherwise blockbuster movie may be based on what it suggests by association: what happened in the twentieth century can happen in the twenty-first century; what occurred south of the border can occur north of that same border; if one democratic country can change its constitution, so can another; if a Mexican president can act as a dictator, so can an American president; if the Mexican government can wage war upon the Church, so can the American government.

It sure seems that there are parallels between the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico and what appears to be on the horizon for the Body of Christ in America. For the first time in American history, more than forty dioceses and major Catholic institutions have brought a class action collection of lawsuits against the federal government, specifically over the Obama Health Care Plan that would force the Church to act against her religious principles and fundamental morality. The so-called compromise is a ruse and the exception clause is a fraud by which the government itself determines what constitutes a Catholic institution. Under the parameters of the current exclusion clause, not even the work of Mother Theresa would qualify as an exception from the mandate to provide contraceptives and abortifacients.

I do not claim to be a movie critic and I rarely go to the theaters but I will offer this: For Greater Glory is the most intense and inspiring Catholic film that I have seen since The Passion of the Christ. This is no coincidence, as the passion of the Mexican Catholics was a share in the Passion of the Christ. As with The Passion of the Christ, parents need to determine whether the violence and cruelty depicted in For Greater Glory is suitable for their children. Of course, even young children who lived and died under the Mexican persecution were not spared from its terrible reality, nor will our own children if we endure the same here. The violence is not gratuitous but it is very graphic; there is nothing morally objectionable in this film.

Three main characters who are particularly interesting and interwoven in this story are the general who led the revolution, who started as an atheistic mercenary and ended his life as an ardent believer; a fourteen year old boy who started as a little hooligan and ended his life a courageous martyr; and a zealous priest who alternated between offering the sacraments and leading soldiers into bloody battle.

I urge faithful Catholics—and unfaithful ones—to see this incredible movie and to see it soon. If enough Americans view it prior to the November elections, perhaps we can change the current course of our Country. Be sure to watch the movie through the lengthy credits at the end, as they constitute part of the story, showing photos and film footage of the original martyrs and heroes that are depicted in the movie. The battle cry of the brave Cristeros Catholics who stood up against the Mexican government oppressors was Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! Should a similar government persecution arise in our own Country, let us pray that we will proclaim, Long Live Christ! Long Live the Virgin of the Americas!

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