Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My Beef with St. Braveloins

William Wallace. Braveheart. Historically speaking, I'm no expert. However, I have seen the history mutilating movie. For some reason I can't fathom, Catholic men lift this movie up as the "Ultimate Catholic Guy Movie". They speak of all Braveheart's wondrous deeds to defend freedom, to bring Scotland back from the tyranny of the Brits, and to defend what is true, and beautiful.

Bad hair, and bad history aside, this is an OK movie. I find it a chock-full of cliche, but I'll let that slide. As a matter of fact, even though I am an avid amateur film-maker, and I live and breath movies, I'll say despite it's flaws, or simplicities, it's pretty good. Some think it's great buuuttt....

As a Catholic movie? As a Christian Man? HA! I say avast, ye pagans! Braveheart possesses few qualities of a Catholic man. Sure he loves freedom, but hey who doesn't, sure he has courage, but so did Attila the Hun. I find the Wallace of Gibson's "Braveheart" to be immoral, or at least very heathenish.

His drive is motivated by revenge. Revenge is not a Christian trait, it's God's alone, and us wee-mortals jump into very murky waters once we pursue it. Secondly, he's a barbarian. He has no qualms about slaying, or assassinating if you prefer, many men in cold blood. I'm not talking about the Just War he wages, I'm talking about his cold-blooded-murders. Thirdly, despite being so massively in love, and haunted, by his dead spouse, and being the alleged archetype for every young Catholic man, he has no second thoughts about having the occasional adulterous party. Sad part is, Braveheart's romance isn't even romance, it's just a glorified hook-up.

William Wallace: Why do you help me?
Princess Isabelle: Because of the way you are looking at me now

Awww.... The next set of lines should be.

William Wallace: You're hot.
Princess Isabelle: I'm hot, and my husband's gay.
William Wallace: Let's Bang. For freedom.
Princess Isabelle: Sexual freedom, Willy.
William Wallace: FREEDOM!

Wonderful Catholic morals. I digress.

The point of this post is not to bash Braveheart. It wasn't made to be a Christian film, so you can't point fingers at it for that. The point is, it's just stupid to say it's such a Catholic movie. It's not. I've seen it touted on Life on the Rock on EWTN like a million times, I've read the movie's praises in the Christian book "Wild at Heart", and I've heard countless friends of mine ramble on about how they want to be Wallace. Whatever, go read a Butler's Lives of the Saints, or better yet, the Bible.

I think you're much safer with these Pagan Bad-Asses. Heck, they are a lot more Christian then Braveheart is. Maximus of Gladiator is awesome, and heck, even Leonidas of 300 is more Christian then Willy.
See it's funny, Maximus isn't too different from Wallace (Mel Gibson was even offered the role, thank heavens he didn't take it). Both of their wives were killed by "the man", and they both want some retribution. However, in my humble opinion, Max is much more sober with his blood lust. He doesn't just start killing everyone cause he's pissy like Wallace does. As a matter of fact, if I recall, he barely kills anyone in the whole movie. When he finally does face off with his enemy (the emperor) he only kills him to defend himself.

Also Maximus is almost uni-focused on the afterlife, he prays ardently all the time, and longs purely to live in paradise one day with his family. Braveheart on the other hand, even though he's a Catholic, doesn't really care about Heaven, as long as he's got some freedom for Scotland, and some freedom for what's under the kilt. Maximus gets with the ladies too, but never more then a little pre-marital smooch...Awww, way to go you pagan you.

On to Leonidas. Forgiving Leonidas for killing that Persian messenger in the beginning of the film, he is pretty moral - granted Spartan society. In 300 he has only (as I remember) two questionable slayings. One of the messengers, and once trying, but failing, to kill Xerxes. I don't know all the ins and outs of Just War Theory, but since this movie is prior to Christ, I'd say those two attempts weren't even sinful for Leo. Unlike Willy, who kills all the Brits, and some Scots, even though he is the archetype of a Catholic man. Leo is all about honor, justice, and defending his country, not unlike Braveheart, but he does it with much less questionable actions.

Even Leonidas' love for Gorgo is better. They are married, and he actually does love her, unlike Wallace, who basically just uses Isabelle for meaningless sex, and power, and all those Christian things like that. I did skip the sex scene in 300 though, to protect my little Catholic mind.

But wait! I did that for that Catholic movie toooo...What was it called? Oh yeah, Braveheart. Yay for nude boobs in the very archetype of the "Christian Film"! Modesty? Naww...Not in this "Catholic" Flick.

I digress again....Though this little rant was dumb, I hope it was worth someone's while. My point is this: Be careful with what movies you promote as wonderfully Catholic. Braveheart is a good film, but not a Catholic one. Even as a good, moral movie to watch and enjoy, OK fine. But the Wallace in Bravheart is not a Saint, so stop making him one pleaseeee!

I say we should all just watch A Man for All Seasons, Thomas More was a Saint and a Bad Ass.


Monday, March 31, 2008


Wayfarer! Wayfarer!

Can you hear me now?

My soul is so wounded,

Can you save me now?

You walk by the seashore, With palms turned on down.

The seagulls are singing, But you can't hear the sound.

The Wayfarer's steps shine a light through the grey,

You look at Him now and your heart longs to say...

Wayfarer! Wayfarer!
Can you hear me now?
My soul is so wounded,
Can you save me now?

You cast your nets over, The rippling waves.

The moonlight is shining, But you're blind in a haze.

The Wayfarer's smile is all you can see,

You know what He'll make you is what you should be...

Wayfarer! Wayfarer!
Can you hear me now?
My soul is so wounded,
Can you save me now?

You cast your heart into, The blistering Sun.

You're only fourteen, But the mission's begun.

All you can see now, is the enemy's gun.

The Wayfarer points and you begin to run.

You cast your hands over, a child's curly hair.

The Wayfarer's Spirit's Alive in the air,

His hands the dead from their darkest despair,

His voice drags the sinner from Lucifer's lair!

Wayfarer! Wayfarer!
Can you hear me now?
My soul is so wounded,
Can you save me now?

The Wayfarer's hands are pierced through with nails.

His followers left, but you chose not to fail.

He smiles and He whispers His final details.

He gives you his Mother, and Sings as He Sails!

Beloved! Beloved!

I have heard you now!

I give you,


I have saved you now!

Wayfarer! My Jesus!

I'll be always Yours!

Your Blood is my Blood now!

I'm completely Yours!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Antithesis: A Short Story based on the Martyrdom of Blessed Miguel Pro

"Does our life become from day to day more painful, more oppressive, more replete with afflictions? Blessed be He a thousand times who desires it so. If life be harder, love makes it also stronger, and only this love, grounded on suffering, can carry the Cross of my Lord Jesus Christ. Love without egotism, without relying on self, but enkindling in the depth of the heart an ardent thirst to love and suffer for all those around us: a thirst that neither misfortune nor contempt can extinguish... I believe, O Lord; but strengthen my faith... Heart of Jesus, I love Thee; but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee; but give greater vigor to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee; but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine; but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it in practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life." - A Prayer of Fr. Miguel Pro

Miguel pressed his hands together. His heart emptied as he quietly prayed for the last time. He had prayed and longed for this. It was now the time for his prayer to be consummated. His life’s culmination, his swan song, and he would make the most of it. He finished his prayers, kissed his crucifix and rose to his feet. His eyes were bold and strong. He raised his arms high to his sides in the form of the cross, and looked at the firing squad. It was time. His heart raced. His time had come. He was being called home. He opened his lips. He had known for a long time what his last words would be.

Juan looked from behind the cold barrel of his gun. This man is courageous in spite of death. He is not arrogant like a rebel. He is not frightened however. Who is he? How? Then grace hit him like lightning. He remembered his grandmother talking to him about Jesus - His courage in spite of death, His humility, His lack of fear. Here He was, living in Padre Miguel. Juan’s faith had been a causality of the persecution, he had forgotten Christ.

He remembered walking to Sunday Mass with his family. He remembered kneeling in the clay building and hearing the joyful songs of the people. He remembered staring at the crucifix above the altar, minutes would pass just looking at Jesus’ sorrowful face. How could anyone do that to Him? Jesus was perfect! He never did anything wrong! How could those evil soldiers do that to Him?

Juan knew the answer to that now. They were weak. They were afraid. Juan was one of those soldiers now, as he stood behind the barrel of that rifle. He was going to kill Jesus again. He was going to kill Jesus in Miguel.
Padre Miguel had rejected the blindfold, he wasn’t frightened. How could he be? He was dying as Jesus had… He was dying for love. He breathed deeply. Thousands of thoughts raced through his head. He had been a silly youth. He remembered stealing his papa’s cigarettes, and how his papa found out after they fell out of his pocket. He remembered his little sweetheart. He remembered playing music with his siblings. He remembered how he had grown, and been ordained a Priest. He remembered the pain of his people in Mexico. Their suffering was his as well. He dearly loved his country, and prayed for the day when she would accept Christ as King again. Miguel closed his eyes and prayed fervently.

Time was quickening. Juan shuddered as each second passed. He couldn’t bear it. He held the gun tightly, and his teeth ground together. Already, swelling waves of guilt burned into his chest. He knew he was weak. He knew Miguel was strong. Murderers were weak and these Martyrs were strong. What had they done? Prayed? Worshipped God? Death for praying? The government feared God, because He held the people’s hearts. Juan feared Miguel, because he was about to die but was strong in the face of it.

Miguel opened his eyes, and they connected with Juan’s. The killer’s eyes with that of the prey. Only the killer was shaking with fear, and the prey stood strong with faith. Miguel looked with forgiveness at Juan. Suddenly, his lips burst open and he shouted his last words, "Viva Cristo Rey!" - Long live Christ the King!

Juan pulled the trigger with his eyes shut tight. He knew he was sinning. He knew. But he was too weak not to pull that trigger. He knew there was strength in the blood of those killed for Christ. He knew that Christ would return to blood-drenched Mexico. The blood of the martyrs would buy Mexico back for Jesus.

Bullets slammed into Miguel. He crumbled under the force of the darts. His body fell from how he had been standing - mimicking Christ on the cross. He fell to the ground, his rosary clenched in his hands. He looked up at the sky. A soldier came to his side and pointed the muzzle of a weapon at his head. The bullet entered his skull and he died.

Juan crumbled inside, and struggled to stand tall. He was so sorry. Dead inside, his eyes were blank. He felt he would never be whole again. However, Padre Miguel’s forgiving eyes lingered on his heart. Perhaps, someday he would be forgiven, and could stand tall in life as Miguel had stood in death.

Now Miguel was warm. He felt comforted. He watched his life, every day of it. His sins, his failings, his imperfections, his joys, his love…Everything. He knew where He was. He prayed for his killers with a loving heart. A warm, deep, strong, courageous voice spoke to him, “Miguel…My, Miguel… Well done, My good and faithful servant! Enter the Kingdom of My Father.” A pierced hand clasped Miguel’s and led him into Paradise.

Note – Though Juan is a fictitious character, and obviously the Heavenly account of Miguel stems from my imagination, I attempted to make Fr. Miguel’s death, as well as the accounts of his life accurate to the truth.Fr. Pro was one of the thousands of Catholics attacked during the Mexican persecution of Catholics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. "Viva Cristo Rey!" was the battle cry of the brave Christians. Torture, murder, exile, and harassment were inflicted on the Bride of Christ, the Church, in Mexico with vehemence and hate. Fr. Miguel was a lively man, who loved Jesus with a vibrant heart. He is commonly known for his humorous disguises and tactics of evading the persecution so he could secretly minister to God’s children. He is held as Blessed in the Catholic faith, and is on the road to Canonization. He was shot on Nov. 23 1927. His brother Humberto was executed the same day. Thousands flocked to see the martyr’s body, and the funeral procession had more than five-hundred cars even though President Calles had forbidden any public demonstration.To learn more about Fr. Miguel’s roots, his undercover evangelism, and courageous Martyrdom, I highly recommend Ann Ball’s book “Blessed Miguel Pro: 20th-Century Mexican Martyr” from TAN. http://www.annball.com/books/miguel.shtml

The Incredible Disappearing Man

The Incredible Disappearing Man

(I wrote this way back in '06 at the tender age of Fifteen and Eleven Months, however many men, woman, and youth alike found it appealing....God rest your soul! PAX - FMC)

There is a scene in the quite hilarious movie “Secondhand Lions” that, I think, speaks volumes. The coming of age film about a fatherless boy living with his eccentric uncles has many zany situations (fishing with shotguns, ninety-year-old men flying an airplane under a highway overpass etc.). However, it also contains some scenes that have a lot of meat. One scene that pertains directly to the subject goes like this…About five boisterous young men enter a bar where a tough-as-nails war vet is having a drink. One of the extravagant teenagers, preoccupied with his “coolness”, starts annoying the old man. Soon a fight breaks out. The immature teens get thrashed by the old fellow. Then the substance starts appearing. The old man complains about the youths’ upbringing, takes them to his house, helps them with their injuries, feeds them, and then gives them his “what every boy needs to know about being a man” speech. Basically, he spanks the disrespectful kids, shows them manly compassion, then tells them how to be the men they were trying to be, but didn’t know how to.

This is one of the problems plaguing America…young men don’t know what men are… they don’t have any clue! The icons presented to us as manhood are so very often askew. There are the rappers and singers who talk about women like dogs, movie characters that are selfish, lustful, and prideful, and athletes who put their jobs in front of everything, including the law. That’s why I love “Secondhand Lions” so much. It gives one a brief glimpse of a more virtuous manhood. It’s also extremely hilarious (another good thing about it).

A boy isn’t suddenly transformed into a man when he gets his license or graduates high school. The sad truth is that real manhood never spontaneously happens to anyone. Virtuous masculinity has to be achieved. Many adult males have never achieved it. Even some eighty-year-olds have never reached its’ fullness… So what is the it? What is true manhood?
We are offered many examples, but most don’t suffice. Is it the rough hero who blasts through countless adversaries, and who forgets about sanctity, even life’s own? Is it the coward who shies away from war and lets the unrighteous take control? Is it the man who allows his passions to control him? Or is it the man who, though composed, lacks the courage to sacrifice? No, no, no and no! A true man is virtuous, strong, disciplined, selfless, courageous and most of all loving.
That’s what we have lost. Men of this generation tend to take it to extremes. People need to understand that manhood is not barbaric, but it’s not cowardly. That it is not a bully but it’s not a wimp. Manhood isn’t brute strength, neither is it frail. It is strong enough to make itself weak, and humble enough to acknowledge authority.

One way to look at manhood is through womanhood. Man and woman are intrinsically different, and thus the relationship between them can offer some profound insights into our souls. The book “Wild at Heart” talks about this ingrained knowledge young boys and girls have - this essential understanding of a story that is somehow infused in their beings. It is the story of the princess kept high in a tower unable to escape, and lo’ and behold the prince comes. He fights the evil dragon, rescues her, and they find true love! Pure little kids understand and know this story…especially little girls. It speaks to their little hearts, hearts that will someday take part in that same story. The prince in the story knows the danger; he knows he could die for his princess. However, he loves her more than himself and is willing to sacrifice. Hmm...There’s the key to manhood! Selflessness. Selflessness and sacrificial love.

I was at a sweet sixteen party, and I saw a beautiful girl sitting down with her hands on her lap. She looked so upset. I barely knew her, but I knew she was sad. I don’t think she had danced with anyone all night…There it was, the little princess and prince story…I downed my fruit punch like a shot of whiskey (subconsciously copying those “masculine” movie icons), and strutted over to my princess. Though, I personally don’t look very princely, she took the invitation. I had never felt so manly in my whole life. She was absolutely beaming with happiness as we sailed (bumping into other dancers) across the floor. Then, of course, a wise cracker came along and ruined the “moment”. Argh.

Why is this story so natural to us? Is it so important? Many in our culture, which is so dehydrated of morals, hate and reject it as a stereotype of sexism…but it’s not! It’s just something that we know is good! I’m not saying that women always need to be saved. You need to look deeper.

People in our culture tend to think that for something to be equal it must be the same. So many people think that for equality between men and women to be full the two have to be the same. What a lie! Our equality is in our difference, and that’s the beauty of it. Through masculinity we know femininity, and through the feminine we know the masculine. The pure relationship between man and woman is one of the greatest treasures of humanity, and it like so many other treasures has almost disappeared. Very often one’s manhood can be measured by his love and respect for women. Likewise, one of the determining factors that separate men from boys is their relationship with women. There is this core longing for a man to help a woman achieve happiness selflessly, and I think women probably have a similar longing. Yet, our culture has perverted that basic longing.

Here we find one of the biggest problems in our culture. It is impurity… Impurity is lack of respect for the other sex, our own sex, and we ourselves. It stems from not being able to control our passions. The scary thing is that it not only harms other people, but us, at our very core. We suddenly become incapable of true love, and become saturated with lust. Our relationships with others are corrupted. Young men, by not practicing chastity, not being pure, and not avoiding bad media, can become emasculated. The ability to become true men is torn from them. The wounds can be healed, but they are hard to overcome. The clincher is that the media tells us to be impure. They tell us how not to be men, and how not to be women.

Often the only glimpses of authentic manhood we get are those that come from extreme circumstances…war, persecution, and pain…On September 11th real men took a stand, firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers, sacrificing themselves for the love of their fellow humans. At war time the same love tends to appear, that profound sacrificial love that defines us. The sad part is that it takes those extreme circumstances for us to act in such ways. That same sacrificial nature should pervade our thinking constantly.

Here comes one of the biggest wounds manhood has taken. It is wounded by selfishness. It is so deprived of that essential selflessness, but not completely - thank God. Men often are selfish in every aspect of their lives, even marriage. The communal love between man and woman is supposed to be a constant giving one. A man at the time of his marriage is so supposed to be offering his life sacrificially for his bride. However, so many of us tend to turn love inwardly…making it a selfish distortion of what love truly is. If love is not understood, manhood cannot be…it’s impossible.

The Bible says that husbands are to love their wives as Christ so loved the church. What did Jesus do for the church? Laid down His life willingly for her…He sweat blood, was beaten, whipped, scourged, nailed to a cross, and hung from that cross for three hours until He died. Now, even if you’re not a Christian, how awesome would it be if every man loved his wife enough to die for her! Not to mention all the other tortures Jesus endured. Marriage would be saved from so much pain. It’s so sad to think that in most marriages torn by divorce men are to blame, when they should be willing to die for their wives! What a meditation on manhood! If only we loved enough.

I have been blessed enough to have a father in my life, and many other great father figures. However I have found one truly perfect example. He upholds sanctity and virtue, is courageous and self sacrificing, has complete control over His every thought, is composed, and strong. For me, and many others, I find true manhood in the person of Jesus Christ. Whether or not you believe in Him religiously, His actions, especially those at the time of His death, truly exemplify manhood. Manhood’s real nature is one of love, a love willing to sacrifice anything and everything. He loved outwardly, offering Himself constantly to those He loved. He was completely humble, untainted by pride and arrogance. A selfless, loving, sacrificial man is a real man. Jesus Christ was a true man…and was also God, but that’s another topic.

How did you know!?

Well, hello there! I extend to you jovial salutations! My name is Gary (but that will be greatly unimportant), and I am the "FMC", or the "Fat Male Catholic" for those who are prone to AIDs (acronym ignorance disease).


I am a strange boy. I am avid in the field of Catholic stuff. I know about the Lord. I even go to His house on Sundays. Not much about me is appealing.....BUT....MUCH about the Lord, His Church, His Plan for Salvation, Righteousness, Community, Charisms, Traditions, Tradition, Apostolic Tradition, Oral Tradition, Written Tradition, The Bible, Sanctity, and well, Holy things with big names, like the Hypostatic Union are verrry interesting...and well. Revolutionary!

All silliness aside... I present to you my Blog. Mostly about Jesus, because He is my Best Friend, and Messiah, and God, and a load of other things.