“For Greater Glory” # 2 of 2
By Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, Tues. May 29/12 - cinops be gone - Tues. June 12, 2012
Ref. http://carmelitesisteersocd.com/forgreaterglory.asp - cont’d
“As it always has been, today our Catholic religion is under attack in places over the whole world. In Mexico and America, we don’t face suffering and death for practicing our faith. But we do confront “softer” forms of secularist bullying. And our societies are growing more aggressively secularized.
“Already sadly, we’ve accepted the “rules” and restrictions of our secular society. We keep our faith to ourselves . We’re cautious about “imposing” our beliefs on others - especially when it comes to politics. In recent months, our government has started demanding even more - trying to coerce our consciences, so that we deny our religious identity and values.
“We need to ask for the strength of the Cristeros. By their dying they show us what we should be living for. So let’s make that our prayer this week. That like the Cristeros, we might be always ready to love and sacrifice to stand up for Jesus and his Church. And may our Lady of Guadalupe -- Mother of Mexico and the Americas, and the bright star of the New Evangelization, pray for us. ”
Reflections of A Carmelite Sister after seeing “For Greater Glory” June 1, 2012
“We rarely go to a movie theatre. Yet, a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity was offered my community the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, to be part of a premier showing of “For Greater Glory” on May 31st in Beverly Hills. 75 of our sisters immediately said “yes” to the gracious invitation of Archbishop Jose Gomez. Why? Because it was during those days, the days of the horrendous religious persecution in Mexico in the 1920s that our community began. Mother Mary Louisa Josefa of the Blessed Sacrament, affectionately known as Mother Luisita, had already accepted 55 sisters into the new community.
“It was on July 31, 1926, that President Plutarco Elias Calles enforced the anti-clerical law throughout Mexico. The following day, August l, 1926, all religious services were stopped throughout Mexico. No more Masses. No more Marriages. No more first Communions. No more religious practices of any kind. This is where the movie begins. And that is why we are so interested. Our community was just beginning at that time also.
“Regular folk, people like you and me, felt the lose of religious freedom all the way to their deepest soul. In the region of Los Altos, where my community and the cristeros originated, a new group formed made up of these Cristeros who protested the law. There was a boycott. There was a petition. When all these failed, there rose up a group known as “cristeros” who fought for three years to reclaim their churches and their religious freedom… I had read about how some of our first sisters had been put in jail… about sleeping on mats… having to get up at moments notice and take all their belongings and escape over roof tops to safety. I had read coded letters to which our holy foundress, Venerable Mother Luisita wrote in detail about current fashions… “Well after the seeing the movie, I understood. It was for the sisters to wear a better disguise so they would not be discovered and arrested. After I saw the movie, “For Greater Glory”, it all became real to me. The blood. The torture. The injustice of it all. Above all, the faith of the people. What faith!
“Some of you reading this column might know us, because you child is in one of our schools, or a family member is in one of our health centers. Or perhaps you participated in one of our retreats we offer. But, today in this column you will learn more. Our community was born in religious persecution. Our first sisters and the people who stood by them were courageous, strong Catholics.
“When Mother Luisita arrived by train into the United States in June 1927, she stepped from the train and kissed the ground of a free country with religious freedom. She could wear the Carmelite habit.” Groups of sisters remained in Mexico, hidden by families who knew they would be killed if the Sisters were found in their homes…
“I urge you to see the movie “For Greater Glory” and when it is over, like me, you will probably see some parallels. Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!)” George H. Kubeck