The movie, “For Greater Glory,” is definitely a film I’d recommend to a mature viewing audience but not really something I’d tell prospective viewers to enjoy. To the contrary, the contents of the film are not in any way enjoyable (unless, of course, you’re only paying attention to costuming and scenery) but is more of a ‘ growing experience’ than a grab-a-bowl-of-popcorn-and-a-soda type of thing.
Based on true events that took place in Mexico in the late 1920s, when loyal countrymen, many of whom also happen to be devout Catholics, witnessed the eruption of a great civil war when their president enacted laws that undermined religious freedom.
As I watched the often-tragic scenes of this re-created story unfold, I couldn’t help but find eerie similarities to recent modern statutes signed into laws right here in the United States that attempt to strip people of their inherent rights to freely practice their faith. Pondering this evoked the following question in my mind: Would I, like the brave martyrs known as Cristeros, stand in the face of persecution (especially when it comes in the form of loaded guns pointed at my head, held by angry soldiers eagerly awaiting the order to fire) willing to lay down my life for Christ?
I was especially moved by one man, who, although he himself began his journey as an atheist was willing to lead the militia troops as a general because he so strongly believed in religious freedom for all. I was glad to watch his conversion take hold, and thankfully, just before he died, he confessed his sins and accepted Christ as his Savior.
One of the most heroic martyrdoms of the Mexican Cristero war was a young boy. Sadly, his own father, who claimed to be Catholic, acted a coward before the Mexican government and begged his son to renounce his faith. The child, who was mercilessly tortured, went to his grave shouting, “Viva Cristo Rey!” which translates, “Long live Christ the King!”
Would I, if threatened with torture and death, joyfully, adamantly and publicly express my belief in Christ or would I, like the boy’s father, cowardly shrink under pressure and shout words of loyalty to the anti-religious freedom regime, convincing myself that they are mere words and it’s more important to save my own life than die for religious freedom?
I’d like to think I’d be able to be counted among the Cristero martyrs.
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.