Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Fruits of The Passion

My "Must Read of the Day"

Mark Shea has a very encouraging column today in which he shows the positive effects TPOTC has had on Catholics, Protestants, and others who have witnessed the film. He also points out the reality of how some people simply do not get it. "It" being the reasoning behind Christ's suffering the way He did for us unto death.

Things are taking place now which would have been unimaginable a generation ago. So, for instance:

• The head of a prominent Protestant television ministry said to a gathering of more than 500 hundred mostly Evangelical ministers who had just viewed The Passion of the Christ: "This film puts Christ back on our bare crosses."

• Multiplex theatres in some cities in the deeply Protestant Douth debuted the film on up to twenty screens at a time.

• A not-uncommon reaction of Evangelical women to the film is that Catholic reverence for Mary is starting to make sense. As one Evangelical woman summed things up: "I could relate to Mary watching her son die."

• Mel Gibson himself told Christianity Today: "I've been actually amazed at the way I would say the Evangelical audience has — hands down — responded to this film more than any other Christian group."

A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions about The Passion of the Christ, published by Catholic Exchange and Ascension Press, has sold nearly 400,000 copies in the past month, making it the fastest-selling Catholic book in history.

What makes all this so amazing is that The Passion of the Christ is, with a full throat, a profoundly Marian and deeply Eucharistic proclamation of the gospel in a largely Protestant and even post-Protestant culture.


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