In April 2011, the doctor I completed therapy with, recommended I see the movie There be Dragons. Set during the Spanish Civil War, it tells the story of St. Josemaria Escriva and his childhood friend, Manolo Torres. As the two lads mature, Josemaria answers God’s call and becomes a Catholic priest and founds the movement, Opus Dei (work of God). After leaving the seminary himself, Manolo becomes a spy for the fascists.
As hatred, betrayal and jealousy escalate throughout the movie for Manolo, he becomes a slave to his anger. As a Catholic priest fighting for his life, Josemaria chooses to spread seeds of hope and forgiveness. On one particular occasion while Josemaria and his priests were hiding for their lives in a psychiatric hospital, a beautiful red-headed woman approaches him and shows Josemaria the scars on her wrists, where she had cut herself. Petrified with fear, she says, I was raped and still sleep with the lights on. I lock my door at night and put a chair under the door handle. Gentle tears rolled down my face as she continued to say, I have accepted that God can be terrible. And now my prayers are deeper. I fight Him with love.
My heart almost pounded out of my chest. Her courage was inspiring, and her innocence radiated true beauty, as she said gently, yet firmly, I fight Him with love. This woman had suffered immensely, but her response to suffering was saintly. She was one of the most minor characters in the movie, yet her reply, I fight Him with love, made her one of the most compelling.
After the movie, I did what any entrepreneur would do, I created a blog and planned for Made in His Image’s launch. The tagline for MIHI’s blog was taken from There be Dragons. What does I fight Him with love really mean you may ask? Great question! This woman knew that God allowed evil to happen because of man’s fallen nature. Therefore, the tagline means that instead of turning inward and focusing on her own resentment, anger and hate, she was going to focus outward and make the choice to love. She was going to fight her anger with love, mercy and forgiveness. When faced with suffering you have two choices: you can love or hate. You can combat the person or situation with the love and mercy of the Father, or you can hold a grudge and let anger deteriorate you. The choice is yours.
Today, June 26th, is the feast of Saint Josemaria, who is one of Made in His Image’s patron saints, a very beautiful day for MIHI. So now I’m going to go for a run and then do what any ex-professional baker would do: drink a beer, make some pasta and bake some key lime tarts and chocolate tort.
Happy feast day dear readers and always Fight Him with Love.