Good Legends Versus Bad Legends
There is a sweet old Polish legend about Jesus and His Apostles. One day, while walking through the fields and meadows of Poland, St. Peter remarked about the monotony of color. “Everything here is green,” he complained. St. John chimed in and complained that “everything looks the same.” So Jesus called some angels and told them to bring Him a variety of flower seeds. The angels did this immediately, but in their rush they tripped and got all the seeds mixed up. They apologized to Jesus profusely but the damage was done. The red poppy seeds were mixed with blue violets and the purple lupines were mixed with the yellow buttercups and so on. It was hopeless. So Jesus just took the seeds as they were and scattered them across the fields and meadows of Poland. Within minutes the miraculous seeds all grew and blossomed. That’s just fine, said Jesus. St. Peter said it was beautiful, St. John said it was perfect, and all the apostles agreed. So Jesus said, “That’s the way it will always be!” And so it is to this day. The accident of the angels has made the fields and meadows of Poland a variety of color every spring.
Now… that was just a beautiful and pious legend. There are hundreds of such sentimental stories to help us build up our faith and love Jesus. We know that they are just legends and we know that they aren’t quite true. Granted, God created the fields and meadows, and God created all the colorful flowers, and, of course, we know that God loves us…. So putting all that together in a more poetic form, we have a charming Polish legend about Jesus, the Apostles and the Angels.
The idea of creating legends about Jesus is still with us today. However, they are far from sweet or poetic, and they are far from teaching us about a loving God. Today we use TV and Hollywood to create our legends and sometimes we have to put up with an agenda of hate and bigotry. Rather than building up love and faith, the Hollywood legends of today aim at destroying faith and preventing love!
The best example of that today is a book that has been made into a movie which the film’s co-producer, John Calley, has called “anti-Catholic”. The movie, of course, is the “Da Vinci Code”. The author, Dan Brown, has created a hate-filled legend about Jesus and the Catholic Church. But this “legend” teaches only prejudice and fear. It tells us that everything that history and the Bible tells us about Jesus is false. That the Roman Catholic Church is a violent twister of fate and that Western Civilization is all based on a foundation of lies.
The sad thing about this modern day legend is that it is propped up with such a Hollywood smoke screen that many will believe it as fact. Even though the producers of the film said on the “Today” Show that the movie is only fiction and a thriller, and, “not factual or historical”, many will see this legend and have their faith destroyed.
What can we do? Pray and study!!! This is something that we have been encouraging all along. Today with the devil stronger than ever and using every means to attack the Church, it is more important than ever to know our Faith, the real Jesus, and the church He gave us. As He said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”. The bottom line is that because of the efforts of the devil to lead us astray, we have to be ever more strong and knowledgeable in our faith because there is no other way. It is a matter of eternal life or eternal death. Period!
By Rev. Charles Jan DiMascola
Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Turners Falls, MA