So this post, which is the first post in many, many months, attempts at returning to blogging, and long, fruitless writing sessions which were later scrapped. This post also has … Continue reading A Waterbottle Full of Stickers/A Life Lived, Met, and Ready to be Revealed/The Slow Process of God/The Hero Returns
So, here’s a movie trailer, for a movie called Desierto.
It’s being directed by Alfonso Cuarón, and stars Gael García Bernal as “a father crossing into the United States to reunite with his son.”
Now, I don’t yet know how to feel about it. Cuarón has previously directed Gravity, Y Tu Mamá También, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and though I wasn’t fully thrilled with Gravity (I believe when I watched it, and it probably exists in text messages between Brielle and me, I called it “the greatest, most expensive deodorant commercial ever made”), it was still visually striking and very well directed. The other two movies are also both amazing, for very different reasons, though the directing has been consistently top notch.
I’m also a big fan of García Bernal, and all of the awesome work he’s been a part of, including Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle, which got it’s second season released about a week ago. It’s wonderful to see people that looks like me, in a lot of ways, finding great success in the entertainment industry. But the concept of the movie is what I find a big unnerving?
So many people have opinions on the subject of immigration, and I don’t want a movie to be but a simple response to the opinions that differ from our own. I also feel that, though I personally don’t like the idea of minute men, this movie might seem to demonize them. It also seems like it’s taking a topic that’s very real, and very personal, and attempting to make a sort of horror/thriller out of it.
Of course, we’re talking about just a trailer, and this trailer is about as much as I actually know about the movie, but I guess I just don’t want this movie to get too caught up in the story telling, to the point that it doesn’t reflect a reality that many people experience, without at least giving us a sense that these are real issues. It’s very easy in comedy to push things to extremes, which is why satire can be a very useful tool to open up opportunities for dialogue. But horror/thrillers can be a trickier route to navigate.
I hope that Cuarón and García Bernal do a fantastic job, because I look up to both of them, and I especially appreciate them creating a story that speaks more so to my own experience than necessarily a Gravity, a Harry Potter, or even a Mozart in the Jungle. I hope that this movie opens up great opportunities for dialogue and social action, and also a route to more Latino Filmmakers and Actors and such making more films and television shows and such that speak to the experiences of Latinos in this country, more so than just a story about the border, though the Latino side of this story is definitely one that needs to be told.
As much as the Jesuits have educated me, and have influenced my way of thinking, and interacting with the world as a whole, it really wasn’t until last year that I found a model within the Jesuits that I could really relate to.
I mean, yes, St. Ignatius’ story of redemption, and then spiritual contemplativeness in action is a great “comeback story” of sorts, but I never trained as a soldier. I’m a farm boy. I also don’t know much about mischief and women and being a gallant and courtier. The closest I come to that is a one off romance that hardly survived into college.
St. Francis Xavier was too bent on missionary work, and inculturation, which I can respect, I feel doesn’t really fit my own missions and apostolates. No, I don’t see myself traveling to India, then Japan, and then (trying to enter) China, all under different guises to relate to people, and then to begin preaching the Gospel. I do respect his attempt at preaching the Gospel in these ways, and I do see myself as a missionary in a strange culture more often than most would think, but something about his story still seems above me.
No, the great historic Jesuit I find my own story most related to isn’t all that Historic. 100 years ago, he was still hardly a Novice, and his death was only 88 years ago today. The Jesuit I speak of is Blessed Fr. Miguel Agustín Pro, SJ.
His full name is José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez. He was born in the state of Zacatecas, and he died in Mexico City. His story is beautiful, and I wish I could recount it all right now. But, it’s not really my place to do what others have already done so well. So, here’s one link to his Wikipedia article, here’s another link, this time to his story (in short form), another short form, and a very, very long form, detailed version of his story.
Suffice to say, the Wikipedia article might be enough, but the second and third links are also good for just an overview, while you might want to check out the last one if you want what equates to a half hour read on the story of the priest.
I was drawn to Bl. Fr. Pro (or, as I’ll refer to him in the rest of this blog, Fr. Pro) for a few reasons. Of course, he was a Jesuit, and my appreciation for the Jesuits is rather great. But he was Mexican Jesuit, sharing the same homeland as me, speaking a common tongue, joined together in very similar cultures, and both understanding the beauty and importance of the Most Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe.
But the more I looked at his story, the more I could relate to. Like my own father, he suffered stomach problems, his being ulcers, and my father’s being a hernia. He also was referred to as Miguel, the same name as his father, just as me with mine. I also carry with me a childhood nickname, Chochi, and he carried his, Cocol.
He was an actor, a singer, a prankster, and a man of great humor and very personable soul. I… have acted, play many instruments and sing, enjoy life with plenty of humor, and I enjoy being able to relate to people.
But there was also another Pro, very serious, studious, and prayerful. People often get surprised at how well I jump between entertaining and being humorous, and being a serious, passionate, and prayerful person. I always praise myself for carrying both the light and the heavy in my arms.
I think that Fr. Pro found me, sometimes. And he found me through humor, and love of Mexico and my people, and my love of art and of serving, as he spent his last 15 months of life in Mexico as a priest, serving in anyway he could to his Mexican people, living now in a land where Catholicism was basically outlawed. He would pay the price of his life for caring so deeply.
In this compassionate person, I found myself drawn further and further into the person of Christ the King, whom Fr. Pro proclaimed with his final breath.
I guess Fr. Pro, through his intercession, and my asking him to pray for me, brought me closer to my faith, and continuously brings me closer to the person of Jesus.
But also, in a non-religious (but, in a very “AMDG” way, still very religious) way, he brought me closer to my fellow brothers and sisters, even those who don’t share my faith. Fr. Pro forgave his executioners, and his enemies, and prayed for them before being murdered for an attempted assassination attempt on the former President of Mexico (at that point) of which he was innocent. He worked tirelessly to minister to his deprived Catholic brothers and sisters, the poor, and those in jail. He also prayed a lot, and worked to always do God’s will. But he was still so humble!
I wish often to be like him, to work tirelessly for the greater good of all, and to remain humble in it.
I pray for his intercession, because I see him as an older brother.
Oh, and his name is Miguel. Miguel is also my brother’s name.
I love my brother.
Thank you, older brother. And thank you, spiritual older brother.
Hey, so, it’s 2015. It’s been more than a week since my last post, but I’ve had serious complications with getting back from places I was visiting, and then getting to other places, and then getting back from those Other places. Suffice to say, internet was a bit nonexistent these last two weeks or so. But, I’m finally back, after a hectic (but also wonderful) Christmas and New Years, as well as a very much needed retreat in Louisiana before all of that.
I won’t go into much detail about where I’ve been, or how long I’ve been there, but I will say there’s been a lot of driving. I’m honestly just glad to be back… even though “back” is technically still my parents’ home. I won’t be back at school for another week or so, but that’s alright, too.
Anyways, I’ve currently been listening to Kanye West and Paul McCartney’s new collaboration, which is the song “Only One.” Stereogum and Rollingstone have both done fantastic jobs of explaining the song, and what this collaboration might mean. I think my place is just to share the song, which is currently streaming at Kanye West’s website. It’s really beautiful. I wanted to cry listening to it, even though…. okay, it has Kanye with autotune, which, I know, not the greatest thing in the world. But this might be a fun song to cover. It’s really just beautiful.
Today’s Daily Gratitude is for the fact that we are in a new year, and have so many new opportunities ahead of us. This blog will more than likely grow this year, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. But I’m also in college, and alive, and even still have this next week to finally take it easy. I’m very grateful for all of these things.
Today, although being the first official day of Winter Break for me, didn’t much feel like a break. There was much driving, a little getting lost while driving, some getting irritated by people, some present wrapping, some missing parents who turned up after not too long and absolutely no worry, and even some familial righting. Suffice to say, I am drained.
It also doesn’t help that I woke up kind of early, after going to sleep pretty late. Either way, now I think I shall sleep.
Today’s Daily Gratitude is for all of the people who were there today to wrap presents for the Fr. Woody Christmas party tomorrow. Y’all are wonderful.
Here’s a thing:
Also, another thing:
Oh, yes, this other thing:
Today’s Daily Gratitude is for my not dying on the first day of finals.
Here’s Taylor Swift covering Vance Joy’s “Riptide.” Thank you, Rebecca for sending me this! ALSO… OUR NEW SHIRTS!!!! Check them out! YOU CAN CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO RESERVE … Continue reading Taylor Swift also Likes Our Shirts