I regularly rewatch the 1953 film “The Robe” at least twice a year. Seeing the movie as a kid, it was one of the first VHS tapes my dad bought, is a happy memory from childhood. Then, I was awed by the bravery and selflessness of the heroic centurion played by Richard Burton. Over the years, the movie has meant different things to me at different times. When I was in the gay lifestyle, proudly above it all, and pretending to be a film aficionado, I thought “The Robe” and all 1950s Biblical Epics of its ilk were stupendously stupid, simple minded, and overly sentimental. When I got unceremoniously belched out from the homosexual world, the same 20 year old copy of the film was still at my parent’s house. I wanted to see it again; for, it was like a gentle memory from the past. At that viewing, it was all about the conversion story: how the alcoholic sex addicted man who crucified Christ got a second chance. I was left with such a feeling of hope. Now, I particularly notice the speed at which the conversion takes place: one moment the man is a lustful hater, the next he is a peaceful child of God. It’s truly miraculous; mirroring the lighting strike of St. Paul. For, this also fills me with optimism for my gay brothers and sisters; who are so enamored with the modern gay lifestyle and truly blinded to the Truth as revealed by Our Lord Jesus Christ. At times, it looks truly hopeless. But, then, I must remember that today they maybe a completely lost soul, but tomorrow they could be a Saint. Anything is possible with God. We should never count anyone out.
Author’s note to picture above: This is one of the most incredible scenes in all of screen history – the moment when the centurion touches the Robe and is instantly cured of his sinful demonically induced maladies. I had a similar experience, when I laid dying in a hospital bed, it was as if the Lord Jesus threw His cloak over me and a wave of calm enveloped me; a few seconds before I was cursing anything to do with Him. For there are many souls and many sinners; and many types of conversions: some ease into it after years of study, others think and argue and ponder and must be convinced, others just get forgiven and instantaneously give their lives over to God – such as my early patron St. Mary Magdalene. I was one of the latter examples: as time was short for me and God took pity on this helpless fool.
Lord thank you for preparing our hearts and minds so that we receive you. Amen.