I’ve always enjoyed strong female characters in movies (strong female singers as well). I don’t know why. Maybe it reminds me of my own mom who, even to this day, seems capable of making lemonade out of the worst lemon. To put it bluntly, I am not intimidated or threatened by strong women around me.*
So I guess it’s no surprise that I love the latest movie from DC, “Wonder Woman.” I mean, it is a well-made movie no matter your view of women, but the heroine, Diana the Amazon Princess, is bold, independent, and strong, but innocent and strong-principled even in the thick of the fight. She shows virtues I can point out for my own daughter to emulate.
While watching the movie, I found myself getting weepy–like, really sincerely crying through it. Which is…odd, at least–considering this is a comic book film.
But here’s the thing: throughout the movie, our protagonist, Diana, enters the violent fray of World War I. And as she interacts with the soldiers around her, we see mankind at it’s worst through her eyes. She is stunned at how wicked and deceptive people are–how lacking in any kind of moral backbone when they need to stand and fight, and how vicious they can be when they want something. It’s like a nun being brought to the stereotypical bachelor party in Vegas. It’s embarrassing. I found myself embarrassed by how low we, humanity, can sink. Everything that made the plot so heartbreaking was nonfiction. At one point, she asks herself the question, “Is humanity worth saving at all?” Do we deserve to be saved?
Of course, this is a comic book movie, and Diana deciding humanity should go to Hell wouldn’t make for a good plot twist. She decides to go forth and free the world from Ares, the god of war (her enemy in the film) and, in so doing, frees the minds of the many soldiers fighting for the Germans.
I was enjoying the movie up till that point, but then something happened that took things to another level. It’s the scene that comes right after she defeated her foe. The soldiers wake up from their stupor, as though they are drunk on violence, and are hugging and holding one another. Diana has her back to the camera, but then, with the rising sun lit in the background, she turns around looking like all the paintings and pictures I’ve ever seen of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
That’s about when I lost it. For me, the entire movie was an allegory for the Blessed Mother.
Have I lost you? It’s a stretch, right?
But is it? The Bible is full of men and women of God who stood in the breach on behalf of mankind. I think of the Israelites fighting their enemies, with Moses lifting his staff in supplication to God for victory. Every time his arms came down, the Israelites would start losing. And every time he lifted them again, they would begin winning. Think of Elijah commanding the sky, through his intercession, to withhold rain and then through his prayers pull it down again. Paul says, “…our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God… to hold your ground.”** We are all battling the god of war.
In a particular way, the saints spoke of our Mother as a major threat and the Rosary as a vicious weapon against the Evil One. St. Thomas A’Kempis said, “Satan and Hell tremble when I repeat, ‘Hail Mary’.” Blessed Pope Pius IX said, “Give me an army saying the Rosary, and I will conquer the world.” St. Josemaria Escriva called the Rosary a “powerful weapon.” Mary is our Wonder Woman. She has, with God’s grace fully alive in her, crushed Satan’s head and crushes it again, over and over, as we beg her intercession.
The question of whether we deserve to be saved is settled. Of course we don’t. Two world wars and the sin I see in my own heart are enough to prove that to me. But we are loved–loved by God our Father, Christ our brother, and Mary our Mother. Run with them as you run into battle, and make Satan and all of Hell tremble at the sight.
*Honestly, I don’t know any guy who is.
© Jon Holowaty 2017
Picture: Jozef Klopacka/Shutterstock.com