It is an ironic contrast: The gentle breeze flowing through the pines at Garabandal. The simple, subtle solitude of The Pines rising above a town that has seen its share of ironies. The quiet of that place speaks volumes to those willing to yet again be reminded that God does not follow our prescriptions, recipes, or scripts of how things should go. Try as we might, we cannot completely escape the delusion of a world that still pretends that power, wealth, popularity, and a host of superficialities make any difference to eternity. Try as we might, we will always fall into the trap of believing that truth is what we want it to be and not the unquestioned province of God. Try as we might, we cannot escape the absolute love of a Heavenly Mother always reaching out to us in a mother’s touch. Garabandal, Only God Knows is yet another touch from that Mother who desperately wants our salvation, try as we might to give it away.
The movie itself is a miracle. Three hundred volunteers with no filmmaking experience and 27 days from start to finish. Countless accounts of conversions and powerful experiences among participants and viewers. Simple in its genuine purpose and focus. Naïve in its childlike, innocent audacity to believe that love creates possibility and possibility ends up in reality.
You are not supposed to be able to make a film in such short time with such inexperience. Add a shoestring budget to the equation and you have an amusing disaster in the making. However, there is nothing amusing nor disastrous about heaven’s plans for each one of us. God put each one of us here for a reason, and that reason is to bring love and change lives in His Name. We have each been given talents, and those talents are to be used as the fuel and tools to bring God to everyone we meet. We are to lead good and constructive lives whose primary objective is to love and serve God and others. We are to be respectful and to respect the Church, the faith, the Blessed Sacrament, the sacraments, our marriages, our families, our neighbors, and ourselves. We are to leave this world a better place because we were in it, and leave the good fruits of our efforts for God when we leave. This is how this wonderful movie was made. Simplicity, truth, love, and humility, sincerely offered to the Almighty. A refusal to accept the cynical practicalities of a world so ready to judge and limit what can be accomplished in the name of God. The Almighty showed us through Gideon that numbers mean nothing to God’s creative power, and this movie’s numbers are a wonderful reminder that God can multiply the most humble offerings to do great things in His Name. To date, it has touched nearly two hundred thousand viewers in countless countries.
Certainly, no movie can cover all Garabandal’s many messages, stories, miraculous events, and themes. However, Garabandal, Only God Knows does a good job of providing a sweeping summary of many significant events and wonders. It will re-ignite the experienced Garabandal follower with a renewed passion for the cause and inspire the newly interested to dig deeper into Garabandal. My two favorite parts of the movie are the recount of the makeup compact story and the confirmation to the priest that his ordination was valid. Bring some tissues, because this movie will bring tears to your eyes! Not tears of sadness, but rather, tears of joy, love, and re-dedication to serving God.
Here we have a simple town carrying a very profound and powerful message. Here we find a hamlet hidden in the mountains destined to light the world with its message. Here we find a village previously ignored nurturing a message that nobody can ignore. If the description sounds familiar it is because Garabandal is the new Bethlehem. It is another cradle for a message of love and sacrifice. There is that irony again. A cradle of simplicity, humility, and love surrounded by a cynical, materialistic, superficial, selfish world much like the Bethlehem of long ago. Garabandal is a gentle reminder from a loving mother that we need to wrap ourselves in the warmth of God’s love as we face such a cold and impersonal world. It is a loving reminder that love and truth are the path to God in a society where self and lies rule. The movie Garabandal, Only God Knows is a reminder of those messages. Like Bethlehem and Garabandal, this beautiful work is a bell calling the world to action for the salvation of souls.
There is that irony again. The simple humility and peace of Bethlehem and Garabandal confronting the complexities and absurdities of a world which has lost its way and bought its own falsified version of reality on its twisted terms. A simple, humble movie confronting the superficialities and distortions of a world obsessed with itself which has forgotten God. The movie itself is a showcase of that confrontation between selfless love, sacrifice, and service against selfish arrogance, manipulation, and deception. Behind all of this irony is the further irony that God calls us to be innocent and pure yet practical and wise to the ways of this world. Following Christ and serving God are not the province of naïve, gullible fools and dreamers but loving, sincere, and dedicated warriors armed with practicality, realism, and a deep faith that only God dictates what is impossible. The world will tell us that this movie is not supposed to happen, much less make a difference, yet the movie proves the world wrong once again.
Make no mistake about it. Garabandal and its message are not being resurrected, because they have never died. This message has spread across the world and continues to take hold of the coldest hearts which need it the most. Garabandal: Only God Knows is simply the latest reminder from a loving God that we need to take ownership of our own salvation and that of others before it is too late. It is a warning that we cannot surrender our eternity to others, but are expected to offer a better eternity to as many others as we can. It is a wonderful taste of Garabandal, a beautiful piece of The Pines offered to us where we live in the hopes that we will plant its seeds in our hearts, lives, and communities and continue to bring Garabandal to others.
Go see this wonderful movie and carry its message of love, service, sacrifice, and faith to others. Reach out to a loving Heavenly Mother’s touch and respond in kindness to others. There is that irony again. Offer the gifts and talents God has given you in loving service to The Almighty and others and watch your humble offering multiply many times over. You will be glad you did.
By Gabriel Garnica