Last month, while a few of our grandsons were at our house for the day, Georgette read a children’s book to them about Tarzan. Later in the day when I came home from work, one of the boys followed me around the house and asked me several questions about Tarzan. He wanted to know what I knew about him, if I had ever read any books about him, and what TV shows and movies about Tarzan that I watched when I was his age.
After I answered all his questions he asked if I could order a DVD of some of the old Tarzan movies, so we could watch them together. I haven’t told him yet, but a few days after our conversation, I ordered a DVD from Amazon that has a collection of some of the old Tarzan movies from the 1940s. The man who played Tarzan in those movies was Johnny Weissmuller, who was a former champion swimmer who won five Olympic gold medals. Weissmuller starred in 12 Tarzan movies during the 1930s and 1940s.
My first introduction to Tarzan was in 1966, when NBC launched a weekly TV show with the same name, Tarzan. I was nine years old at that time and I watched the TV show every Friday evening until it was cancelled by NBC in 1968.
One of my favorite parts of the show was when Tarzan used his “jungle call” to warn the animals of danger or to rally them to come to his aid. The jungle call was created by Johnny Weissmuller for Tarzan the Ape Man, the first Tarzan movie that was released in 1932. The call was based on what Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of the Tarzan character, described as “the victory cry of the bull ape.”
A few weeks after my grandson questioned me about Tarzan, one of my clients who is a devout Christian — I’ll call her Brenda — asked me several questions about the Blessed Mother. After I answered her questions, I used a Tarzan analogy to explain what the Blessed Mother has done for me over the years.
In most of the Tarzan movies, there was always one scene where the villains came to the jungle to find Tarzan or to hunt animals. There were usually a couple of guides who knew their way around the jungle, and their job was to lead the hunters to their destination. To get to where they needed to go, the guides had to use machetes to hack through the brush, vines, and other vegetation in the jungle to form a path for the hunters.
There was always a lot of suspense associated with the men who were hacking their way through the jungle because I never knew when a lion, tiger, or other animal would lunge out of nowhere to attack the men. To add to the suspense, I knew that if they took a wrong turn, they could end up falling over a cliff or stepping into some quicksand.
I explained to Brenda that as we go through life, there are times when we must hack our way through a jungle of unexpected dangers. One wrong turn can lead to danger and misfortune, and we risk being ambushed by others. And as we grow older, some of us become so overwhelmed by the struggle of hacking our way through life that we become depressed and disheartened, which causes us to withdraw from the world and the people around us.
I told Brenda that each of us needs a guide who can lead us through the jungle of life. I explained to her that I had found through my own experience that the one person who is in the best position to guide me through life is the Mother of God. I also told her that the Blessed Mother does not ordinarily take on the role of acting as a guide for people unless they have made an effort to develop a relationship with her that includes prayerful interaction with her every day.
I explained to Brenda that for those of us who do what is necessary to develop a relationship with the Blessed Mother, there are still crosses that we will have to carry, which will involve sacrifice and suffering, but the crosses will not be as difficult and extreme as they would be if she was not our guide.
The one thing that I forgot to mention to Brenda is that if we have a daily relationship with the Blessed Mother, she will always lead us to Jesus, and over time, she will teach us how to develop a more perfect relationship with Him.
There is no other human being who has ever existed who is better qualified to lead the children of God to Jesus Christ than the woman who bore him in her womb for nine months, and then raised Him to adulthood. She literally lived with God in the same house for the first 30 years of His life on Earth.
While everything that I told Brenda would make sense to any rational, open-minded human being, for reasons unknown to me, most of the time when I explain this to someone, it falls on deaf ears.
Over the years, I’ve told many people the same things that I told Brenda, only to watch them continue to blindly go through life making decisions and choices that cause them to encounter extreme suffering and misfortune.
It’s frustrating for me to see people suffer from extreme misfortune while they continue to hack through the jungle of life without the assistance of the right person to guide them. I feel sorry for them because they did not have the same example and guidance that I had while I was growing up. I was very fortunate because I had the benefit of learning, at a very young age, about the Blessed Mother’s desire to help those of us who reach out to her on a daily basis and make a consistent effort to trust and rely on her for her love and guidance.
What I just revealed to you is one of the best-kept secrets of the Catholic Church.
By the way, I’m looking forward to taking a journey back in time by watching those old Tarzan movies with my grandchildren.