Sunday, August 18, 2013

Superheroes

Before bedtime recently my son was helping to pick out his PJs and insisted on wearing his Spiderman set. “But Dad, I can’t be a superhero without a superhero costume.”

What is it with superheroes and costumes anyway? One of the most interesting and exciting scenes in either the (relatively) recent Spiderman and Batman movies were when these heroes were coming up with their costumes: Peter scribbling away in his sketchbook and Bruce working long hours in the secret division of his company.

Costumes allow us to enter into a reality which is at one time us, and at the same time more than us. Once Peter and Bruce put on their suits they became different people, Spiderman and Batman. They were never the same again.

Christians live in the world we see around us, and yet at the same time live in a constant battle between good and evil in the supernatural (spiritual) world. St. Paul reminds us that our battle is not with “flesh and blood” but with demons! (Eph 6:12) The battles for justice that our mythical comic book friends experience, no matter how exciting, will never be as lasting, brutal and decisive than the real battles which are fought against evil every day by Christians in their own souls.

Spiderman may have a skin-tight red and blue outfit which aids him in battling evil. Christians have an even more impressive superhero outfit, one in which they have “put off the old self and put on Christ” through Holy Baptism. Our outfit prepares us to live in an eternal kingdom and cannot be removed, no matter what temptations, persecutions or human failures we are faced with.

Yes, Batman does have a really cool “Bat-signal” which appears in the night over the city of Gotham and strikes fear into the hearts of evil doers. But Christians have even better than that in the Cross, a symbol which strikes fear into the heart of evil itself. This symbol also appeared in the sky to Emperor Constantine and Christianized the most powerful empire of the day!

 

Next time my son is helping pick his PJs out, I’ll assure him that he can feel just fine sleeping in his underwear. As a Christian, Spiderman’s got nothing on him. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pro-life Princesses

    My oldest daughter is not sure of many things, but one thing for her is certain, that she is a princess.

    Every morning she wakes up and sticks her head through the door cautiously, unsure if I will send her back to bed as she has a tendency of getting up way too early.

    "Good morning Miriam."

    "I want my princess dress."

    "How did you sleep Honey?"

    "I want my princess dress."

    "Can Daddy have a good-morning hug and kiss?"

    "I want my princess dress."

    What is it with girls and princesses anyway? Miriam loves princesses (and is pretty good at acting like a princess most of the time too...) I think it is that because deep down inside they know that they are just that, daughters of the King.

    The following YouTube videos are must sees. They are the testimony from another daughter of the King, Gianna Jessen, an abortion survivor.

    Part 1:

    Part 2: (Pay attention to how she describes her relationship with her Father, and her hard-hitting comment to men. )

     

    Fighting for a culture of life does not just begin and end with political action (political action is important too though.) It comes with the realization that men need to be authentic men, authentic husbands and authentic fathers. We need to treat our daughters like the princesses they are and our wives like the queens they are. We need to fight the temptation to objectify women through lust. Even this doesn't go far enough, as we need to show women the dignity that they are worthy of as being daughters of the King even when they are tempted to undermine that dignity themselves (whether it be for attention, a misunderstanding of what real love is, in the name of egalitarianism etc.) If you really love them, you won't let them do it, even if you might be tempted. Consider Tobias' prayer on his wedding night:

When Tobias and Sarah were alone behind closed doors, Tobias got up from the bed and said to his wife,
       

Get up, dear. Let's pray for the Lord to be merciful and to protect us.Sarah got up so that they could pray together and ask God for his protection. Then Tobias prayed:
        

  God of our ancestors, you are worthy of praise.
  May your name be honoured forever and ever
  by all your creatures in heaven and on earth.

  You created Adam and gave him his wife Eve
  to be his helper and support.
  They became the parents of the whole human race.
  You said,
  It is not good for man to live alone.
  I will make a suitable helper for him.

  Lord, I have chosen Sarah because it is right,
  not because I lusted for her.
  Please be merciful to us
  and grant that we may grow old together.

Then they both said Amen and went to bed for the night.

Tobit 8:4-8 GNT

    The battle for a pro-life culture is really the battle against lust. It is much closer to us than we realize, and it is easy to buy into the culture of death without even being aware that we are doing it. Alexander Solzhenitsyn sums this up concisely when he states:

    "If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

-The Gulag Archipelago (1973)

    Let us purify our hearts so that from them no evil will come forth and pray that we may truly offer up our bodies as a living sacrifice to the King! Only then will we see a true culture of life emerge among us.

    Glory be to Jesus Christ! Glory be forever!