What Makes a Saint Different from a Superhero?

by Faith & Life, Holiness, Meaning of Suffering, Spiritual Warfare

Today’s video explores the events and dramas that compose the journey of a hero.  It shows how these adventures exist in every human culture and continue repeating themselves. They do so because we humans express our proper world through these kinds of historical symbols. That is to say, we use them to project what we live.

Why, then, are there so many movies produced about superheroes? Why are they having so much success? What is it that draws us to them? What interior fibers do they touch inside of us?

In a society bent on removing any and every discomfort and inconvenience, is it possible that we have missed the point? Is it possible that perhaps we are longing for something more than just the “good life”?

There is something within each and every person that knows we have been created for a purpose. There is a voice inside that insists that we haven’t arrived at our final destination, that we must push on, that our happiness lies beyond the empty offers that the world presents to us.

What are some differences between the secular idea of a “hero” and the Christian idea of a saint”?

–       Above all, the hero confronts the obstacles with his or her own strength. While the inner battle and the demand for willpower is no less in the case of the saint, he or she knows that the victory does not rely on willpower or strength alone. The grace of God is fundamental.

–       The hero’s battles usually are very explicit. Good and evil are usually clearly evident. In the life of the saint, things aren’t always so clear. Many times the battles are interior ones; he or she must fight against the evil within. Sin clouds the judgment and man’s capacity to judge the true intentions of others is extremely limited. Here, I am not proposing some sort of moral relativity, merely pointing out the fact that the only enemy of the saint is sin and this implies the very challenging principle of hating the sin while always loving the sinner.

–       Lastly, the hero’s battles are usually very exciting, full of explosions and a variety of special effects.

 One of the great challenges today is to insist again on the idea of a beautiful life lived out in a daily struggle for holiness. The typical scene of a guy sitting out next to a beautiful woman with a Corona in his hand is certainly attractive, but we were made for more.

This desire for more is found throughout history because it is present in the heart of each one of us. Happiness, then, can only be reached in so far as we respond with courage to this call and help others to do so. The Christian life, the adventure of  following Christ, is the only one that truly and fully responds to this desire.

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