When I was a child, superheroes were my inspiration, and they acted as vessels of hope in a world blanketed in darkness. Every child wanted to imitate their favourite superhero. I recall one neighbour who was so convinced he could be superman, that he jumped from his bedroom window in the belief he could fly. Thankfully he survived the ordeal, coming out only with a broken arm and a fresh cast for us to sign.
Separating fact from fiction may have been a difficult task back then for children, but we can easily do it today as adults. When I look at the Saints today, I see the real superheroes behind some of the fictional characters being presented in film. From childhood stories like Star Wars and Superman to the adult world such as the Matrix and Jim Carrey’s Trueman show, all these movies have the truths of God embedded in them.
People don’t realize it, but God is always trying to reach us through the cooperation of mans free will. The Lord reaches out to us by reflecting himself in the hopes, dreams, imagination, music and films of talented people. In the last 20 years, I’ve seen movies that have revealed the truths of our Catholic faith, and it would only be a dream of mine to review them all.
ST.JOSEPH OF CUPERTINO
Many saints were so close to God; they would levitate and fly during prayer. St.Joseph of Cupertino was one such saint. In his early childhood, like superman, he displayed strengths conferred by God in that he experiences many ecstatic visions during prayer. He was utterly dumb as rocks not being able to read or write appropriately if at all.
In addition to his lack of education, he also had a ferocious temper and considered to be mentally unfit. In spite of his human faults, he would float to the ceiling of the Church in everyone’s presence.
At the time, levitation was considered to be associated with witchcraft, and so he endured some persecution at the inquisition. He was sent from monastery to monastery to be examined for this phenomena. Eventually, they let him go.
He soon became renowned by the public for his holiness in the region. However, St.Josephs behaviour was considered to be disruptive. His superiors banished him to live a life alone in his cell away from the public. I think many people would have associated this banishment with jealousy, and I find it difficult not to.
Truth Behind The Fiction
I encountered a woman today who conversed with me about dressing up for Halloween. She said that at her local Catholic school they dress up as their favourite superhero for Halloween. Surprised at this I said, “why not dress up as the real superheroes? It’s all hallows eve, and they should be dressing up as the saints.” These are the real Superheros, but many Catholic parents don’t even know who they are so are we surprised such ignorance exists?
The real supermen (and women) are out there, and they gave their lives for the Church. We should recognize in fictional characters such as superman these authentic people. They possessed genuine graces by God to transcend human nature and display supernatural behaviours by the power of Our Lord, and in them, we find the right Christian example.
It is my prayer that more and more people begin to examine carefully the movies they watch. For in these movies lies a lot of hidden treasure where one can find God reaching out to humanity to spark an interest in the truth behind the fiction.