God's Grace & Star Wars III
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2005
I went to see the movie Star Wars III. I am not a Star Wars Fanatic so to speak. I do not dress up like a Wookie and I was not going to campout in line at any movie theatre. However, I have seen each of the other movies and, well, let's face it, doesn't everyone want to know how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader?
Now we do not believe in the force. George Lucas invented it and described it as the energy of all the people who have lived before us. That is not Christianity and indeed if you pursue the idea of the Force in a literal sense, you can easily find yourself practicing witchcraft, if you are not careful. That will lead you right into Darth Vader territory, I assure you.
GRACE, THE REAL FORCE
However, we do believe in God's grace and if you look at God's grace as his love that works through his creation and his community of people today on Earth and in Heaven (The community of Saints), then this force becomes somewhat translatable into a Christian understanding of faith. Of course, it does not become completely convertible, after all, there is no way we can use God's grace to operate a light saber.
However, if you do go see the movie, and I highly recommend that you do, you will notice through the eyes of Christianity an excellent portrayal of the way evil works and of the reality of the journey of virtue and vice.
The last chapter in the series so far, Return of the Jedi, was rather spiritual focusing on virtue. Here this movie, also spiritual, focuses more on vice.
Jesus says he does not come for the righteous, but for the sinner. So, when we think of our sinfulness, we realize that acknowledging our sin is a grace that leads us closer to God. It is important for us to have a healthy sense of sin. That does not mean going around all depressed because we have sinned. That is not a healthy sense of sin. What we do is become aware of our sinfulness, acknowledge it in confession and get it over with. That is the door to holiness.
If you watch Star Wars III, then you will see a dynamic I learned about from the Spiritual Life Institute when I was living as a hermit on retreat in the desert. It is called "pretty poison". That is that tiny bit of evil that enters an institution and destroys it slowly. If you want to see the effects of pretty poison, simply go to the library, find any of the local newspapers from 2002 on and look up the term Archdiocese of Boston and you will see all the effects of pretty poison.
That is the evil which you will see demonstrated well in the movie that begins with "Oh this is ok! This is not really a sin. We can let this go just this one time, but do not tell anyone. Let's keep this between you and me." That is the way pretty poison enters a person or an organization.
The solution to it is to simply go to confession and acknowledge your sins and repent of them. That is all. Confession is important and it is a powerful sacrament that heals. That is the reason. Indeed, in the movie you see a form of counseling where the full truth is not admitted, again the work of pretty poison.
Confession is a grace that leads us closer to Christ. It allows us to acknowledge what is sin in our lives that God's grace may touch those parts of our lives that need healing and with it we see God much clearer.
I CANNOT OPERATE A LIGHT SABER, BUT I CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS
Indeed, when we seek virtue, then we can see the work of Christ in our lives. We do not believe, we have the powers of the force. Or do we? Do we not believe in miracles? in healings? Did not Jesus say with faith we can move mountains?
Sin is real and its affects are real. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is real.
THE FALSE SECURITY OF VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL
It is no secret that I do not agree with Voice of the Faithful at least not the leadership of the organization. They know it and they know I know that they know it. One of the reasons is that they claim to want to fix the church, but they do not understand this dynamic I have just explained to you. That makes them more vulnerable to the poison of sin and evil because they do not take it seriously. I have told them that one needs to go much deeper and they do not listen.
Indeed, they also have people preach that one does not need to participate in the sacraments at all. Major error. Did you now that the Sacrament of Reconciliation is more powerful than exorcism?
When we acknowledge our sins before God in sincerity, we keep a door open that leads us closer to the very creator of the universe. Jesus himself says that came to heal those who recognize the importance of keeping that door open. He even says he is not here to help those who close the door figuring they are righteous enough.
HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE!
One of the things I hear all the time is "Father, I do not have to go to confession, at my age what sins do I commit?" Ok? do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength? Do you love your neighbor as yourself? If you do, please tell me how to do this, because I am not near that loving and I know it takes more than a lifetime to be there.
Go see the movie, and when it is over, reflect on the process that unfolded before you. It is something that happens in people's lives everyday. Yet, for those of us who understand the Sacrament of Confession, we know that we are protected from it by the love of God through his sacraments of grace. This is a force greater than any other on earth natural, supernatural, or imaginary.
Fr. Robert J. Carr is the Parochial Vicar at St. Benedict's Parish in Somerville, MA. He is also the author of Evolution, Faith and the Future of the Catholic Church available through LULU press at www.lulu.com.
http://www.catholicismanew.org MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Parochial Vicar, 617 625-0029
Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker, George Lucas, Darth Vader, Sacraments, Reconciliation, VOTF.
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