Friday, November 2, 2012

Lessons from Super Why

Super Why (my son) and I were out of town for a week. Here's the photographic evidence of the costume I sewed. When I finished sewing, glueing, appliqué-ing, and cleaning up, I tried it on my little guy and he didn't want to take it off! That's an enormous compliment from a 3 year old.

When my son donned his costume, he became Super Why; he even refers to himself as Super Why when he sees pictures from Halloween. It got me thinking, would the world be a better place if Christians (Catholic or Protestant) could channel an alter-ego when they needed to be Christians? It might make things better for everyone since sometimes Christians aren't so Christian, myself included. "The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today are Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." This quote from Brennan Manning opens DC Talk's What if I Stumble. The quote hurts because it's true.

The lesson from Super Why is that I already have an alter ego. As St. Paul explains, "I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me..." (Gal 2:19b-20a). If I call Christ my Lord and Savior, then my old self is (supposed to be) dead and I'm a superhero. Yet, like all superheroes, I have my weaknesses and it's those weaknesses that can set a bad example or cast a bad light on all Christians.

Life is not a Hollywood superhero movie. There are no retakes in life. There is no need for a cape or disguise when Jesus Christ is my backup, all I need is a prayer to help me be more like Him.

Oh my Divine Savior, transform me into yourself.
May my hands be your hands.
May my tongue by your tongue.
Grant that every faculty of my body may serve only to glorify you.
Above all, transform my soul and all its powers
that my memory, my will, and my affections
may be the memory, the will, and the affections of you.
I pray you to destroy in me all that is not of you.
Grant that I may live but in you and by you and for you
that I may truly say with St. Paul, “I live, now not I, but Christ lives in me.”
    Vincentian Missioner Prayer - St. John Gabriel Perboyre, C.M.

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