Everyone loves superheroes! Whether your favorite is Batman, Superman, Ironman or you have only heard of them, we are all familiar with superheroes. That is because these stories share aspects which we all either relate, or aspire to. While few of us know what it’s like to fly around the world in a minute, go for a drive in the Bat Mobile, or develop a new flight suit, we all can relate to the desire to fight the evil of the world and we all aspire to find purpose and mission as these characters do.
This desire to find purpose and mission is something that we teenagers think about a lot. What are we going to be when we grow up? What is God calling us to do with our lives? And while these questions are important this blog-post is not about them, but rather it’s about a more important question.
What makes Superheroes super really isn’t their powers but something else they all share; their identity. What would a superhero be without his identity? It is his source of motivation, it drives his actions and makes him who he is and forms his purpose and mission. So why is this important? Well, like these characters before we can truly understand or find our calling we must discover and embrace our identity.
In many ways our culture today suffers from a lack of identity, and the desire for a true purpose is evident all around us. As Catholics though, we have our identity. We are all sons and daughters of Christ, and while this is true for each of us and easy to say, it really is something we all must discover and embrace on our own.
How do we do this? Superheroes find their identity through experiences which cement what it is they stand for or come to be associated with; from Bruce Wayne’s experience with bats, to Iron Man’s need to build a synthetic heart. A more real to life example of this might be St. Paul’s encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus. It was only after his radical experience with our Lord that he became a zealous advocate for the Church. So while I don’t advise jumping into a vat of toxic waste, we as Catholics do have a chance to experience an encounter with Christ, who is the center of our identity. We have this chance every time we see our Lord present at mass or when we have the opportunity to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
The truth is, we are all called to be superheroes, but our identity isn’t rooted in a bat or a shield but in the Crucifix, Christ our Savior. It is only once we internalize this truth that we will be able to go out and set the world on fire!