Did you have a favorite super hero, growing up as a child? Did you ever play or make believe that you were him or her?
Mine was Wonder Woman, in the days that T. V. actress Lynda Carter donned those red boots and twirled that golden lasso. As first graders at Bryn Mawr, my classmate Shanna and I would spend our recess running up and down the hill by the Lower Field, taking turns playing Wonder Woman and overcoming wicked foes from our own imaginations. Whatever the scenario, whatever the challenge, Wonder Woman always emerged victorious over those wicked, evil, bad guys, all the while remaining good, strong and beautiful; powerful, kind and true.
In a recent online meditation, Franciscan priest and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Richard Rohr, offers an alternative view of where the ultimate battle between “good” and “evil” lies:
“We cannot change the world except insofar as we have changed ourselves. We can only give away who we are …. Only the forgiven can forgive, only the healed can heal, only those who stand daily in need of mercy can offer mercy to others ….’the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better’ …. Don’t waste any time dividing the world into the good guys and the bad guys. Hold them both together in your own soul—where they are anyway—and you will have held together the whole world …. God takes it from there, replicating the same pattern in another conscious human life ….” (https://cac.org/nothing-regret-god-uses-everything-favor-2017-06-12/)
Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew says something similar: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged …. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? …. first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5).
Begin within and move outward from there. Whether 1st century Palestine or 21st century U.S.A., the challenge –and the opportunity — are the same.
“Lord help me do what is mine to do.”