More than the FORCE is With Us

Star wars with bill

Why is America having so much fun with the newest Star Wars film? The FORCE that beckons us is perhaps a hunger for something eternal expressed in an epic story. The power of the Star Wars parable is undeniable. Of special note is the way it draws the hearts of fathers and sons together. The opportunity this film offers one generation enjoying a treasured story to share it with the next generation is unique. This is the modern cavemen retelling an epic saga of the conquest of good over evil to their sons. Now the cave drawings are painted in pixels and the battles are imagined in outer space. The storytellers and their young padawans enter into in the story together as they compare trivia knowledge and become virtual avatars.  Star Wars captivates us because it connects with spiritual imagination.

Those of us who long to see true faith be rediscovered on our planet can learn a lot from the Jedi. These mythic heroes are often only found after harrowing adventures in the remotest places. They call us to seek the true Jedi. However, it is a rare theologian, evangelist, or catechist who can communicate the greatest story ever told as the riveting epic that it truly is. The ancient faith that connects us with the true FORCE that lives and moves and breathes within us may seem, in our culture, to be disappearing. What the elven queen Galadriel, from another epic saga with deeply spiritual roots, says of a terrible ring of power can also describe the modern plight the universal Church. “Some things that should not have been forgotten, were lost. History became legend, legend became myth, and… (faith for so many) passed out of all knowledge. Just when we may think all seems lost, a halting voice whispers, “There…is…another”. 

Several years ago when I saw another epic movie, The Passion of the Christ, I discovered that it was based on source material from a mystic saint named Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich. Reading her visions of Christ lead me to discover other mystics like her. They are the long forgotten Catholic Jedi. They allow us to glimpse the gospel as the riveting heart wrenching heroic epic that it is. Venerable Mary of Agreda, an incorrupt saint in a glass casket, awaits in suspended animation for the FORCE to awaken all on our planet in the knowledge and power of God. Take a look at her writings in Divine Life Of The Most Holy Virgin and discover the battle for the soul of earth told in a way that Obi Wan, Yoda, Gilgamesh, and any Star Wars fan, would enjoy. It might be the spiritual Christmas gift you’ve been waiting for: to see, feel and appreciate in a whole new way that that far more than the force, GOD himself, is with us.

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starwars with rita (2)Inspirational Author Cathy Gilmore blogs on the power of parables and cultivating spiritual imagination. She and her husband were among the throngs attending “The Force Awakens” during its premier weekend. Dressed as ambassadors from Naboo, the couple was actually just looking for directions to a bar: the Mos Eisley Cantina. Got directions from Princess Leia. All was well.