I am a big fan of superhero movies and stories. I recently watched the movie X-men: Dark Phoenix. People panned the movie, and I see why, but I don’t regret watching it. I think what really saves the main character is the recognition of how poor in spirit she is, despite having close to unlimited power.
The X-men are superheroes who save those who need help. They use their powers that come from a mutation in their genetic structure, hence, they are called mutants. While the powers of the X-men vary, the degrees of how powerful each mutant is also varying. The protagonist, Jean Grey, also called the Phoenix, is an Omega-level mutant. During an accident saving astronauts, her powers come unleashed to such an extent she cannot control them. With the flick of her facial expression, she sends some of the most powerful mutants into sharp tree branches, police cars get crushed, and she tricks people’s minds into thinking things they do not want to think. When they tell us her backstory, we find she has a pretty hard past, her parents abandoned her because they could not help her control her powers. She blames herself for the death of her mother.
When she learns the truth of her past and her identity, it really destroys her spirit. In the wake of her pain, she does damage to many people around her. The thing that really speaks to me is that her character grows not by rejecting her power, but accepting that power and even in that gift, she is poor in spirit and needs to be loved by a family and by people.
Of course, as Catholics, when we recognize we are poor in spirit, we turn not only to family and friends, but mostly to Christ in the Sacraments and in the Church. Today, however, I think we miss the presence of God and Jesus Christ because we don’t want to accept that we are poor in spirit. We want to keep up with the Joneses, who seem to have everything going for them and it does not seem like they are poor in spirit.
But when we pray or receive grace from Jesus, we don’t need to hide who we are from Him. The fact is that the more we come to Jesus poor in spirit, the closer we get to His heart. The saints tell us that true blessedness is not power or glory, but knowing and loving Jesus. The best part about being poor in spirit is that we recognize we have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus won’t force His love on us, but He does not want to be ignored. Today, we pray for increased devotion to the Eucharist. Amen.