I had the wonderful experience of recently binge-watching the Netflix series “Flash” with my 11-year-old Godson. I absolutely love superheroes, especially Marvel ones! The great thing about this specific series is that the writers made the story line plausible! Each episode could have happened in real life, the way they were written.
The next morning during my Morning Prayer time, I reflected that all superhero stories were really based upon good guys versus bad guys. The good guys might have taken a hit to the jaw and stumbled, but when they got up, they eventually won! When you boil it down, every story is a lesson of hope. After thinking about this for a while, I realized that the Catholic Church has its very own superheroes: the saints. I can say this because during the process of canonizing an individual a saint, the Church declares that they lived the virtues in a heroic degree. They fought the wrongs that exited in their time, using the most common gifts all of us have. They were rooted in their society and their walks of life, and kept their eyes focused on God.
One of the superheroes who concentrated on teaching others about the Eucharist was Blessed Carlo Acutis. He used his superhero ability of computer programming to create a website that catalogued Eucharistic miracles for the entire world to view. From his biography, this love of the Eucharist is clearly visible on the website. Another saint within the Orthodox Church, Nicholas Cabasilas, used his pen to teach about the Eucharist. When describing the Sacrament of the Eucharist, he said, “unlike any other sacrament, the mystery [of the Eucharist] is so perfect that it brings us to the heights of every good thing: here is the ultimate goal of every human desire, because here we attain God and God joins himself to us in the most perfect union. Through this sacrament, the pilgrim Church is nourished, deepening her communion with the Triune God and consequently that of her members with one another.”
The pen truly is mightier than the sword! There are other Catholic heroes who used the mighty pen to proclaim what the Eucharist is all about. St. Peter Julian Eymard is one. He writes, “The world is ignorant concerning the Eucharist. It is not preached about often enough. The faithful complain of this and wait for someone who will feed them with the word of true life. If we do not preach the Blessed Sacrament, the reason is that our hearts do not understand It. If preachers adored the Blessed Sacrament more often, they would preach about It more often. And yet the salvation of the world lies in Jesus Christ abiding in our midst.”2
Our world needs superheroes who love the Eucharist! Individuals like you and me who have no special talent who are willing to proclaim with words as well as their lives that the Eucharist IS the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that as we celebrate the feast of All Saints Day in a few weeks, we remember that we are all saints in the making and that it is the Eucharist that slowly transforms us into superheroes!
By Sister Geralyn Schmidt, SCC, Special to The Witness