Classes in Jedi Coaching and Ignatian Spirituality

beam of blue light in night sky - image by torstensimon from Pixabay

A portray by a Baltimore-based artist hangs in our bed room, a present from my eldest daughter. The portray depicts a younger woman—blond hair right down to her shoulders, carrying white stockings with pink stripes seen just under the knee line of her blue skirt—confidently wielding a lightsaber. The blade is blue, and it’s clashing with that of her would-be opponent.

He doesn’t seem threatening, along with his dorky glasses, polka-dotted shirt, and rust-colored pants with the bottoms cuffed. He seems to be carrying loafers. He’s bought this huge, goofy grin on his face, and his free hand—the one not greedy his lightsaber—is gesturing towards the woman, as if providing options on learn how to enhance her battle stance. The Demise Star hangs within the background as silhouettes of X-wings cruise throughout the night time sky.

I can solely assume that man is her father. That was the intent behind the reward, at the very least, given to me—an enormous Star Wars fan—by my very own baby. It’s a near-perfect interpretation of the form of father-daughter play we love: dumping outdated—and, more and more, new—Star Wars toys on the ground and enacting dramatic, random scenes.

However one thing all the time bothers me about this portray. The person’s blade is pink. That’s a Sith coloration, a positive inform that the wielder is evil, an adherent of the darkish facet of the Power. Why would the artist do that? Is it a not-so-subtle nod to the plot twist on the finish of The Empire Strikes Again, the revelation that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father? That battle was brutal; palms have been misplaced. That’s not the vitality on this portray, all foolish smiles and informal footwear. Actually, I don’t like to consider myself because the eventual enemy of my daughter’s religious quest!

The portray in my room isn’t depicting a duel to the demise—and even one which has a transparent victor. What I see now’s a father instructing his daughter:

  • the necessity for balance,
  • good exists within the midst of unhealthy, gentle with darkness, and
  • struggles aren’t restricted to epic house fantasies however can and do present up within the on a regular basis struggles of our lives.

It’s a religious lesson greater than a duel. The portray is an invite to wrestle with nuance, to hope for a greater future, and to hunt the nice and the best and acknowledge that even the very best of us falls brief. And in these moments after we falter and fall to the darker facet of issues, there’s all the time a brand new hope for redemption. Extra importantly, the portray is a reminder that we do that religious work of hope and redemption collectively; we grapple with these mysteries in group. Households. Religion communities. Neighbors. Colleagues. Pals. We don’t go it alone.

Hope, steadiness, redemption: these themes are what Star Wars is all about to me.

This fixed invitation to start out anew and course-correct when errors have been made is the story of our Christian religion too. We all know that as human beings totally alive and grappling with our distinctive vocations, there are occasions after we reside within the gentle and occasions after we contact the darkness.

St. Ignatius Loyola had phrases for this: consolation and desolation. He has a meditation for it, too: the Two Standards. And Ignatius reminds us, similar to that portray jogged my memory, that life isn’t a couple of single determination; it’s in regards to the fixed journey. The usual of Christ—that of humility, poverty, and rejection—isn’t one thing we select as soon as; it’s a guidepost we glance to consistently. We permit it to tell our selections, even after we know that our final selection was the incorrect one.

We stand up and maintain going, as a result of ours is a religion constructed on hope and religion in a God who loves us, even in our darker moments. Ours is a God who breaks via the sunshine/darkish dichotomy and delights in us, in all that we’re proper now, whereas by no means ceasing to usher us ahead into the individuals we’d but change into.

And so, I return to that portray. As a result of God has positioned us in group. Now we have our pals and our dad and mom, our kids and our colleagues. “‘The whole lot is linked’ and ‘Nobody is saved alone,’” as Pope Francis reminds us once more in Laudate Deum (19). We’re all on this collectively.

Whose proverbial Jedi coaching have you ever been entrusted with? Are you able to assist that individual see himself or herself as cherished in each moments of sunshine and darkish? Are you able to see your self that means?

Need extra Star Wars and Ignatian spirituality? Pre-order my upcoming guide from Loyola Press, My Life with the Jedi: The Spirituality of Star Wars!

Picture by torstensimon from Pixabay.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *