Captain America: The First Avenger....
As we continue with our story, Steve Rogers is sent off to basic training. He struggles as the uncoordinated small guy. He does not have the strength of anyone else in his group. The other soldiers bully him. But he pushes on doing his best.
During one run, the sergeant tells them that whoever can get the flag off the flag pole gets a ride back to base. “No one has gotten the flag in 15 years.” None of the strong soldiers can do it. They all do their best to climb the pole, but slide back down.
The sergeant ignores Steve calling for everyone to get back in line.
Steve however walks over to the flagpole, pulls a screw from the bottom of the pole, the pole falls over. He retrieves the flag, hands it to the sergeant and gets in the car to take his ride back to base.
I laughed out loud. Marvel enjoys having fun with their movies, bringing in moments of lightness and humor.
Your Spiritual Intellect
Here’s the thing: Steve Rogers uses his intellect to win the prize. He does not try to use his braun (he doesn’t have any). He uses his personal strength to succeed.
In the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Dialogue One: Jesus invites us to use our spiritual intellect as we seek to align ourselves with our true Image, our highest selves.
Cynthia Bourgeault suggests that one’s spiritual intellect is our heart. She reminds us that in Near Eastern thought the heart is the organ of spiritual perception. The heart is not the emotional center. It is the moral center, the place from which all spiritual work is done; space of transmutation and transformation; center of insight, wisdom and spiritual intellect; the residence of the Sacred.
Captain America: The First Avenger continues...
When the Dr decides that Steve Rogers is the one whom will take part in the experiment, he explains why to Steve:
The doctor explains that his serum creates superior men. He then explains about the head of Hydra (the bad guys) and how that bad guy took the serum. The serum made him stronger. But there were other affects.
“The serum amplifies everything that is inside, so good become great; bad become worse. This is why you were chosen. Because a strong man who has known power all his life will lose respect for that power, but a weak man who knows very little of strength and knows compassion will not. Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing, that you will stay who you are, not a perfect soldier but a good man.”
Steve Rogers makes a toast, “To the little guys!”
Using our Spiritual Intellect, our Heart
When we use our spiritual intellect, our hearts, as the lens to perceive the world through, to make decisions, to live our lives, it amplifies the goodness that is within us — compassion, grace, mercy, justice, Love.
When we use our brains, our minds without our hearts, those are the times when we fall short, when we, as humans, create injustice. We are not our best selves unless we live from our hearts.
We can only be aligned with the Image, our truest highest self, if we live from our hearts. When we live from our hearts, from the spiritual center of our being, from the space which the Sacred occupies within us, then all that we do is amplify the Sacred. Good grows. Love expands,. Compassion is experienced and known. Justice reigns down. Economy of God is fully present.
It takes a different kind of strength to live from the heart. You can not live from your heart by shear will, by physical strength, by academic intellect. These are not the qualities that bring you into your heart.
To live from your heart you must find strength in your vulnerability, humility. It is through prayer and meditation that you learn and gain insight. Living from the heart requires a willingness to let go of your will power and trust the Guidance of the Sacred.
Living from the heart is not about perfection. It is about amplifying all that is good within you. Living from the heart allows the Sacred to extend your inner goodness out into the world. It is about an inner strength that relies upon vulnerability. Compassion.
When we live from our hearts, all that compassion is amplified in the world.
What will you amplify in this world?
Are you willing to embark upon the spiritual journey into your heart?
Will you take the time to align to the Sacred’s transformative spiritual intellect?
.Captain America: The First Avenger
Steve Rogers continues his quest to join the army, giving it another try.
This time, someone notices…
As he is preparing for his exam, the office asks him to wait. Then a MP shows up to make sure he does not leave. Then someone walks into the room, looks at Steve’s folder and says, “so you want to go over seas and kill some Nazis?”
Steve is confused. He asks, “Excuse me?”
The person who entered the room introduces himself and explains that he works with the Strategic Scientific Reserve. They have conversation. the Dr is sizing Steve Rogers up, discerning whether or not he would be good for the experiment he is working on.
In the midst of the conversation the Dr says, “You didn’t answer my question. Do you want to kill Nazis?”
Steve is silent for a few seconds and asks, “Is this a test?”
Dr replies: “Yes.”
Steve answers from his heart, “I don’t want to kill anyone. I don’t like bullies. I don’t care where they are from.”
Dr replies, “Well there are already so many big men fighting this war, maybe what we need now is the little guy….I can offer you a chance.”
This is before Steve Rogers becomes Captain America. This is the moment the Dr begins to think Steve is the one. It is his answer, “I don’t want to kill anyone.”
He stays true to this statement after he becomes Captain America. Unless he has to, he does not kill. He values life.
He recognizes that bullies don’t value life. Bullies values themselves, their desires, their power, their wealth over anyone else. Bullies don’t share. They don’t feel compassion and mercy. They work for their benefit, their greed, their corrupted view of their world.
Present Day Bully
We are currently living in a time where a bully is the President of our country. He bullies everyone around him, all who work for him, the leaders of other countries, his opponents. He upholds the values of dictators and white supremacists.
This President says he values life, but he does not. He gives orders to create refugee camps that have no dignity, that tear apart the lives of those seeking helps and safety. Death after death in those refugee camps on our southern border have brought no sympathy from the President, no change in policy.
This President says he values life, but he does not. He celebrates homophobia and sexism. He encourages bad behavior at his rallies. Then he abdicates responsibility when someone at his rally acts on the hatred he is spewing.
He does not value life. He is a bully.
Steve Rogers values life. He is a small guy, always overlooked. His life journey has taught him compassion for all around him. He has an inner strength that has developed as he has worked to overcome the challenges and obstacles in his life.
This scene asks us a question: Who do we uphold as our heroes?
The Dr., without saying it, is suggesting that it is not the big guys that are our heroes. No, it is the little ones, the ones that understand compassion and mercy, that value life.
Who do we uphold as a hero?
Who do I uphold as heroes?
Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who valued life, equality, justice. A Pastor who gave his life in a movement that called us as a country to be better, to be compassionate, to create the Economy of God in our midst.
Saint Mother Theresa: a Sister whose life work was to care for those untouched, those left to die, those ignored by society — to bring dignity, care and respect to a population that has never experienced dignity, respect and care. A Sister who valued all life, who believed that no life was unworthy.
Saint Monsenor Oscar Romero: an Archbishop who spoke truth to power; who put his life on the line to minister to the disappeared and disappearing in El Salvador — who reminded those without political power that they have tremendous spiritual power, that they are the “hands and the feel of Jesus,” bringing hope in the place of despair.
Rev David Lawrence: my youth pastor who lost his life helping an abused woman leave her abuser.
The women of Standing Rock Tribe: these powerful women stood in the face of injustice, prayed for the rights of their people, their Land, their health. Even as the governments ignored their plight, they stood their ground, praying for life: Water is Life.
These are just a few. Each of my heroes value life! They offer respect, dignity, compassion, mercy; seek to create justice; and truly desire to be “the hands and the feet of Jesus” in this world.
Who are your heroes?
How are you being a hero in this world?
Captain America: The First Avenger
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.