The upcoming release of X-Men: Apocalypse has me revisiting everything I love about the X-Men movies (in an earlier post, I even admitted that I prefer the X-Men over the Avengers)–the characters, the emotions, the battles…and, of course, I’m super-excited about the return of Nightcrawler, whose Catholicism has made him one of my favorite characters. As I excitedly geek over the new movie, however, I remember one of the things that struck me the first time I watched an X-Men movie–Professor Xavier had a place in his school for all the mutants, no matter what their abilities were. It didn’t matter if they could master the elements like Storm, shape-shift like Mystique, have awesome stabby claws like Wolverine, or siphon other mutants’ powers like Rogue. Professor X welcomed all of them and taught them how to make their powers work together to accomplish a goal far greater than any of them could achieve on their own.
In a strange sort of way, this kind of openness and unity reminded me of the Catholic Church. I’ve been a Catholic all of my life, and I’ve seen the different talents and personality types that make up both an individual parish and the Church as a whole. There have been scholars and musicians, saints and sinners, artists and engineers, scientists and farmers. Do we all get along? Heck no. Do we fight with each other? Of course. But the good priests, just like Professor X, get us to stop arguing among ourselves and teach us that our different talents serve the Church in different ways, but no talent or purpose is greater than another. We need all of them–we need each other–to work together in order to attain our ultimate goal of spreading the Gospel and spending eternity with God in Heaven.
This is probably just another instance of Catholic Nerd Girl making connections that are only in her head. But, well, I can’t help the conclusions I’ve drawn. Professor X invited all mutants to join his team and didn’t make them feel as if they were any better or any worse than their fellow mutants; instead he showed them how all of their powers could work together for the greater good. In a similar way, the Church invites all to join her fold, regardless of what they can or cannot do, and encourages them to use whatever gift they have to work towards the common goal of spreading the Gospel and attaining Heaven. I don’t know about you, but I find something comforting in the knowledge that the Church can probably find a use even for the bizarre ramblings of a Catholic Nerd Girl like me. And if she can find a purpose for someone as strange as me, she can find a purpose for anyone–and everyone.