The Star Wars community tends to boil things down to a lowest common denominator. While we all have Wookieepedia bookmarked and a vast knowledge TIE fighter models, we find the conversations being whittled down to likes or dislikes, goods or bads. We polarize our conversations instead of finding deeper levels of understanding through true understanding, dialog and compassion. If you think I’m nuts, have you ever persuaded someone with your theory about who Snoke is? When talking to someone with an opinion on midichlorians, have you changed your mind? There is a call to something greater, though.
Naboo, his desire for a simple and dictatorial Galaxy has replaced his
former hope. He has devolved in his thinking from love and service to
order and simplicity. This is the reward he gained. In his desire to
have everything, he found just that – and nothing was lurking on its
heels. He gained some sort of command of the world, but lost his
compassion and relationships in the process.
We need to only look at the outcome. Amputated, burned, widowed,
disowned. All possible joys were either thrown away or subsequently
taken from him as a result of his choices. He had no legs of his own to
stand on, nor a hand to caress the cheeks of his loved ones. Scalded
on the inside, fresh air was torture. Food – the simple joy of the
community table – lost all of its savor. He aimed for an indulgent life
and ended up with nothing. This is vividly described in some of the
New Canon literature, such as Lords of the Sith and the
comics. St Augustine said that sin is when one becomes curved in on
himself. The commonwealth of the world is sacrificed for some sort of
selfish gain, but finds that the just reward is damnation.
and it is good. There is another way, which leads to blessedness,
fullness, joyfulness and a requited love. Ironically from the modern
point of view, it is the ascetic way of life. You see, when you claw
for everything, you will often end up landing in the mud. When you are
willing to sacrifice everything for the other, the greater blessings
flow back. This is love; this is freedom from being owned by
selfishness, materialism and fleeting success. “Freedom is just another
word for nothing left to lose.”
Last Sunday was my penultimate Sunday with my current congregation. I
said very plainly in my sermon this crucial statement: “If you have
heard me say anything at all, let it be this: Love is always about the
other person.” To give, to sacrifice, to empty yourself – these are the
highest virtues that a human can exercise.
The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann 157).”
that means many dietary restrictions, almsgiving, a reduction of
pleasurable pursuits and more attendance at the divine services).
Through the setting aside of the admittedly good things of this life
(among them Philly cheesesteaks and fired up barbecue grills), we are
moving in the sure hope of the greater things of the age to come. The
ascetic struggle, the current life of denial and self-control, is a
profound statement of hope in the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven and a
school for the better appreciation of the Creation in which we will
live out our lives on this side of the eternal repose of our souls.