Monday, July 30, 2012

Reflective Ramadan

" I fasted for You,
I believe in You ,
I put my trust in You, 
and I break my fast with
Your sustenance"

July 20th was the beginning of the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan.

This month is the time that Muslims remember their leader Muhammad's trip of fasting and revelation in the desert. They believe that this is the time that Muhammad was the closest to their god, receiving the Quran and instructions on how faith in god must be taught and practiced.

Not only is this to be the month that Muhammad was the closest to the Muslim god, it is followed by the Islamic people returning their whole hearts, minds, and souls back to Allah.

They fast. Every day is a sacrifice from sunrise to sunset. When their stomachs churn in agony for the food they lack, they remember how blessed they had been for food before. They use their lack of food as a daily sacrifice to their god. And, at nightfall, when they can eat again, they know that God has provided them with the food to give them the strength and nourishment they need to continue through their days.

Yet, these whole-hearted followers do more than just a physical fast. This time, Ramadan, is a lot like the Christian season of Lent, if Lent were to be consistently remembered every hour of every day that it is celebrated. Muslims are not only to pray, but to set apart their beings for their god. They are to walk in his ways. Their whole life, especially during this month, is meant for the identity of Allah.

If only, as Christians, we could have this muster. I wish that we could have this faith.

But, at the same time, I know that we have an ever stronger faith.The followers of Islam practice what we preach. They live their lives, especially this month, for their god. As his humble servants and grateful disciples.

Perhaps, the reason for our lack of practice is our understanding of grace and mercy. God has given everything for us. Our faith given by the Holy Spirit and God's love and sacrifice is what saves us. We don't need to do anything. It's all given to us. But, we forget that if our faith is alive then our actions necessarily follow. "For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead."

Where are our works?!?

The least we can do is pray for those who have become dedicated to their religion although it's astray.

I challenge you to do more: Be there for these people during this time. Show them what your faith means to you. Pray for others like Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, and Politicians too.

The most we could do is become inspired by these people and live our true faith even stronger than they practice theirs.


The last week of Ramadan:

Sources for
Christian Prayer
during Ramadan:

The Really Real (Slice)

"Things that might seem incredibly real to me—my sense of failure or success, a sense of fear or offense—somehow seem, not unimportant, but less tall, less real, if I imagine really trying to describe them to the man who claimed to be God.

The Gospel of John recounts the story of a man confronted with the responsibility to grapple with his perception of Jesus and the looming worry on his mind. John 4:43-54 tells of a certain royal official whose son was ill and hours away from death. This man had heard that Jesus had arrived in a town nearby, so with a desperate hope he left his son's side and went to the place where Jesus was teaching. There, he hurriedly begged Jesus to come back with him to Capernaum and heal his son.

...This man's perception of Jesus likely existed hazily within his perception of the things he knew were real—and pressingly real at that moment. His son lay at home dying. As we can imagine, his sense of time and space was incredibly heightened. His son was sick, death moments around the corner. Hearing of Christ's arrival, the official left quickly hoping there was still time. If Jesus agreed to return with him, they would have to move quickly.

...Whatever his perception, the official believed there was something real enough about Jesus to possibly mend the peril of the moment.

... In a race against death, than he was hope and life itself. Consumed by the weight of time, the man begged the face of eternity, "Sir, come down before my child dies!" The text is full of anxious awareness that time is of the essence. Like countless others of his day and ours, within his perception of Christ, he [may] had not fully come to terms with the profundity of Christ's unique claims as they might affect this and every moment. He may have believed him to be real; did he believe him to be God? The greatest tragedy in our thinking about Christ is often that it stops far short from really considering the outrageous claims he has given us to consider.

Yet here, in a providential test of perception, Jesus responds to the anguished father's desperation. But he simply says, "You may go. Your son will live." In this defining moment, the man had to decide whether Christ was who he said he was or not. He had to decide what and who was more real. Could the hand of Jesus really touch his son across these cities? Could this word really mean something for his son from such a span? Were time and distance the greatest factors in his child's life or was this rabbi one who could really overturn everything that loomed so real before him?

The gospel simply reports that the man "took Jesus at his word and departed." At Christ's word, the man's perception of reality was sharpened. Jesus became more than a good man, more than a miracle worker; time and distance became lesser gods. Moving beyond fear and hurriedness, trusting beyond time and space, beyond his own eyes, the man took Jesus at his word, and went home to find his son well."

--Jill Carattini

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Morality (Batman 1966 Vs. the Dark Knight today)

Things have really changed:

"You know that day that you once told me about,

What has changed between the 1966 Batman and the Batman of today? Has the Bat lost his mind or morality? His strength or his spirit? Overall: No.

In many ways, the Dark Knight has remained the same. At his core he still believes in "No guns. No killing." and that "‎"A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a little boy's shoulder to let him know that the world hadn't ended."

But, at the same time Batman seems to be darker than ever. He has lost his humorous flare and blatant goodness. Perhaps, what has changed is his image. In the 1960's they portrayed everything that a hero should be: Noble. Heroic. Someone to look up to. Someone who stands up for morals more than anything else. Someone who would go to any length to do the tiniest good deed.

Now, they portray what a hero would be. They took the ideals and morals of the Adam West Batman and left them how they were. But, they made them rougher and deeper in his soul. Even though Bruce might want to do anything and everything he could for the moral good, due to different circumstances he realizes that he cannot be everywhere at once. He cannot shout out for virtues and justice at every party that he attends as Bruce because he would (sadly) lose a lot of his public reputation. He is still: A good guy. A hero. Someone to look up to. But, only in his personal life (not his character in public). He says that it doesn't matter as much who you are, but what you do.

Everyone does this. It might be to keep from being hurt. It might be in order to be able to control the situations that we are in. They might be reserved because it is all we know or just how we are. It might be to keep from losing public face. No matter why we do it; the fact remains that we do.

Even though we might want to wish to proclaim what is right and what is wrong, we keep our mouths shut. We don't want to look cheesy or weird. We don't want to be the freaks standing against the status-quo of acceptability and unbias. Though this is the way that the world is it is not the way that the world should be.

In a way we should be scolded for not proclaiming the Law and the Gospel consistently and unwavering. But, at the same time there is a time and a place for everything. We are to warn our earthly brothers and sisters of what is right and of what is wrong (if only the Dark Knight Opening Night killer would have been able to know these things), but at the same time we need to listen to what they have to say. If we cannot lead by example, listen to them and hear them so that they may also listen to us, then how far can we really get?

The new Dark Knight is too quiet, allowing the bad to conquer while he stands by knowing better. He should have been a watchman like Ezekiel in chapter 33. The 60's Bat was too cheesy and outspoken, saying goofy things too often so that no one would really heed to much attention to his call.

The modern man needs a balance.

We need to be able to say that Christ died and rose so that we might also have life, but also be able to share that those who do not believe are condemned (John 3:16-17). While, at the same time, we cannot make it into a joke or seem to be the fool ranting about the same thing over and over and over and over *deep breath* and over and over and over again.

We need to lead lives that boast in the Lord and what he has done for us, being an example of who we are and what we believe to the rest of the world. Perhaps the best way to have this balance is to still proclaim Jesus Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit in everything we do. But, balance the proclamation between our actions and our words instead of solely one or the other. (We use both!! All the time!!! We can combine how West uses his voice with the way that Bale leads by example.)

For the sake of the world, they need to heed our voices.
But, for the sake of our humanity, we need to share our actions.

We can be more than how Batman would be or should be,
We can be ever better than what Batman could be.

This has been part of the Dark Knight Series

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Dark (Law) Knight (Gospel)

Batman may be the darkest hero.

Although he saves Gotham at the end of the day, he also instills fear within those who would stand against him (the reason why Bane is intrigued with him to begin with). This is because of the fear that had always been instilled within him:

As a little boy, Bruce Wayne's parents were both killed in front of him. This gave Bruce the understanding of how short the arm of the law really is. He knew that he could do more to stand against it. 

This motivation not only showed him how not to live and what not to do, but also what to do. Bruce was familiar with the terror and helplessness that the thug had forced upon him as a boy and he knew that he could use this same tool to stop the men who were like the one that had hurt him. He took on the mantle of the Bat, an animal that prowls the night and horrifies many (including the young Bruce himself).

Almost all of the comic book devotions so far have been based on the villain instead of the hero. It would seem to be much easier to relate to the enemy than the savior. Perhaps it is because of sin, due to our own human state, or because we as a race have often taken the side against God instead of standing with Him.

Batman is just like that. Although he might not be the "villain" of the story, his darkness is easy to relate to. We have all witnessed the power fear and might have even wished to make others fear us. We have all lost people or things dear to us and have gone to almost any means to get them back, or at least avenge them. We have given into the darkness in order to achieve something that seems to be right.

This darkness is one of the strongest powers known to man. Making him crave even more than he had started with or could ever need. And, clouding his judgment so that he might never again be able to see the light.

How has Batman overcome this darkness that he is filled with?

It is because he is not only Dark, he is also a Knight.

He has more than just the guidance, reflection, and direction that understanding the darkness and justice can give. He has hope.

Besides knowing all of the evil in the world and his undying need to stop it, he knows what the world should be like. He doesn't merely aim to stop what is wrong, he wants to make it right. Instead of bringing the world from bad to neutral, he wants to make it good like any true knight would do.

He wants to take what is evil and not only be rid of it, but to redeem it and make it pure and good.

This is what Christ has done for us. He knew the evil, the Law, and how to keep it. But, more-importantly, he knew the good news, the Gospel. He knew what he had come to do, redeem the world. He had hope and he fulfilled his hope for us through his death and resurrection; our purification.

He has become our Knight who leads us away from the Dark.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bane (Biting the Heel)



Although Batman & Robin might have made it seem like the only muscle Bane never exercised was his brain, the comic books tell a different story.

"The Man who Broke the Bat" series follows the story of how Bane devilishly crafts a way to destroy Batman. He begins with the knowledge that there is no way that he could beat Batman alone. This leads him to tear down the walls of Arkham, releasing its prisoners. It takes three months for Batman to fight and recapture all of the escapees. At the end of this time he is weak and tired in need of rest. Batman goes home, to be Bruce Wayne, but when he gets there Bane ambushes him and leaves him a paraplegic.

Bane is the only villain who has (literally) broken Batman's back. He is the only villain who has made the Bat recognize a self-hopelessness that one should never have to grasp. He is also the only villain who leaves Batman with the realization of how weak, powerless, and alone he really is.

There is no happy ending to "The Man who Broke the Bat" story-line.

But, in this new story and in real life there is still hope.

The new movie is called: The Dark Knight Rises. If Batman is to be anything like the Christ whom he is often paralleled with, he will rise after he falls. When the world is the darkest and all hope seems to be lost is when the plot twists. When it looks like the enemy has conquered at last by working through sin, death, the world, and us God often has one more surprise in store. The hero is able to come back stronger and more magnificent then ever before to bruise the enemies head.

Like Bane, Satan plots to beat God. He releases sin and uses it to work through God's creation in order to wear Him down and tire Him out. At Gethsemane, in the flesh, God would appear to be at one of his weakest points, Satan attacks him. Then the Devil (working through us) puts Him up on a cross as crowds cheer.

It is dark. It seems to be the end. Jesus Christ takes his final breath. But, there's more. The curtain of the temple is torn in two (uniting humanity with God in a way that has never been done before), the dead rise (foreshadowing our future resurrection), and the Holy Spirit presents faith.

Three days later, the Lord returns! Jesus comes back! His presence exclaims his triumph over sin, over death, and over Satan.

I hope that Batman is also able to come back with a presence to proclaim his triumph over his injury, thugs, and Bane.

Through Batman's fall and rise, he would save Gotham.

Through Christ's death and resurrection, he saves the world.

This has been part of the Dark Knight Series

Monday, July 16, 2012

Catwoman (Neutrality)

In comic books, there are typical "good guys" and "bad guys." Catwoman never seems to be one of those. Even though she is one of the main characters in many of Batman's story-lines, she is not pure or evil, black or white. She does not seem to care what the grand scheme of things may be. Instead of caring about the predicament's outcome she usually just looks out for herself only caring about what is good for her now.

In The Dark Knight Rises things may be different. Catwoman, in the trailer, warns Batman of the darkness coming. She finally chose her side: the Dark. But, as Bane gains control of the city she realizes how terrible the darkness really is. Even though she wants Bane to take power away from the corrupt and wealthy, she realizes that the cost is too high.

Towards the end of the trailer it looks like Catwoman has once again switched sides. After realizing her mistake and the horror that is Bane, she teams up with the Bat to fight the darkness. She joins the Light. But, still only for her own sake and not solely for the good of all. (And, hopefully she helps Batman win.)

We are not to be neutral like Catwoman always seems to be. We should not be half-heartedly in and half-heartedly out of the big picture like the lukewarm church in Laodicea. We must not choose the side that we deem fit no matter how evil it is. And we should not align ourselves with what is "good" just for our own benefit.

Instead of only caring for ourselves, we are to be selfless. In this selflessness, as Christ Jesus was ultimately selfless in His death and resurrection, we will not only be doing what is right for us but also what is "good" in the big picture. By forgetting our own little world of "me," we serve in the world of "we." We stop serving ourselves and start serving through love God and our neighbors. This is how God had intended us to be.

When we forget this and become like Catwoman in only caring for ourselves and forgetting about God and others (instead of the other way around) we need God to tie us up for a second. If we go too far into the darkness and see no way out, if we release sin and the Devil (like Bane and his deeds), God has a way of making us stop for a second and realize how far we've gone.

Like Catwoman asking Batman for help, we know we have to go back to the Source, the Lord of Hosts. He is the only one powerful enough to get us out of our mess. Even though we should have never been in this predicament in the first place, Christ, like Batman, is willing to go to any extreme in order to save us and everyone else that we have gotten in trouble.

Don't be selfish. Be selfless.

In doing this,
don't be neutral. Be good.

When you fail, be like Catwoman and go back to the Savior to ask for help.

This has been part of the Dark Knight Series

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What Kind of Hero? (Slice)

"I was intrigued once by the descriptions given by a video game creator who developed a game that casts the player as a character in a world of choices. The game is now a few years old, but the character customization system it employs is still reasonably unique. It is based on the idea that everything the character does will affect him. Accordingly, "What kind of hero were you?" was the producer's favorite question as promoted the game.

In the world of video games, it is fair to say that choices are usually made up front about the kind of character you want to be—villain, hero, explorer. Whether you are going to be a saint or a hooligan is decided in a vacuum—with one choice instead of many—and is largely unaffected by the environment and experiences of the character. In more ways than one, it is an escape from real life.

But this designer has given the escape a different twist.He set out to create a video game in which choices are made with a similar pace, intricacy, and consequence as real life. "I always thought as a designer, 'Who am I to tell you what type of character you should be?'" he said. In a plot reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, a player's moral decisions affect the fate—even the appearance—of the hero. Players become the kind of character their choices produce, and the world around them is influenced accordingly. Moreover, the simulated world is full of the sort of temptations that lure dark sides and influence decisions: If you could get away with stealing would you? What if the money received from a bribe seemed more useful than the honor gained from refusing it? If you knew every decision would ultimately affect your character would it make you behave respectably or would you eventually give in?

In fact, the books read like a relentless encyclopedia of failures, providing the official documentation of the moral, political, and national collapses of Israel and Judah. "Joram son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, but... he got rid of the sacred stone of Baal that his father had made" (2 Kings 3:1-2). Again and again, the same phrase follows the name of a king: "He did what was evil in the eyes of the LORD."

In fact, the exposition of five hundred years and more than forty kings seems to tirelessly utter disappointment. Even the stories of kings who did what was "pleasing in the eyes of the LORD" do not shout of success. While they made steps closer to God than many of their successors, they never seemed to close the gap. "[Uzziah] did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. The high places, however, were not removed; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there" (2 Kings 15:3-4).

Each story articulates something of the nature of life. We do not choose the kind of person we want to be in a vacuum, anymore than we make that decision only once. These kings made choices that were influenced by mood and politics, temptations and trials, by the kings before them, and by battles that shook their kingdoms and their pride. They were touched by greed and jealousy, conviction and consequence. They were shaped by the presence of God and the genuineness with which they cried out to God—as are we today.

There is something about seeing a life outlined in one paragraph—an epitaph, a memory, an obituary—that rouses our own to perspective. Through years of flawed and sinful leaders, years where corruption reigned and a great number of people failed miserably, the hopeful purposes of God still moved forth. Through generations who sought after God and generations who turned their backs on God, a divine hand was yet at work among all of them. The time we face today is full of choices, but so it is filled with a God who is faithful though we are not.

--Jill Carattini

Actions influence who you are and who you become.
To be the hero you were meant to be, righteous actions should be followed.
But, remember even when we cannot be completely good Christ redeems us.
He takes the nothingness that we have become due to our sin and makes it worth everything to Him.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tests (Two-Face)

"The Lord tests the righteous..."

In The Dark Knight, Batman is faced with a choice to save his girlfriend or to save Harvey Dent.
He wants to save his crush. He ends up saving Harvey. (Proverbs 19:21)

Yet, Batman isn't the only one faced with a test:

In the process of Batman's choice, Harvey's mind is at work. As a pure, white knight of Gotham, he has legally imprisoned hundreds of criminals. This is something even Batman has failed to do (because the life of a vigilantly is less-than legal). And as this perfect knight, Harvey wishes to continue to do what is right.

He needs to save the love of his life. In order to do this he knows that he must make a self-sacrificing decision. As they are both sitting there, stuck inside of one of the Joker's bad jokes, the punchline is thrown: one of the two of them must die. Harvey, sees his chance. In order to save his love's life, he must drown himself. He tips his chair over and attempts to drown himself in order to safe his girl.

Batman comes in and saves Harvey in the nick of time.

The girl dies.

Harvey has struggled through this test and seems victorious. He remains pure and selfless up until the end. But, the Lord's plan prevailed. For whatever reason, Harvey was meant to live.

Harvey's trial would seem to be over. He can once-again be the holy hero that Gotham needs. But, his test continues. As he lies in the hospital letting his face heal he has a devilish visitor:

In some twisted sort of way, Harvey begins to fail the test. He forgets who he was: a righteous man. He delves into chance. Instead of being able to judge for himself what is right and wrong, by knowing what and who he believes in, he leaves it up to his two-faced coin. To him, even though the world does have a good and evil, light and dark, black and white, he loses faith in any means to interpret which side to choose.

He becomes unrighteous.

And, he seems to think that every one else must play by these knew rules.

He is wrong.

We have been blessed by God. He has given us not only commandments and a book (instruction manual if you will) to live by, he has given His Son (Himself) to prove to us not only that there is a true good in the world (it was made from good not chance), but that He is good. He loves us. And, he would do anything for us. Where Harvey falls, as we all do, Jesus Christ as the only truly righteous man would be able to bring him back up.

Instead, Harvey relies on a coin and chance, his idols, just like us. His scar becomes more than a physical feature. It plagues his soul. With this new thorn in his flesh, he is unable to make any truly clear or righteous decision.

But, his test still isn't over. He still has time for a change. He has time for redemption and knowledge of salvation. He still has time to put his trust and faith in God. And, I'm glad to say that, so do you.

If you are ever unsure or wavering in your faith; if your trust is uncertain and you do not know if God is near; know that you may still pass God's test. There should be no fear. As Christ lives in you through faith, He will succeed where all others fail. Although not everything that you wish for may be granted to you, he consistently proves his love for you by providing for you. He's the one who gives you the clothes on your back, the food in your belly, and the bed to sleep on.

It is alright to test yourselves and to test your faith. Just remember not to test God. Where we are able to measure our weakness and longer for the strength that only God can provide, He will be there as He is with us everywhere. He constantly gives us what is good and what is righteous and it is only through our own illusions and our own misplaced trust (in chaos, coins, or worldly philosophies) that we cannot see it.

This has been part of the Dark Knight Series

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Why so serious?" (Self-Control)

The true star of The Dark Knight might have been Heath Ledger as the Joker.

In this movie the Joker proves what he truly is: Sick, Twisted, Insane. He is the baddest bad-guy imaginable. He laughs at evil and thrives off of chaos.

It is enough to make one wonder whether or not Ledger's death was do to the his inside-view obtained by method-acting. Becoming Batman's complete opposite could have been enough to ruin any man.

One haunting catch-phrase seems to echo from this character's very being:

As the Joker makes funnies about murder and burns the dreams of men, he resonates the idea of a complete comedy. Upon confronting Batman, the most prominent words are, "Why so serious?"

The Joker wants Batman to join his side. He craves the Bat to see the punchline and make some sort of hilarious comeback. Whether or not the Dark Knight understands the "joke" does not really seem to matter because in this joke's telling innocents suffer. Even though these people might not really mean anything to the Joker or personally to Batman, they mean something to someone and their lives are not worth losing. Batman knows that this is nothing worth laughing about.

The Joker flails about willy-nilly causing destruction and grief because he seems to be the only one on the inside of his joke, Batman retains his self-control. Even when the Joker tries to push the Bat over the edge and force him to show some sort of emotion and have some sort of dark humor by killing the Joker, Batman refuses. There are lines that he will not cross.

We are to have this sort of self-control.

One may say that in the Bible there are Laments, David dances (seemingly uncontrolled), Solomon lusts after a woman, Jesus tips the tables of the temple, and many more righteous people seem to remain righteous while also being uncontrolled. They have a point. Perhaps the wisdom of Solomon inspired by the Holy Spirit is right in saying that there is "A time for Everything."

But, a truly righteous man would not go against the statutes and commands of God.

Perhaps this self-control that is given by the Holy Spirit and commanded by God is something different. This type of self-control is spelled out in Galations 5. We don't have to be the stoic (emotionless) Bat, but we are to be the Bat that is unwavering and strong-minded in controlling himself. It is alright to let our emotions loose (both positive and negative) in order to enjoy and live life. But, at the same time we cannot forget who we are. We are free by all standards of the term, but in our freedom we should not lose ourselves.

Like Christ, we have the freedom of emotion but we also have self-control to remember to do what is right.

We can drink without getting drunk, we can speak without cursing, and we can love without immorality.

We can see the comedy of the joke, but if the joke is wrong, corrupt, wretched, and sinful we can choose not to laugh.

Perhaps if Ledger would have known this he would still be with us.

"We have concluded that the manner of death is... from the abuse of prescription medications."

"A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls." Proverbs 25:28.

This has been part of the Dark Knight Series

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gwen Stacy (The Perfect Bride)

Gwen Stacy was Peter Parker's first true love.

Stan Lee created "sweet and lovable." She was the perfect girlfriend, one that Pete knew he should never have deserved to go out with. But, the one he still loved and was glad she was in love with him too.

She is played by Emma Stone, the leading lady in The Amazing Spider-Man movie (being released at midnight, 7/3/12).

In a way, Gwen is the Church with Christ as the groom. Not only would he insist that she be at the wedding banquet with him, she would be the apple of his eye. He loved her and continues to love her. Not only does he love every portion of her as shared in the wasfs of the Song of Songs, he loves her very soul and being. There is no one else that he would rather be with.

Yet, instead of Christ being the one never feeling up to par with the Church, the Church should know that she can never make herself like Christ. But, in his love, Christ overlooks this and makes her just as beautiful as he is.

This is a beautiful picture: Christ and his Bride. Sanctified. Perfect. Holy.

But, there is more we need to know.

Before we get to Revelation, we need to remember the rest of the story. The rest of the truth.

Satan bit the heel of Christ. He corrupted the Church, His beloved wife.

Just as the Green Goblin hung Gwen off of a bridge, swaying her back and forth captive, we have been caught up by the Devil and it is beyond our own power to do anything about it. We need a savior from the temptations that we get ourselves into.

This may be a spoiler, but Gwen dies. She falls. The Green Goblin drops her and kills her. She is one of the only comic book characters to ever permanently remain dead. This is what Satan wants for us.

Spider-Man was only a man. There was no way for him to save Gwen in time. Just as he continually fails to find the perfect cure for the Lizard, he has failed to save the one true love of his life. Just as Spider-Man failed, we fail. We are only human.

As the fallen bride of Christ, we need more than a human to save us.

We need the Christ, Jesus. He is man. But, he is also God. He is the one being who could ever succeed while we continue to fail. Through his power alone not only does he catch us from the trap that the Devil has drawn us into he brings us back from the fall even better than we were before.

This has been part of the Spider-Man Series