What if I was just a man, who came to you and said that his wife was taken away from him, and he wanted the world to pay for that?
Father Leone: I'd say that there is no love in revenge.
- Superman #206
by Brian Azzarello and Jim Lee
Some of the best interpretations of Superman frame him as a symbol that is supposed to inspire us to be better people. It's not his amazing powers that make him super, but his unwavering moral convictions. His powers don't make him Superman. What he does with those powers makes him Superman.
Again, in this storyline, a million people have disappeared from earth, including Superman's wife, Lois Lane. He attempts to explains his feelings to Father Leone not as Superman, but as just a man, that has lost his wife. And he wants revenge. Vengeance.
I know all about that feeling. I know far too well about desiring vengeance and possessing a sense of rage that spreads out and targets others indiscriminately. Some men just want to watch the world burn, and it doesn't always take much to push them to that point.
Father Leone is right. Such longing for revenge is devoid of love. Christ taught us to love instead of seeking vengeance, even when such vengeance would be understandable or acceptable. Especially when such vengeance would be understandable.
"But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" - Matthew 5:44 [NRSV]
This is the "madness" of the love of Christ. It is absurd and illogical that we would love those who hurt us. But that is what we are called to do. For there is no love in revenge.