The Battle

Deacon Blog                                    March 23, 2019

The Battle Continous

I received many comments on last week’s subject. A dialogue emerged, mostly along a “certain age” demographic, that was grateful for a subject they’re real familiar with, but also one they perceive as an essential teaching of the Church today. A truth of human reality that has been forgotten…or somewhat dismissed over the past thirty years. For 2,000 years the Church has taught that Satan is an active evil being (an angel) who roams earth with a legion of spirits inflicting harm and influence over humanity. Today, the notion of an evil force vying for our souls is mostly the topic of comic relief. Many will remember the comedian, Flip Wilson, who replied “The devil made me do it” whenever he was caught making poor choices. Some would say the devil is merely a fictitious character designed to deflect responsibility for human behavior. I have often agreed with Edmund Burke’s statement “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing”…in other words a lack of moral character on society’s part. But this leaves an important question unanswered, “Where does evil come from?”. If our souls, formed in the “image and likeness of GOD” are created in love, how are evil thoughts encrypted into some people’s hearts. Maybe it’s environmental or how they grow up. Maybe cultural ideas can manifest bad choices. Violent fundamentalism and racism come to mind here. But none of these reasons transcend the millenniums since Jesus’ Resurrection. Why has LOVE acquired a “bulls-eye from the very beginning? Who determines how temptations are received or rejected? Humanity’s free will?

To share some personal, as well as scriptural, thoughts I will start by saying that evil has no control over anyone who believes (James 1:14,15) unless access to our lives is granted… by us. This access can come to us a thousand ways in certain music, literature, movies, tv, games, friends, crowds, news. It can be learned in families, but only when we fail to filter ideas through the lens of LOVE. Who truly chooses anger and hate over loving and kindness…unless it is clouded by deceit and confusion.  St. Paul’s exhortation in Romans 8:38 tells us that nothing separates us from the love of GOD… unless we deny HIM. This is about choosing a path and valuing the sacredness of GOD’s creation over everything. This includes choosing the grace of the confessional. We are all in need of it, and while we may go to MASS to glorify GOD, the penitential rite is an absolution for our venial mistakes and is just one of the infinite Blessings the FATHER returns to us at HIS party. It cleans up our “hard-drive” and lightens our load.

Like the wind, which we also cannot see, the carnage and suffering of evil is plainly evident… be it a physical presence or merely spiritual. We should not allow ourselves to be deceived that it does not exist.  Focusing on the efforts of evil in the world can blind us to the overwhelming goodness and charity that infuses our lives. It can cause us to overlook the beautiful and perfect works the Holy Spirit effects in and around us every day. There will always be those who allow evil to dictate their lives…But LOVE has chosen us, LOVE possesses our souls, and LOVE protects us. There is only one choice to make…and it has the power to eliminate evil.

Comments, Questions, Random Thoughts?                deaconmike@gunnisoncatholic.org

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