Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Devil's work,



One of the things I am grateful to our beloved Holy Father for is that he has 'liberated' talk of the devil, he has made it acceptable to speak about malevolent supernatural powers, which is an important part of the restoration of the hermeneutic of continuity, though as the "Father of Lies" main area of operation is not so much in the real world but in the world of illusion and imagination, consequently though the devil greatest trick is to convince the world he doesn't exist his normal way of operating, at least among Christians, is to get them to imagine he is more prevalent and powerful than he actually is and to forget Christ has conquered.

Sunday's EF readings had the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin as the Gospel, I reflected on how terrible it was to be lost: the sheep would end up either dying of hunger or injured and pecked to death by birds or a wild beast and the coin would be trampled into the filth of an earthen floor of a dark cottage. The Epistle warned us: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour stand up to him strong in faith. Sheep might be pecked to death by birds, coins might be lost in the filth of a dark cottage's floor but for us, if we lost from Christ we will be devoured by the devil himself!

It strikes me as if  entire societies are being detached from Christ and the result is they are being devoured. Look at the recent Brazilian Gay Pride demonstration, which directly targets Christ, look at the effects on marriage, the family, the place of children in our society when we abandon even the pretence of Christian morality. Pope Benedict on his German trip, spoke of the terrible consequences for humanity when a society abandons a Christian moral framework.

 In Mexico recently there was convention at which behind closed doors of the Cathedral the country was exorcised. Wherever Christ is rejected or pushed out, the devil enters, he loves a vacuum and enters it quickly. As Pope Francis said, "If we do not pray to Christ, we pray to the devil". The choice is becoming clearer and clearer and more immediate: Heaven or Hell, there is no place in between.

11 comments:

newguy40 said...

My favorite image of Jesus is as the "Good Shepherd". I have a holy card of Him as the good shepherd that I find helpful for reflection. The image is of Jesus with crook, holding a young lamb firmly to his breast while and "older" sheep gazes directly at Him. I am that "old" sheep and ask His help and mercy to keep myself focused ONLY on him. As a sheep I am too easily distracted and lost without the shepherd's love and attention.

Cosmos said...

I was hopeful hearing those words come out of Pope Francis at the beginning of his reign. Now I feel like they simply don't make sense in the context of his overall teaching.

It seems like only (1) international capitalists, (2) bankers, (3) mafia bosses, and (4) Catholic pharisees have to worry about the devil.

The rest of us have the full armor of VII to stand against the devil’s schemes! . . .

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the systems of oppression with which Western Europe has corrupted nature and impoverished the Third World. . .

Therefore we must put on the full armor of accompaniment, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to listen, and after you have done everything, to remain open-minded. . .

Stand firm then, with the belt of dialogue buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of invincible ignorance in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from scientific consensus. . .

In addition to all this, take up the shield of accompaniment, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of dogmatism and proselytism. Take the helmet of fraternity and the sword of the revolution, which is Liberty.

JARay said...

I have just been reading a "Cadfael" book called "The Heretic's Apprentice" and in it, one of his heros, Elave, is accused of heresy because he maintains that God is just and would never send an unbaptised child to hell just because it had not been baptised. He was then accused of denying the necessity of infant baptism and for that reason he is called a heretic. Now I am not saying that the author of this book is an authority on Theology but it caused me to think back to my childhood and we all believed then, in Limbo (and I still do!).
We say in The Apostles' Creed "He descended into Hell, on the third day he rose again..". Now we were taught that "Limbo is the place where the souls of the Just who died before Christ were detained". We were also told that Limbo is a part of Hell but it is not a part where there is any punishment. Indeed it is a place of natural happiness but those who are/were there, do not have the Beatific Vision.
You, Father, write above, "The choice is becoming clearer and clearer and more immediate: Heaven or Hell, there is no place in between."
What then do you think of those millions of souls of aborted babies?
I seem to remember that St. Thomas Aquinas posited the idea that even after death an unbaptised soul may well be given some sort of revelation of the Truth and then that soul could make an informed choice! We simply do not know whether this is so or not! What do you think?

Fr Ray Blake said...

JARay,
We leave them to the mercy of God, we are told of the necessity of baptism by the Lord but we are told his overwhelming mercy; not everything is revealed. Limbo was about bringing these two truths together, for my part I am willing to find out later.

Savonarola said...

Why do I get the feeling that the devil is far more real for some religious people than God?
God is supposed to be a real presence, but he seems like only a useful guard against the attacks of the devil - so long as we keep him appeased, that is. Funny old religion.

Physiocrat said...

There is worse. A spiritual vacuum is being created which will not remain empty for long. What will fill it?

Paul Hellyer said...

Thank you Father for saying "at least among Christians, is to get them to imagine he is more prevalent and powerful than he actually is and to forget Christ has conquered."
You have made my day. Thank you. . .

Gregkanga said...

Bishops and priests are no longer interested in seeking out the lost. They want the lost to come to them, to find them. That is why the Church is failing in its all important mission of evangelisation. Because spiritually they themselves are disengaged from the evangelisation process, whole dioceses and parishes are disengaged. Some religious orders have put evangelisation in the too hard basket and prefer to simply be a quiet 'presence', the Jesuits are good at this. Evangelisation through the process of osmosis.

Paul Hellyer said...

All over the Catholic world churches are closing. Beautiful Churches like St John the Baptist in Quebec are due for redundancy. Meanwhile there is a huge thirst for religion and for contact with the divine amongst former Christian peoples. Just see the thousands who flocked to Stonehenge to see the sun rise the other day. Meanwhile Bishops play 'Church' dressed up in their robes never getting their hands dirty. Never smelling the 'sheep' as pope Francis calls it. That is our enigmatic hard to follow pope.
Gregkanga you are right. Bishops don't evangelise. They expect the people to come to them.

Gregkanga said...

Paul Hellyer many of the Church's current problems stem from her appointed leaders who simply refuse to lead. The word lost has many meanings, and the Church is lost in just about every sense of the dictionary meaning of the word. This is why Christianity in the West has collapsed and Judaeo-Christian morality is in rapid decline. Bishops, and to some degree priests are the chosen and appointed ones for persevering in all the doctrines of the Apostles. According to Acts 20, they are suppose to be the support on which persevering in the doctrines of the Apostles' by Christ's flock hinges. The hinges have simply gone missing and the appointed elders live detached from the Lord's flock.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Gregkanga: You are absolutely right. A prime example is Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin who refused to give guidance to the faithful on the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland. Christ thought it necessary to tell Peter three times to feed the sheep. It still does not seem to have sunk in with some of the successors to the Apostles.