Do you know what it’s like to have a good idea or plan and then to see someone not follow it at their peril? For example, if you have kids then you’ve probably seen them go ten rounds fighting over something that could have been resolved with 30 seconds of conversation. When we don’t follow rules, we introduce so much unnecessary chaos. Well, I feel like the world is enduring so much self-imposed misery when the path to happiness and meaning is right there in front of us!
Christ Versus Satan
I recently read Father Robert Spitzer’s Christ Versus Satan in Our Daily Lives. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to boost their spiritual defenses. I’m not going to lie, it’s a scary book as it outlines all the ways Satan tries to control us. Fr. Spitzer discusses Satan’s tactics, demonic possession, and the eight deadly vices. He makes it clear that there are demonic forces at play in our lives waiting to attack the undefended.
There is, however, a sense of hope in the book. Try as Satan might, his powers are still bounded by God. Fr. Spitzer shows how Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the desert failed because he was no match for the power of God. We too can defeat Satan and resist temptation when we call on the protection of God. The problem is that many people do not call on God’s protection and invite Satan into their lives.
A World Falling Apart
I mention this book because it relates to what we see in our world. Our society has abandoned the values and principles that have protected us from evil. We are currently undergoing a radical, worldwide experiment of replacing values such as religion, family, and community with an almost “anything goes” attitude. And poll after poll shows us that people are feeling less happy and satisfied as a result.
- America in spiritual decline: Is it true what the Wall Street Journal poll is saying? — GetReligion
- In-person Mass attendance dips following pandemic, study suggests | Catholic News Agency
- With alarming new reports on American youth, what should religious leaders be doing? — GetReligion
- How Should Catholics Respond to the CDC’s Devastating New Data on ‘LGBTQ Youth’? – CatholicVote org
If you read Fr. Spitzer’s book or just read Catholic doctrine, the erosion of society shouldn’t come as a shock. We open the doors to Satan’s control when we abandon God’s protection and seek fulfillment in worldly pursuits. Whether we admit it or not, we are spiritual beings with eternal souls with an innate sense of good and evil. And when we turn our back on the good, Satan will fill that void.
I’m not saying that the world was perfect in the past or that everyone who practiced a religious faith was an angel. After all, we fought horrific wars and people’s behaviors in their private lives weren’t anything to brag about. But I feel like we, as a society, knew what was right and wrong even when we failed to live up to them. We tried to steer our laws and behaviors toward the good. We’ve gone so far off the rails as a world now that we don’t acknowledge basic facts about human anatomy or basic ethical and moral principles that most religions, philosophies, and societies have recognized for thousands of years.
What is Truth?
Jesus’ scourging and crowning of thorns took place under the direction of Pontius Pilate. He notoriously asked Jesus, “What is truth?” He would have felt right at home in today’s world where everything can be doubted and explained away if it’s inconvenient. There are thousands of “Pilates” in our world condemning those who live by God’s Truth under the pretense that the truth is hurtful and bigoted. Like Pilate, so many people find it easier to dismiss truth and hence, dismiss God, because it is often hard to live up to.
Like Jesus falling under the cross in the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, we will fall under the weight of sin. We can complain whenever we fall to sin about how unfair it all may seem. There are so many rules and restrictions that our crosses impose on us. Wouldn’t we be so much happier if we threw off the weight of religion and dismiss all her teachings on vice, sin, Satan, Heaven, and Hell?
The reality is we cannot pretend our crosses do not exist. Jesus didn’t magically make his cross disappear although he had the power to do so. He didn’t complain about how unfairly he was being treated during his Passion and Crucifixion. Let’s imitate Jesus and acknowledge God’s Truth and plan for us even if it’s hard for us to follow. Just because we fall short at times, doesn’t mean God is wrong and needs to be replaced with a truth that is easier to follow. Instead, God calls us to dig deep and find the strength to do his Will that he infused in all of us.