Stepping back from close reading of news reports from around the world, I see a larger connection of events that affirm me in my Catholic Faith. As we were heading into the penitential season of Lent and which is leading to the culmination of the celebration of Easter, the devil and his demons are enraged, their roars on full display for all to see, and roaring within us. Of course they are, because the season just begun pointedly reminds them of their defeat, their banishment to hell, and their eternity in misery. Isn’t it curious how we see this played out publicly as the season approached and is ratcheted up a few notches as the season begins? Isn’t it curious how we see this in ourselves as we undergo more intense spiritual attacks more than any other time of the year?
Last week, the demon-mongers in the Mideast affectionately known as Islamic State burned the Jordanian pilot alive in a cage. Then the Islamic State demon-mongers showed off their parade of Coptic Christians in cages which culminated in their beheading on a beach in Libya, coupled with declarations by the devil’s own that they will conquer, not Moscow, or Westminster, or Washington, but Rome. So, why Rome? As we know, it is the physical temporal location for the true Church established by Jesus Himself. That is a message everyone with the ability to think ought to get, and tells very much. We heard also only a couple of days ago of the murder of two people in Denmark by another muslim demon-monger and learn of their infiltration in that country. As an aside, the devil has also subtly convinced people to use the acronym “ISIS” or “IS” instead of Islamic State, which takes the focus off the religion behind this, his own.
In Australia only a week ago, we heard of two fine young muslims who were caught before they could unleash their own version of “peace” there. Here in America, the president refuses to acknowledge that muslims have murdered the Copts because they were Christian, and he has convened a “summit” beginning on Ash Wednesday on how to deal with “extremist violence”, where the invited guests are representatives of the demon-mongers themselves, and already remarks are coming out that the demon-mongers are “afraid” that they will be exposed “unjustly”, of course. Over the next few days, we will be told that there is a moral equivalence between the bloodlust and bloodletting by muslims in the name of their god allah and the Crusades, again as obama did only a couple of weeks ago, ignoring that the Crusades were a direct response to muslim atrocities against Christians. Let us also not forget that obama was the prime mover to unleash these same Islamic State forces in Libya, Syria and Iraq that he now wants to attack. The devil is subtle and will always redirect one’s focus away from himself.
Furthermore, he also has no qualms about destroying those already committed to his cause. Only a day ago, Islamic State burned alive 45 Iraqis in a cage. Several days ago, dozens were killed in explosions by his minions against his other minions in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the Islamic State is presently attacking and slaying their fellow religionists in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Let’s not forget the joy being spread by his minions in Nigeria and Sudan and other places in southern Africa. That serves his purposes to take the focus off of himself.
But, but, you say, the muslims are attacking Islamic State with air bombardment by the Egyptians and Jordanians, and the Saudis expressed condolences to Egypt for the martyrdom of the Copts. Our own muslim-in-chief is seeking to bring American arms against them. So what does that prove? The devil hates his own as much as he hates those he has not fully brought under his sway. He cares nothing about whether they live or die to join him in hell today or tomorrow, and he doesn’t worry that they would clear their minds and realize his deceit, having convinced them over the last 1400 years that they are never to question or to reason, and never turn to Jesus, but only emulate and follow the example of their “perfect” man who showed them that ruthless murder, rape and destruction are the “perfect’ way to live. Mind also that these same Saudis expressing condolences have done more than any other to teach, spread and disseminate this “religion of peace” over the last hundred years, setting up outposts in Christian lands duped into accepting them. There too, the devil has worked his subtlety, convincing millions of people who ought to know better that they are not to believe their lying eyes and ears but to deny their own ability to reason and thus call his religion a religion of “peace”. Our own pope a couple of days ago decried the slaughter of the Copts and then segued into a denunciation of arms dealers in the next breath. Yes, of course, it’s the arms dealers that cause the murderous rampages by the sale of the knives to the Islamic State demon-mongers that cut off the heads of the Copts.
The devil and his demons also inflict their subtly on practicing Christians as Lent begins. This comes in the infliction of thoughts of doubt about whether the Faith is really that important, in distractions during prayer, in a dryness in prayer that causes a sense of futility to creep in, in the recollection of past sins almost pleasurably recalled even though they have been confessed and absolved and completely repudiated, in expressions of anger that are more than an incident calls for, in distractions that affect the ability to fast, and other ways that deflect from the practice of the Faith. Haven’t we all experienced all or some of these attacks? Have they begun for you already this year? They have for me and I have no doubt others as well.
Yes, Lent has begun, and the devil and demons roar without and within. Taking a step back and seeing the larger view of things, this ought to make us rejoice and be more resolute, for they show us that we hold the True Religion and worship the True God. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t undergo individual attacks, Christians wouldn’t be slaughtered and abused as they are, and Rome wouldn’t be the target.
As Padre Pio said when calling for his Rosary, “Bring me my weapon!”