“Something Evil This Way Comes”
October 22, 2018
Open Letter St Ambrose parishioners:
There is an evil power loose in the world, independent of human beings, a power that has an agenda of its own, and this power can only be defeated by another power greater than itself.
Unfortunately, we Americans may have lost our sense of evil today; deeply held beliefs and moral convictions no longer seem to hold for so many. Why, some folks even deny that the devil exists.
His name is Satan and according to 1st Peter 5:8, “he is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The devil is real and we need to wake up to the evil he gets away with. Open our eyes and see his victims who suffer from their own mistakes, having allowed the devil into their lives-----and from the radical evil that lives all too comfortably in many of our communities.
Satan’s evil is mentioned in the Bible; in the New Testament the devil is a leading character. Of course, he is not a man in a red suit with a pitchfork. Who is Satan really? Why is there evil in the world? We don’t know why, but we know that it is a terrible power and that, against it, unaided human beings are helpless. We can only pray.
Pope Francis believes that the devil causes Catholic clergy to betray their holy vows, and force sexual sin upon our children. I think the pope is right. This is exactly how Satan tries to destroy good institutions. Well-known is the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has become the steadiest, and in many places the only, defender of human rights around the world. Satan hates all churches and every religion; but his most ancient spite he spits into the face of God the Father. On planet Earth there are three actors on the battlefield: God, humanity, and the great Enemy, Satan and his demons, or what apostle Paul calls the Power of Sin and Death. You and I were borne into bondage to Sin and Death, but now, after being baptized, we belong to Christ our Savior. Baptism is the passage “from the dominion of darkness” into “the kingdom of his Son” (Col. 1:13).
We believe that Jesus Christ, after dying on the cross, descended into hell to confront Satan in his lair and take him on. Yet we still sin and die, why? While Satan has been weakened, the devil still has an enormous hatred for the human family.
It seems that the devil still has power over us, too. We are easily fooled by his tricks, easily enticed into doing bad things even though we do not want to sin. Is there an attraction to evil in our DNA? Does the devil bend us out of shape at times?
Too many marriages end up on the rocks because the devil cannot stand to see human beings loving one another. Too many shooters blast their way into schools to kill our innocent children because the devil despises anyone so innocent. The final triumph of God will not permit a permanent pocket of evil resistance in the universe he created. Of course not. Evil must be finally and completely obliterated and will pass out of memory. The devil will pack his bags but have no place to go. Good riddance!
The reason for our Advent hope is this: God has always kept his promises to us; and he will keep this one, too. We are waiting for the coming of God. He is on his way. We look to the second coming of Jesus Christ: “Behold, I am coming soon! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end,” (Rev.22:12,13).
All our hope is in the coming triumph of God in Jesus Christ. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen.
Father Jerry Wickenhauser, MM