Satan, slavery, and the path to freedom

The Temptation of Christ Ary Scheffer, 1854
The Temptation of Christ
Ary Scheffer, 1854

We live in a world that has grown too sophisticated for many of the stories of the Book of Genesis, including the original story of the fall of man. Original sin, like the concept of sin in general, is scoffed at by an intellectualism which views technological advancement, psychological insight, and historical condescension of a primitive past, as its guidance on a path of pick and choose spirituality which matches a secularized, individualized, and hedonistic view of life.  Along side original sin, sin in general, is a condescending amusement when someone raises the topic of the devil.

The poor, on the other hand, or, nowadays, the uneducated–though they might not be monetarily poor–see proof of Traditional Catholic theological concepts such as original sin in their own personal lives, and in the lives of all the people around them. Original sin is seen in the simple observations of every day life. Waking up grouchy, road rage, crimes and duplicity viewed in the  daily News cycle, fights, arguments, rudeness, impatience, vulgarity, envy, pettiness, condescension, selfishness, and a slew of other overt, and covert, ever-day actions reveal the reality of an original faultiness in mankind to the honest and observant mind. Sin, and evil, is a reality everyone admits of–though, the relativist and progressive only admits of it when it hits them square in the face! Radical Islam, inner city (Chicago) gang shootings, human trafficking, abortion on demand, North Korean dictatorships, Iranian Mullah’s, Russian hackers, liberal anarchists, and much of the slime that oozes from the pop culture, paint the face of evil.

And this face is the face of the devil.

Satan, a real spirit, above the objections of the relativistic-atheistic-liberal who scoffs at a red man with hoofs and a tail, is hell bent on the downfall of the human person, fired up to bring on the downfall of the instrument of God’s salvation for man in the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, was quoted in the ‘Ratzinger Report’ quoting Pope Paul VI: “‘I have the feeling that the smoke of Satan has penetrated the Temple of God through some crack or other.‘ Pope Benedict adds: “…since we find reference to this enemy of mankind so frequently in the mouth of Christ in the gospel. ” Pope Benedict XVI added that Pope Paul VI believed “in something supernatural that has come into the world to destroy and strangle the very fruits of the Ecumenical Council and to stop the Church from breaking out into a hymn of joy, by sowing doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest and discontent.”

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Didn’t we just have a Synod on the Family which seeks reception of the Eucharist for those Catholics living in adultery? Isn’t pornography (and associated masturbation and possible infidelity) a scourge of Catholic/Christian American manhood? Isn’t our nation embroiled in a culture war unseen in American history? Aren’t race relations in America under siege through an organized left wing anarchist attack? Isn’t the culture of death , radical feminism, social relativism and secularism, and the LGBT movement, alive and well in battle with the Church, the traditional family,  the Sacrament of Marriage, and Judeo-Christianity in general?

Our nation, and our Catholic Church, are in unprecedented waters if we reflect on American history. But, then again, if we reflect on salvation history we see that there is a cure, and a path to healing.

Jesus is the Son of the Living God. The Church manifests the ship which brings Noah and his family through the great flood.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) is the encounter with the Mercy of God.  And the proper reception of the Eucharist is the path (the Way) of both the Cross and the Resurrection–both personal and national.

Repentance, like the fear of God, is the beginning of Wisdom, a wisdom which is nourished in the Real Presence of Jesus, in the working of the Holy Spirit in a prayerful life, and in Mercy lavished on the repentant one from the Father of all Truth. Let’s not forget the guidance of the Communion of saints, the teaching of the Apostles–from Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition–and the fellowship of fellow sojourners on this earth.

Satan is real, but God is all powerful. And faith, hope, and charity in Catholic Truth are the path from Satan and slavery to true freedom in Jesus Christ.

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