You are probably expecting to read about some out-of-this world experience that brought me face to face with the “Father of Lies”, but I have no such experiences to talk about. I’m writing about the danger of looking for the Devil in the supernatural realm, and ignoring his presence in the real world. All my encounters with the Devil occurred here in this world and there was no burning fire, black smoke, or smell of sulfur. The devil I met had nothing bad or undesirable about him. And this devil, I meet everyday!
Every time there is a discussion about the unfortunate incidents like the Sandy Hook school shooting, the Colorado movie theater shooting and the Boston marathon bombings, I have always noticed that some people want to associate it immediately with demonic activities. It amazes me to see many well-educated and rational human beings who would quickly come to an agreement and conclusion that the Devil and his minions had something to do with those unfortunate events. I was actively involved in such conversation for a while, but as the time went on I sensed something strange about the whole topic.
As I began paying more attention to the people who were involved in those conversations, I found a group of people, who under normal circumstances would not even agree to the notion that there does exist a devil, would believe in the Devil they found in those miseries. And I think this is precisely what the Devil wants. He wants us to talk about the Devil in the context of the mass shootings and bombings. With the new wave of Evangelization, he now knows that it would be impossible for him to hide under the cover of non-existence forever, so he is revealing himself as the Prince of Darkness, the Evil One behind all that is horrible and gruesome. This has also left him with plenty of room to hide under things that are not so horrible and gruesome to the majority in any given society — materialism, carnal pleasures, moral relativism, despair, homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia etc, etc.
We and our ignorance seek the Devil in horrors and brutalities, in the dark alleys of the inner cities and among the filth of the third world slums; in brothels where human flesh is cheaper than Angus beef and at the Playboy mansion. And we are happy when we find him there. We are happy because we think that we know where he is. Little do we know that he resides right there within our ignorance. If we are no longer willing to accept his lie that he doesn’t exist, then he wants us to find him in places we already expect to find him.
So when people began to pay more attention to the evil act of abortion, he gave us a Kermit Gosnell. Now we all know and agree on the horrors of late term abortion, and we want to put an end to it. But all the other abortions that are still going on those “blob of cells” are okay because it is done much more “humanely”, in much healthier environment, and by people who don’t express the characteristics of a psycho. Devil knows all about the dangers presented by a human being in search of the Truth, so he always confronts them with his version of the truth — a version that is much more pleasing and pseudo-rational.
There is also plenty of pseudo-beauty in the devil. As I said in the beginning, I do not expect to see the Devil with the horns and the pitchfork (at least, not in this world). Why would I ever want to be friends with somebody that repugnant? Expect to find him in things that are attractive and things that create desire. He is there in ordinary things, especially when those ordinary things seems extraordinary for no apparent reason. Ironically, we have gotten it all backwards in today’s society. We are exhilarated looking at a man waving a rainbow flag from the steps of the Supreme court, but we are horrified by the image of a Man with his skin torn off from scourging, wearing a crown of thorns, with blood and water pouring out from his sides, all the while being nailed to a cross. We no longer want to look up to the Cross and discern the beauty of selfless love. We look for ways to avoid the Cross, rather than embracing it. We find happiness in the instant gratifications facilitated by the Devil and ignore the grace filled joy of the Holy Spirit that Jesus has earned through the Cross.
© 2013. Emmanuel Joseph. All Rights Reserved.