“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20
For Christmas I bought myself the book Deliver Us From Evil by Ralphie Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. You may have heard the title before, this past year it was made into a movie, a pretty scary movie at that. Ralphie Sarchie is a New York City police officer who, in his free time, assists in exorcisms, not that his day job isn’t horrifying enough. I read over 100 pages in my first sitting. I must say that though I got chills from the movie the book it twice as terrifying and ten times better than the movie. Scary stuff there… probably because it is true. Exorcisms and demons. Yes, it scares the living hell out of me… but I have always been drawn to, and dare I say, ‘entertained’ by horror movies and books of this nature. Don’t know why. Some might not believe in that sort of stuff, call it nonsense and not believe in the devil. But that is exactly what the devil wants… you to not believe that he exists.
“Very few people believe in the devil these days, which suits the devil very well. He is always helping to circulate the news of his own death. The essence of God is existence, and He defines Himself as: ‘I am Who am.’ The essence of the devil is the lie, and he defines himself as: ‘I am who am not.’ Satan has very little trouble with those who do not believe in him; they are already on his side.” Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ
Also people laugh and call it all nonsense until they need an exorcist
That was a good movie too (The Rite, also based on a true story).
So why bring this up during Christmas? (Yes it is still Christmas!!!) and on the Feast Day of the Holy Family? As I was napping on the couch wondering what to do today, besides a whole bunch of wonderful nothing, I kept thinking about the new year and what I wanted to do differently this year (a ‘resolution’ I suppose, but I fear once I call it that it will fail epically…). I want to be holier, I want to be more selfless. Easier said than done.
Probably the best way to do this is to up my prayer life along with doing more for others. One prayer I believe needs to be said more by myself, but also by others, is the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. You think I am kidding. I am not. The devil/demons (evil) are real (there be dragons!) and we need to fight them and our best weapon is prayer. In 1884 the St Michael prayer was divinely revealed to Pope Leo the XIII who after celebrating mass “was seized by a profound rapture, he fell to the floor as if dead. When he awoke he told his cardinals of a terrible vision he had, in which the devil taunted Jesus by saying that, given enough time and power, he could destroy mankind. Our Savior gave him permission to test humanity over the decades to come.” (Deliver Us From Evil pg. 40). Pope Leo asked for pen and paper and wrote the St. Michael Prayer to help defeat the devil. This prayer was prayed at the end of mass up until 1968. I don’t understand why it was stopped, but haven’t things gotten tragically worse since the late 60’s?
As I quoted Isaiah 5:20 above… good is bad and bad is good now. Just look around… Abortion is accepted, celebrated and angrily defended; calling it choice, reproductive freedom and even a blessing. The gay lifestyle/marriage is also accepted and anyone who has an opposing view on it is called intolerant and homophobic. The family has been torn apart and we have suffered. What I notice the most is the language we now use. Though I had always been a fan of sarcasm, it seems that everyone is now a smart ass and everything is a big joke. Profanity is the norm and is joyfully spouted from everyone and everywhere. I can no longer watch rated R comedies… or even TV… I usually turn the TV off after less than 5 minutes. What horrifies me the most is seeing women swearing so profusely. And people, especially teenagers, gobble this up… they LOVE and laugh at this stuff. They think it is hilarious and it is ruining them. The envelope has been pushed to a ridiculous degree.
There is evil in the world, but it is called good. It boggles my mind when I argue with people about certain issues, especially about abortion. Why can’t they see that it is wrong and evil and ruining our world… ruining the family? Because the devil is at work and we need to defeat him.
I probably shouldn’t be writing this blog… I’m getting close to profession into the Secular Franciscan Order (Third Order~ OFS!)… because Lord knows when you get closer to something holy the devil attacks … but I felt compelled to write about this today on the Feast Day of the Holy Family. He got me up off the couch and in front of the computer. I had to write.
Let us take up this cause, let us take up this prayer (memorize it!) and fight for all that is holy. Let’s make 2015 the year we bring peace to the family and the world.
St Michael the Archangel, defend us in this day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humble pray, and do thou, oh prince of the heavenly host, by the divine power of God cast into hell satan and all other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls