Witness, JosypTerelya (with Michael Brown), The dynamic autobiography of a mystic in the Soviet gulag! His suffering, his visions, his apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary (many  photos, bestseller in 1990s, full of dramatic accounts). Follow the drama as a boy becomes a man in the Godless Soviet Union -- and refuses to reject his faith. CLICK HERE



It's a question few ask, but especially in our day, and this week, it is a pertinent one:

Can a branch of government or an entire institution be possessed by evil?

For most, it is a query that seems preposterous on its face, and in a way it is -- if we view possession only like something out of The Exorcist.

But we live in a time when evil is rampant and perhaps the way of terming it is "infection."

A dark force has infected entire institutions, organizations, and even government branches in the U.S. It has occurred in a gradual way and is seen in an inherent resistance to Christianity -- an otherwise puzzling opposition to anything that flows with the Holy Spirit.

If evil can infest individuals, and if individuals make up groups and organizations -- and if evil can afflict a specific region (as even Daniel tells us, along with Ephesians) -- then why not a city, institution, or bureaucracy?

In fact, this already has taken place to a chilling degree in institutions such as those of education, the courts, and finances.

In the end, no cultural evil can destroy us, as long as we remain loyal to Jesus. We take the situation to chapel. We will always be able to find our way through the labyrinth. We pray especially this week. In fact the U.S. bishops have asked us to do a novena. In the end, with Christ, we win.

But the effect of public education on our youth -- from tolerance toward every sort of sinfulness to indoctrination through literature such as that served up by horror masters such as Stephen King -- is now demonstrated in the fruit of youth who are confused, morally astray, and poorly educated. Damage has been done. Damage must be undone.

Incredible it is that so many parents must now pay thousands a year to privately educate children and keep them from the reach of actual evil.

At a recent convention in Orlando, noted one columnist about the national educators, "their elected leaders decided that, before anything else, the first thing our teachers have to do is win popular support for homosexual 'marriage.' How can they bar prayers, ministers and Christian clubs from campus, while organizing school assemblies, demonstrations, and classroom visits featuring homosexual and transgender 'role models?'"

In fact, some wore buttons -- teachers -- ridiculing "religious" people and promoting how "hot" homosexuality was.

Yet more infiltrated by a uniform spirit of perplexity and cult-like opposition to Christian values are the colleges. Try and get a job as a professor if you have Christian views; many universities -- most -- are like stepping into a spiritual war zone (in the dark of night).

The same spirit is present at Catholic colleges, which have strived so ardently to be like their more "august" secular counterparts that the word "Catholic" should now be removed.

All we need to know about this is that at a Jesuit school, Georgetown University, one recent year, the administration removed crucifixes.

Or go to places like the University of Minnesota, which employs a wild-eyed professor who is so fervidly anti-Catholic that he claims to have desecrated the Communion Host to show what "nonsense" it all is.

His eyes, glazed, fierce, and hateful, told the story.

Evil? Is it not evil when a system tries to force Catholic hospitals to provide abortion pills, makes even trans-sexuality something that must be accepted, attempts to force doctors to do abortions, requires pharmacists to provide birth-control pills (no matter their personal beliefs), and attempts to make a profession of biblical opposition to homosexuality and other sin a hate crime (as has been attempted in the UK and in Canada)?

That kind of force was most blatantly demonstrated in China, the U.S.S.R., and of course Nazi Germany. And that kind of authoritarianism is a sign of the devil.

This week, let us pray that eyes are opened toward evil, which is the first step in defeating it.

If it all sounds far out, turn simply to Ephesians, Chapter 6: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." The uniformity in anti-Christianity is almost cult-like. There is even a "spirit of bureaucracy" (if you are beguiled by the way certain government agencies act).

Our ears especially perk when we hear of police issuing a nuisance citation to a church for ringing its bells.

The courts? We have watched for years as judges and juries have turned criminals free in a way that is beguiling -- at least on the surface. Murderers roam among us while kids wearing religious symbols are barred, as are the Ten Commandments in courtrooms (even though those commandments set forth the very foundation of jurisprudence). Here you have confusion, personified.

That is a sign of the evil one, as are many financial practices that prey on the average person -- siphoning money from hardworking laborers and farmers into the hands, for example, of commodities brokers (who actually produce nothing) or large, domineering corporations.

Usury -- whether with credit cards, or in home mortgages -- is rampant, accepted, and institutionalized -- this practice condemned by the Bible (and once an official sin in the Catholic Church, which prohibited the lending of money with interest).

How far we have diverted! How values have changed! How evil has become good and good has become evil! The list, of course, goes on. The devil delights in what he inverts. Fortunately, we are always protected in prayer, and can still change certain of these trends. But we are afflicted by indifference. Public utilities that gouge the consumer (with no recourse). Corrupt sports leagues. The media. The medical profession (which has become like a business).

Be wary when there is such a dissemination of forces that are inherently against anything that smacks of warmth, humanity, and Christian values.

Let us take it to chapel where we can defeat it and before the hour is too late.

For what is now brewing in our corporations and institutions and schools can and to a degree already has infiltrated the highest leadership.

[see also: Bishops' novena, Churches plan to fight gay marriage, Books that messed up the world, and Pro-lifer blasts Obama at Democratic prayer meeting]

[resources: Cincinnati retreat, Michael Brown, September 20: healing, spiritual warfare]

[see too: Why Obama picked Delaware senator, Flashback: Biden v. Bork, Flashback: Biden v. Clarence Thomas, Video, V-P choice against partial-birth abortion]

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