At Root Of Many Crises Including That Of Abuse Is An 'Anointing' By The Evil One
We often miss the essence of our faith because we let the mind prevail over the spirit. Many things get by us.
One example: the Ten Commandments. When we are of a legal mindset, we take something like "thou shalt not steal" and think merely in terms of robbery, theft, or embezzlement.
The fact is that we also steal when we attack -- when we steal from -- the reputation of another, or when, through our tempers, jealousy, or lack of caring, we steal another person's joy.
The philosophical and legalistic mindset of our time has also caused us to miss the root cause of many problems. An example here, and today's topic, is the influence of evil:
We have gone from the medieval extreme of seeing devils everywhere to the current mood of seeing problems only in psychological terms.
Many are those who suffer from such things as nervous disorders without getting to the bottom of it because they are not approaching it from the right path. How many times have we seen people who search endlessly for a solution with no luck? Often, it's because they have taken an approach that is worldly.
Insomnia, depression, digestive distress, bulimia, anorexia, heart problems, epilepsy, and other ailments can have a spiritual root. It's incredible the new names we put on old things; the rage now is "bipolar" disorder -- which may indeed exist, but in all likelihood not to the extent that is being presented to us. If by that we mean "split personality," it is more a matter for deliverance.
That's hardly to say that there aren't many issues that have a physiological cause (some sent by the Lord as a "test"). This happens. There are mental illnesses. There are mechanisms of biochemistry. But we are far too focused on that -- when what Jesus showed was that much illness is cured by casting evil out.
Why have we forgotten that? Why is Jesus not portrayed as the exorcist He was?
We see evil in disguise throughout the popular culture. Take for instance The DaVinci Code. It is a book that carries the tangible, tingling aura of darkness, indicating to us that the devil too can anoint.
When we have evil in our own lives, we should cast it out by name. This gives us special power over it (in the Name of Jesus). There are spirits of pride and lust and oppression and antagonism and anger.
Without obsessing on it, we must see evil where evil is and discern through prayer, fasting, and the sacraments. Such will be especially critical in the period we are entering, when hearts turn cold. If we, the Church, had followed all of Christ's ways, we would not be in the crisis we are.
In fact, if the priest abuse crisis seems mysterious and at times inexplicable, it is precisely because we have not viewed it as the devil's effect. But by and large, the situation has been caused by an influx of evil spirits. Maybe they did have it right in the Middle Ages. Whatever the case, the conviction here is that extra devils are assigned to the souls of our poor priests -- they battle twice the foe -- and since they have far more to fend off at the same time that they have no have no training in mystical theology (which has been replaced by psychology), they are open targets.
It is easy to see the presence of darkness when, as last week, we learn that a priest in Chicago continued to molest a youngster daily even while he was being monitored for past abuse, and it is especially easy to see it in the case of a priest in Toledo who -- if accusations are correct -- killed a nun in a ritual manner some while back (on Holy Saturday, no less, puncturing her with a letter opener that formed a distorted cross).
That's an easy discernment but more often evil is subtle and will do such things as convince as heterosexual priest that he is homosexual. We say this because it seems implausible that so many priests are homosexual (in the general populace, it's only two or three percent). What seems more likely is that many of them, lacking support and spiritual training, have been "brainwashed" by the enemy.
They live in a culture drenched with sex, have at times rethought their celibacy, and at those weak moments are assaulted by thoughts and inclinations that they would not normally have -- thoughts from the dark side, thoughts of perversion (as can happen to us all).
Many thoughts that we believe are our own, that we believe are the products of our psychological makeup, or from our upbringing, are simply from the dark side -- and when recognized as such can often be extirpated. Explained away, however, and given clinical names, they tend to hang around.
Constantly we see folks toiling with endless therapists and doctors and theories when the problem as demonstrated in the New Testament is a basic one. It is evil. What that Good Book tells us is that we wrestle not with foes in the flesh so much as spiritual forces.
No, we don't want to go overboard with this. No, we don't need witch trials. But we certainly need to see witches where they are and we certainly need a return to the perspective that Jesus showed. The truth sets us free, and with that liberty, with that freedom, we recover the joy that the devil -- greatest violator of the Commandments -- originally and often unbeknownst to us,0000000 stole.
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