Over the last few months, I have found that my prayer has often turned, in unexpected ways, to reflect upon the work of evil in our midst. More specifically, it has become very clear to me that the father of evil, who is both real and at work, has always been and remains actively trying to undermine the good works and intentions of many people, both in our society and in our Church. He is the master of deceit and the father of all lies, masking his presence in many ways and allowing his insidious power to tempt, cajole and lead astray many people, even ourselves when we freely sin. It is a topic that we do not often discuss. The time has come to do so.
When I was young, the sisters who taught me regularly warned us of the devil and his evil influence as a way to encourage us to remain faithful and true to our faith. Much of that talk ended over the last two generations, seemingly because it appears to many to be medieval, archaic or simply “child’s talk”. This is a terrible spiritual mistake for anyone to make. The father of evil and his influence will always be in our midst until the consummation of all things at the end of time. It is only at that moment when Christ will appear as Judge of the living and the dead, that the devil’s evil influence will be over. Until then, we must be watchful of the signs of his presence and actively work against them.
What are those signs? Among others, they are deception, division, and distraction. Deception or the deliberate destruction or manipulation of the truth is an affront against the Lord who is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” For this reason, the devil is called the father of all lies. Secondly, any form of division or conflict in our midst leads us away from the desire of the Lord Jesus that we may be all one in Him, as He is one with the Father in Heaven. The reconciliation that Christ offers us in the forgiveness of our sins shows us a path to true unity and lasting peace. Finally, becoming distracted or diverted from what the Lord asks us to do at any given moment denies us the opportunity to do good, witness to faith, reach out to those in need or to pray because we have chosen to do what we desire, which may seem good and important, but leading us away from God’s will. To be faithful to Christ is always and everywhere to allow Him to lead us each day, not for us to lead ourselves.
I share this post with you because the first step to disarm the influence of the evil one upon is to expose his presence wherever it may be. He is most dangerous when he is hidden in the shadows. At such times, let us shine the Light of Christ upon him and watch him flee.
The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.