Do you even have those days,
or even those weeks when you feel that people and situations are just pounding you down?
That the devil is pursuing you relentlessly, no matter what you do, he continues to attack you.
That even some of your friends, or acquaintances, begin to act in evil ways against you.
It sure can take its toll on you, and can even begin to instill doubt at times.
We had a good friend of ours tell us the other day that when one is acting in such a way that Goodness, Truth, and Love is being produced, that it is just then that the devil will fight his strongest against you. He is the cunningest of them all and will use any means to stop the good fruit from being produced.
This friend of ours also reminded us of our public acceptance during ordination of our commitment to not only serve Christ's people, but to lay down our lives and carry His cross. When one lives a good life, a comfortable life, a joyful life, it is easy to forget the commitment to suffering that one has made, especially when the harm comes on so suddenly.
Then I remember the Psalm (36):
- Sin directs the heart of the wicked; their eyes are closed to the fear of God.
- For they live with the delusion: their guilt will not be known and hated.
- Empty and false are the words of their mouth; they have ceased to be wise and do good.
- In their beds they hatch plots; they set out on a wicked way; they do not reject evil.
- LORD, your love reaches to heaven; your fidelity, to the clouds.
- Your justice is like the highest mountains; your judgments, like the mighty deep; all living creatures you sustain, LORD.
- How precious is your love, O God! We take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
- We feast on the rich food of your house; from your delightful stream you give us drink.
- For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.
- Continue your kindness toward your friends, your just defense of the honest heart.
- Do not let the foot of the proud overtake me, nor the hand of the wicked disturb me.
- There make the evildoers fall; thrust them down, never to rise. .
- I can be rezealant, can trust and have faith, and can even endure suffering for my God, knowing that it can be connected to His suffering, but to see those that I love suffer and be persecuted for our beliefs, for our faith, brings sorrow to my heart. . And why, just because some of those around us have allowed evil to dwell within them.... .
- And then I remember that the forces of evil are much greater than just a particular face, or a particular person, it is a force that endlessly and tirelessly attempts to invade others and works its manipulative powers for the destruction of all that is good in life.... I know that Sometimes (evil) or unholiness attempts to work in me, in those around me, but if we are protected by the Sacraments, a clean heart, a virtuous life, united in prayer and relationship with God, then it has no alternative but to seek out others who are vulnerable, have rejected the grace through personal sin and pride, to be the catalyst for perpetuating evil. .
- This is the unending war that will go on until the end of time. yet we are Strengthened by the understanding that in our weakness we are actually more powerful in this fight. Yes we fall at times, but that just feeds our humility, allows us the relinquish some our own desires when we see our faults and consequences of self-centered living, yet it allows us to grow in closer union with God's desires, God's ways, and to persevere for His Kingdom. .
- We will continue to fight the Good fight, not in attempts to be divisive, nor to create scandal. Our attempts will be to unite, to spread the GOOD news, salvation, repentance, love, forgiveness, and understanding. .
- Yet it should never be neglected or misunderstood, that the forces of evil at at work all around us and attempting to bring discord, disunity, anger, resentment, jealousy, greed and pride amongst us all....