Before I head into my post, I have two things to say:
1.) SJA is in second place in the statue contest behind Assumption Grotto by, what an insider told us, about 2,000 votes. WE NEED VOTES. WE NEED A LOT OF VOTES. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY, SEND this link to all your friends and family asking them to vote for “Saint Joan of Arc, Saint Clair Shores.” SERIOUSLY. WE DESIRE THIS STATUE GREATLY!!! THANK YOU!!!
2.) Also, in a more nunly way, one of my friends, who was a postulant with the Sisters of the Third Order of Saint Francis of East Peoria, Illinois. Well, now she is a NOVICE with the same congregation with the epic religious name of “Sister John Paul.” Please pray for her and for all persons entering formation. The Felicians will have FOUR new novices (investiture is tomorrow, the feast of Saint Clare of Assisi!) and one new postulant on September 8th … me! YAY!!!
Anyway, back to the purpose of this post …
I was working the front desk on Monday (had to miss Mass … God will forgive me … lol) and we had a funeral afterward for the parent of a parishioner. So I am sitting at the desk, being my usual charming self when the intercom rings (Monsignor has all of our phones connected over the Internet so we can connect with any room in any of the six buildings on campus). It’s Monsignor. He gives me some instructions on how to handle some phone calls that will come in for him, acknowledges that he will be a bit late for preparing for the funeral, and then, in this very sad and exasperated tone that I have not heard in a long time, says “Allie, the Devil has really been at work in people’s lives lately.”
After I hung up, I sat and pondered for a moment. The Devil really is at work particularly, isn’t he? He’s attacking all of our different kinds of security in a myriad of ways. He is taking advantage of our fallen nature to wreck more havoc. One simply has to look around to see his handiwork. Countries in varying states of chaos. Morality has become relative and ammorality has dug its claws deeper into the culture. Cities are in disarray (London is on fire for all in intents and purposes). The financial security of individuals and families are in jeopardy with horrible economic downturns all over the world. Families being torn apart by the stress that comes with lost employment, extremely dire finances, and familial issues.
The Devil never tires of trying to bring us down into the pit with him. In fact, that is his one and only aim (besides, destroying the Church and her agents).
Besides all of these aforementioned things, the Devil also LOVES to prey on individuals. He especially likes the ones who are secure in themselves. I can say this from experience. It seems that whenever I feel the most secure in myself. That I cannot mess things up. The Evil One puts a rather large banana peel in my path and I fall.
I think the work about which Monsignor was talking was more in the lives of persons. The larger things are obvious. However, the internal struggles of individuals is much more veiled.
The Evil One is pulling out all the stops to destroy man because he is what he wanted to be. The Devil rebelled against God because of pride and jealousy. He wanted to be like God and he could not stand the fact that some creatures with a body-soul composite (never mind with a changeable will) were of a higher “rank” than he in many ways. He could not stand that these creations, made in the Image and Likeness of God, would sin over and over and yet God still forgave and loved them all the more. When he made his great act of rebellion (and dragging a whole mess of the heavenly host down with him), he knew full well that he could not go back on his decision. Angels have unchangeable wills. Once they make a decision, it sticks and it cannot be changed. Michael and his host chose the better part. Lucifer and his horde chose selfish pride and vice over love and virtue.
Ever since that event, the Evil One has been hell-bent on bringing us down into his own despair and hatred. And he has no limits to his wiles. He’ll get you when you least expect it. That is when you must have the most faith in God and His providence. God and God alone can conquer the chaos that the Evil One wrecks. When we are being assailed by him and we feel the most alone, that is really the moment we are closest to God. All we have to do is put our arms around Him and ask Him to give you the grace to overcome the adversity. Never succumb to despair. Never succumb to pressure (internal or external).
Always rely on God. Always have Our Lady as your Mother and Protector. Always know that you have at least one guardian angel watching your back and praying for you. Always know that you are never alone. You have many, many advocates in Heaven, ask them to help you. Get to know them. Develop a relationship with them. They are your constant friends.
Well, that is enough of that. I just felt I needed to say all of that. I hope you all have a great day!