July 11, 2020 at 8:29 pm #2314Jace LeeParticipant
MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS: GREETINGS IN THE PEACE AND LOVE OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR!
We, as Catholics in Recovery, can each one of us, recall a time when we could feel Satan at work against us. Satan the Adversary. Satan the Liar. Satan the Beast. There are many names for the Evil One, and there are many numerous weapons he utilises against us to separate us from the Will of the Divine and His plans for our lives.
As we all at first in life are walking in the light, the further into the light that we progress and grow the more furious and jealous the devil becomes that we aren’t on his side or doing as he wishes, as the ultimate goal of Satan for every human being is the ruination of the human soul and the eternal torment of the human soul in the depths of hell.
So Satan utilises many things against us, and in this blog I will touch upon seven of those weapons of Satan, and how they apply to us Catholics in Recovery and what weapons we have within our OWN arsenals to combat Satan and his plan of death and destruction for our souls, because the loss of the human soul to Heaven is a victory won by Satan and we must with all our strength fight this menace and tempter.
Who is it that deceives us? “Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, “The serpent deceived me and so I ate.’” -Genesis 3:13.
“For the god of the world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds that the should not discern the truth, preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ the Messiah, Who is the image and likeness of God.” -2 Corinthians 4:4
Herein lies the tragedy: that often times those being deceived either don’t even realise it nor see it, or realise it AND see it and just don’t care. Who is the god of the world in this passage from 2 Corinthians? Satan is the God of the world. All the base things of the world belong to him and are his dominion.
Satan knows that his time is very limited. He knows that he has the power to oversee the “world” by Satans corruption of the sacred. However, he also knows that he can never defeat God and rule in heaven. St. John the Evangelist notes that Satan is “…the ruler of this world.” (St. John 12:31). Meaning that Satans power is limited to this world.
“Thou livest in the midst of deception, in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge Me declares the Lord.” – Jeremiah 9:6 Deception puts us in bad company.
The old saying that ‘birds of a feather flock together’, in this case is spot on and legitimised in the sense of deception begets deception. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul begs the question: “Do ye not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit nor have any share of the Kingdom of God? Be ye not misled: neither the impure and the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers…” 1 Corinthians 6:9
When we engage in acts that are impure and immoral, often times we do so with other people…birds of a feather. The influence of Satan and his deceits can be of a solitary nature or a group effort. Fornication. Drunkenness. Covetous ideation. All of these beg for a group effort. The old saying that “…a family that prays together stays together,” is beholden of many truths. Also, “those who sin together stay together,” is also beholden of many truths. The Evil One loves and craves for group sin, as group sin makes snaring souls for his use far easier. Group manipulation is among the foremost in the devils wheel house.
There are many lies that revolve around addiction and I say to you: addiction itself is a lie. Addictions lie to us when they make us feel like we can’t live without that which we are addicted to. That we don’t deserve to live life without addiction. That doing an addictive thing only once an addict wont make. Or the good old one ‘one more won’t kill me’.
We are born the children of God, and we are all called to walk in His light and to spread His light amongst the world. “So let thy light shine before men so that they may see your good work and glorify thy Fathers who is Heaven.” – St. Matthew 5:15 We must strive to live in the light as children of the light. We, all of humanity, are created in God’s image. He is “…God of God, Light of light, Very God of Very God…” (Nicene Creed) As such, when we live in His Light and show for the His light, we touch the very nature of the Glorious Trinity.
In this busy world, especially in this perilous times, we often times find ourselves in the midst of distractions: thoughts, words, and deeds. Even as I am writing this I find myself surrounded by many distractions. People coming and going. The phone ringing. The television someone is watching in the background. These are tolerable distractions and easily overcome for me in this moment. But there are other distractions.
“Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.” -St. Mark 4:19
So, if Satan is the ruler of the world, and master of it’s pleasures, then wherein lies the distractions? “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy.” 2 Timothy 3:2. It is easily apparent that a lot of the distractions which plague us are ego-centric. And this egocentricity isn’t self generated, but is in fact the work of the devil.
Men shall be lovers of their own selves: occupied by the desires of pleasure, covetous of money and money hoarding. Materialism. Having the newest. The best. Building up or themselves treasures of the earth, rather than building up the treasures of heaven. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where rust and moth decay and the thief thrives. Rather, store up for yourselves the Treasures of Heaven, where rust and moth do not decay, and where the thief thrives not. For where your treasure is, so will your heart be also.” – St. Matthew 6:19-21
3. DELAYING AND BARGAINING TACTICS
We all procrastinate. I certainly know that I do so. I try to get that extra hour of sleep. I put off going to appointments or to the super market. I put off cleaning my house because its a drag. But, also with addictions there are always these little delays and bargaining tactics are seeds rooted in ROTTEN soil. Because addiction is a rotten set of deceptions that only bear rotten fruit. What sort of delaying and bargaining does the Adversary teach us?
1. Putting off recovery is okay today if only we promise ourselves to get on the ball tomorrow.
2. Putting off that group, or meeting, or therapy is okay because we don’t feel like we need any of it.
3. That ‘one time’ is okay and won’t hurt us.
4. That ‘one more’ is acceptable because of our social situations.
What a liar is Satan! Delaying, even for a moment, leaves us spiritually bereft and wide open for the devil to pull the strings and weave his web in order to ensnare us in the life of sin and depravity. All that self-bargaining, which is of course the devil whispering into our ears as he did to Eve, is him talking us into capitulation to his deceptions and removing us from the healing power of the Holy Spirit. How can we combat this? How do we stand up against him? How do we defend ourselves?
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. Put on the whole armour of God so that you might be able to stand up to Satan and his evil schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers and principalities, against the power of this world’s darkness and against the spiritual forces of evil in the realm of heaven.” – Ephesians 6:10-12
So what is this spiritual defence…this armour that Saint Paul is trying to instruct the Ephesians about in his letter? “Therefore take up the full armour of God, so that when the day f evil comes you will be able to stand your ground and having done everything to stand. Stand firm, then, with the sword of truth about your waist, the breastplate of righteousness arrayed, and thy feet girded with the readiness of the Gospel of Peace.” -Ephesians 6:13-15. What a powerful and strong defence mechanism do we have available to us to fight the tempter’s power!
4. EMOTIONAL TORMENTS AND SPIRITUAL TORMENTS
Our emotional nature, as human beings, is ripe for the deceptions that I previously mentioned. Love, hate. Peace, strife. Joy, misery. Gladness, sadness. Can you see the parallels in these emotions? The positivity of one side, and the inherent negativity on the other side of the coin? Our emotions are constantly under siege from all directions.
Obviously, the Lord Almighty has installed within his creation of man the capacity to feel and express emotions in many different ways. But the Adversary also has the ability to pull the strings emotional, as a marionette, to jump and dance in his ways if we do not stand up to him.
We all fell into an addiction for some underlying reason. Each one of us knows in their hearts what that was. Its that emotional element that gets pulled like a string and reverberates within us and resonates in our core being.
I find the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi a good demonstration of these disparities in these emotions and feelings, and the construct of grace by the repairing of these emotions:
A prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Amen.
Our lives are constantly in danger of being tempted by The Deceiver. He whispers in our ears. He works within us and outside of us. He uses other people as tools to bring us away from the path of faith and peace. He causes us to question the Lord and His plans for our lives. He thrives upon our base emotions and tries to take root in them to ensnare our souls into sin and away from the divine.
“But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”-1 Corinthians 15:37.
But Jesus is “..the Word made flesh and dwelt among us.” -St. John 1:13. In Him do we find relief from all the snares of the enemy. Relief from all his deceits, his empty promises, his delaying tactics and bargaining chips, and his use of our emotions against us. “Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy and abundant redemption.” – Psalms 130:7
Feed upon Our Lord and his mercy and loving kindness. Jesus greatest gift to us is His victory of the Cross and Eucharistic Presence. His presence is Real. His presence is peace and healing, a comfourt to all who struggle.
Allow Him to touch and heal you, and ask Him to aid you in all your battles against the wiles of the evil one. I know that many people in the world doubt the existence of both God and Satan. But be assured, both are very real. One is there to bring you eternal peace with Him, Our Blessed Virgin, and all the company of heaven. The other offers eternity of fire and torment and damnation. I choose the promise of salvation and peace!
O ALMIGHTY GOD, TO WHOM ALL HEARTS ARE OPEN AND FROM WHOM NO SECRETS ARE HID. CLEANSE THE THOUGHTS OF HEARTS BY THE INSPIRATION OF THY HOLY SPIRIT: SO THAT WE MAY PERFECTLY LOVE THEE AND WORTHILY MAGNIFY THY HOLY NAME. THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THY SON, WHO LIVEST AND REIGNEST WITH THEE IN THE UNITY OF THE HOLY GHOST, WORLD WITHOUT END. AMEN.
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