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June 16th Pastor's Message

Read this week's message from Father Don

 

Dear parishioners

Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5.8). 


Our culture looks upon the Devil as a joke or a crazy medieval superstition. The scriptures take a very different view, treating the Devil as a serious threat to human well-being and happiness. We would be wise to follow the scriptural view as believing in the Devil’s existence helps us to understand why the world is such a mixture of good and evil. It can also relieve some of the excessive guilt we feel over our own personal failings.


Let’s be honest, human life is messed up. Societies and individuals strive very hard to do what is right but the world continues to be plagued by war, injustice, violence, heartbreak and suffering. Where does this come from? Something bigger and more mysterious than human failing, something for which neither science nor social analysis can offer an adequate explanation.


Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Mathew 4.1)


Christian faith assures us that human beings are fundamentally good but constantly under attack from an evil spiritual being (Satan, the Devil, the Evil One, the Tempter) who tempts them into bad behaviour. Humans are responsible for their own actions but not wholly responsible, as the Devil is always working behind the scenes to manipulate them. He is “the sneaky one” who, like a scammer, sets traps for unwitting humans to fall into and because we are not sufficiently careful we fall into them again and again. 


The Evil One knows our personal weaknesses and exploits them very effectively. Angry people he leads into further anger. Similarly for those who are jealous, anxious, over-sensitive, or resentful. It is the devil who pushes us to act without thinking and, after we realize our mistake, burdens us with excessive guilt over our failure. He moves us to point the finger at notorious public sinners - murderers, drug dealers, despots, and cyber criminals - to distract us from reflecting on our own personal failures and himself as the origin of them all.


How are we meant to deal with the Devil? Discipline yourselves, keep alert (I Peter 5.7) is the best scriptural advice for resisting his influence. We must take the Devil seriously and ask God to help us recognize and resist his temptations. If the saints had to intentionally repel the Devil’s influence, so must we. 


Christians need not be afraid of the Tempter but must be attentive to his malice working in and around them.  “Lord, give me the strength to resist temptation and the wisdom to recognize when the Evil One is trying to harm me. Help me to discern what is good and choose it intentionally every single day.”  

.


Love

Fr Don








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