Thursday, September 16, 2010

THE MYSTERY OF EVIL by Fr. Farfaglia

The Mystery of Evil | Posted by Fr. James Farfaglia


"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the householder came and said to him, `Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?' He said to them, `An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, `Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he said, `No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn’” (Matthew 13: 24 – 30).

Pope Paul VI and the future Pope John Paul II

Pope Paul VI often commented that this gospel passage had proven the most difficult for him to understand. Why does God allow the weeds and the wheat to grow together? Why does God allow evil to co-exist with good?

The Second Vatican Council ushered in an era of excitement and hope for the Catholic Church. Two world wars, the Korean conflict, the global tensions of the Cold War, and the Cuban missile crisis which had brought North America to the brink of destruction, were countered with a time of euphoria.

Shortly after the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI was overwhelmed by the universal rejection of many of the Council's teachings. The true teachings of the Council were hijacked, and the post-conciliar crisis ravaged the Church causing massive apostasy.

Throughout the remainder of his pontificate, the Holy Father lived a daily martyrdom. His secretary kept the morning newspapers away from the Pope until later in the day. At one point during the crisis, Paul VI delivered his famous Wednesday General Audience on the smoke of Satan entering through the cracks of the Church. His teaching was met with abundant ridicule, mostly from the clergy.

Pope Paul VI speaking to another General Audience said in 1972: "So we know that this dark disturbing being exists and that he is still at work with his treacherous cunning; he is the hidden enemy who sows errors and misfortunes in human history. It is worth recalling the revealing Gospel parable of the good seed and the cockle, for it synthesizes and explains the lack of logic that seems to preside over our contradictory experiences: 'An enemy has done this.' He is 'a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies,' as Christ defines him. He undermines man's moral equilibrium with his sophistry. He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."

However, prior to these teachings on the evil one, let us recall an important moment in the Pontificate of Pope Paul VI. On July 25, 1968, the Pope published the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae.

My dear friends, back in 1968 Pope Paul VI warned the world what would happen if artificial birth control were to be made available:

“Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection” (Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, 17).

“An enemy has done this”. Satan has destroyed the modern world through sexual sin. The world is sexually out of control. The modern world has become obsessed with sexual sin and through sexual sin modern man is telling God: Non serviam; I will not serve. Do not tell me what to do about anything. I will do what I want to do.

Because of this total rejection of God, man has become dehumanized. Man kills his own children through abortion and has become obsessed with sexual perversion, especially homosexuality.

Moreover, the smoke of Satan that Pope Paul VI warned us about has made its way especially through the ranks of the Catholic priesthood. Thankfully we see signs of renewal. Newly appointed bishops are cleaning house and the refreshing waves of younger priests are noticeably reverent, obedient, orthodox and pro-life. However, we have a long way to go.

False prophets and charlatans, even seemingly orthodox ones, continue to scandalize the faithful by their immature and incoherent lives.  Pray for us priests, because we are the prime targets of Satan. 

We are engaged in a gigantic battle against evil. What are the weapons that we must use?

First of all, we must be completely convinced of the ultimate victory of our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father." The judgments of time will be corrected by the judgments of eternity.

Secondly, we must persevere. Do not allow discouragement to overcome you.

Thirdly, we must stay connected with Jesus. Left to our own resources, our fallen human nature cannot resist evil. Daily, structured organized moments of prayer are essential if we are to survive. As our physical immune system needs to be well nourished in order to resist disease, so too does our spiritual immune system need daily sustenance. "The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings" (Romans 8:26). Daily Mass, daily meditation on the Scriptures, daily recitation of the Rosary, frequent Confession and the solitude of Eucharistic Adoration are the preferred moments that provide health and strength to anyone who desires to continue the good fight.

Fourthly, your family life needs to be strong. Get back to basics: order, discipline, have dinner together, limit all the crazy activities, build up a healthy emotional life by building up a healthy social life. If there is peace and happiness in your family life, it will be very difficult for Satan to attack your home.
Fifthly, be very, very careful about the use of the TV and the Internet. Pornography is a very serious and common addiction.

Let us recall the words that I quoted from Pope Paul VI: “He is the malign, clever seducer who knows how to make his way into us through the senses, the imagination and the libido, through utopian logic, or through disordered social contacts in the give and take of our activities. He can bring about in us deviations that are all the more harmful because they seem to conform to our physical or mental makeup, or to our profound, instinctive aspirations."
Finally, get back to the regular use of the Sacrament of Confession. This is your greatest weapon against Satan. Satan has convinced the world that he does not exist. He has lied to the world that there is no sin. He continues to dupe everyone into believing that everyone is going to Heaven. When our Blessed Mother appeared to the three children of Fatima in 1917, they were allowed to see a vision of Hell. Thousands of poor souls were falling into Hell, and our Blessed Mother told the children that more souls were being lost because of sexual sin than any other sin.

“An enemy has done this”. Use these proven methods against the attack of Satan in order to gain the eternal salvation of your soul. “Whoever has ears out to hear”.

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