The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Devil's Little Way

St. Threse of Lisieux was known for loving God in every day little things. She is known as the "Little Flower" for her approach to life with the simplicity of love. So often in our journey to Christ we seek the grandiose. For some, this faith thing would be a lot easier if only there was a sign. Oh, and make it a good sign. Something that is just plain obvious.

Therese discovered and wrote in her diary which became the book, Story of a Soul, of the little way. Every breath, every precious moment of life is the most glorious sign of God's love. Christ is in the eyes of every person one meets. To see a sign of God one only need ponder the reality that one simply exists. God had a choice to create or not. Each human being was planned, considered, and wanted. Each person one meets made the cut; passed the test; and was put into production as a unique one-of-a-kind, limited edition. And that person belongs to God.

Yesterday I walked from the commuter train station to our church. It's a good half mile, but some days it's the only exercise I get. I was on my way to our parish's soup supper which is a staple of Lent on Fridays. The Knights of Columbus were in charge of this week's meal and having recently completed my Third Degree in the order, I really wanted to help out.

The walk takes me past two establishments I really wish were not there. One is Hooters and the other is a strip club named Stars. There was a day, not too far in my past, when the thought of frequenting either of those places would have been an option. Now, by the grace of Our Lord, I am saddened by their existence. Humanity, God's special, limited-edition and priceless creations, are reduced to so many banal objects.

As I walked past the strip club, I saw a morbidly obese man waddling up to the front door. Gluttony and lust all in one package. I said a little prayer for him and for the women who would soon attempt to satisfy his need, but would in the end only leave him wanting and empty. From his size, it was clear that he had been using food to try to fill the void.

"You don't need to help out."

The thought flashed into my mind. It was from the evil one. Oh I know there are many who read this who don't believe that Satan exists. The Devil is just a metaphor, right? Something the Church invented to scare its faithful straight. Surely a loving God wouldn't create something so evil. The reason a lot of people don't believe in the Devil is for the same reason they doubt the existence of God. They need a sign. Oh, and make it good sign. Something that is just plain obvious.

But just as Therese of Lisieux found Christ in her little way, one need not look too hard to find Satan in the same fashion. He is not bound by time and space and therefor doesn't need to use a lot of flash to draw one in. Hollywood likes to portray him on a grand scale such as in movies like The Exorcist; however, his ways are deceptively small, and very much like Chinese water toucher. A little drip of doubt here; a small suggestion there; and a try-it-just-once-and-see thrown in for good measure. Small wonder that he approached me as I walked past those businesses where God's most sacred creations are defiled the most.

And he followed me all the way to the church.

"It's cold. There's a coffee shop just down the road. Wouldn't that be nice."

I had made a commitment to help out, and as a good Catholic gentlemen as all Knights of Columbus strive to be, I continued my path. My only temptation was when I got to the church and had a choice of going left into the adoration chapel or right towards the gym where dinner was being served. I wanted to go to adoration; however, I was running bit late.

My reward was in the faces of Christ I saw as each person came up to be served. My job was dispensing beverages, and it was one of those tiny glimpses of Heaven as I watched the faithful come together for a simple meal in a simple gym away from the complexities of modern living. Afterwards most went to the church for a powerful presentation of Stations of the Cross.

The devil didn't bother me as I walked back to the train station to return home. I chose a different route; one that didn't take me past the strip club and Hooters. Perhaps the devil gave up on me for the evening. But he will be back. One line from this coming Sunday's Gospel reading assures me of that. As Luke 4:13 reads:

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

A warning to be sure. We don't know when that opportune time will be, but we do know that if we just keep walking with Christ, and stay on course, then when Satan makes his appearance he will be annoying but as easy to brush away from our face as a gnat. He only has the power that we give to him.


Blogger Chris said...

This was wonderful. Thank you for sharing! Love your blog!


12:36 PM  
Blogger David Jackson said...

Thanks Chris, I'm a fan of as well.

Viva Jesu

11:14 PM  

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