Sunday, January 28, 2018

"I Know Who You Are!"

The movie “American Sniper” is the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy Seal and the most lethal sniper in US history.
Early in the film, Chris Kyle’s Dad tells him – there are three types of people in the world:
-         Evil wolves that threaten the sheep.
-         The sheep who are good people, but they can be harmed because they don’t understand about the existence of evil.
-         The sheepdogs that protect the sheep.
Chris Kyle knew that evil is for real. He understood himself to be a sheepdog. He is out to protect the sheep and his fellow soldiers.
Sheepdogs are not the only ones protecting the sheep! There are also shepherds!  Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He cares for the sheep as well. He also understands that evil is real!  But, He wages a different kind of battle against evil – a spiritual battle – which is even more important!

Man with unclean spirit enters the synagogue:   unclean spirit: something out of place in the spiritual sense, not in order, something opposed to the holy.
Cries out “What have you to do with us?”     Plural is frightening.    Trinity = unity    Evil = disunity.
Jesus says “Quiet! Come out of the man!”
What are we to think of this in our modern world of medicine and psychology?
Can’t this be explained just as a healing of an illness?  Clearly many times yes, but not always.
I have done enough spiritual counseling to see the effects of evil in people’s lives.  The presence of evil is real and can sometimes overtake people. 

We see evil at work today:
-         when young gymnasts are taken advantage of by a trusted doctor
-         when women come forward to say “Me Too” that men have used their power in evil ways.
-         In the use of drugs that are supposed to help people that end up taking over their lives.
-         When fake news is used to destroy people reputations.
This is all the work of the evil one!!!
Pope Francis speaks about the evil one quite often. He says there is no shadow of a doubt – a battle exists in which the eternal salvation of us all is at stake!
Some thoughts:
1)    “Salus Animarum Suprema Lex” What can be more important than eternal life or the loss of it? Protect our souls. Stay away from people or things that can threaten us!
2)    King Philip sent a note to John about his brother, Richard the Lionheart: “Look to yourself. The devil is loose!”  Fight against complacency: watch ourselves and guard our hearts. Make a Daily examination of conscience.
3)    Fight against worldliness – living the way of the world. Live the way God truly wants us to!
4)    Fight against hate, anger and bitterness – all come from the evil one. Never hate but serve others. Pray and live in joy.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd has entered the struggle against evil.  Never forget this, in the words of Pope Francis: “God is stronger!   God is stronger!”     So, may God give us the grace to turn away from evil and live only in the Light!!!!