The nineteen year old body of a young man was found at
the bottom of a well along with a ritually slaughtered cat.
Three teens, each 17, were arrested for his murder. The
19 year old had fifty head wounds. One of the boy’s attorneys was quoted, “They thought they somehow would be rewarded by Satan.” The Devil may be out of fashion as someone has quipped, but he is certainly not out of business. Yet, many adults tell me they do not believe in the Devil. But, unknown to them, many of their teens do. They accept the Christ’s admonition about the Evil One in today’s Gospel literally.
Some of my material comes from an article by Lisa Ryckman, a national writer for the Associated Press. The headline of her story is titled “Murder, Suicide Among Teens Caught In World of Satanism.” Ms Ryckman begins her illuminating article with a quote from John Milton’s Paradise Lost. “The mind is its own place, and in itself makes a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” Many teens are guilty of mayhem and criminal activity because they have been influenced by Satanism. At times, this belief is accompanied by hard drugs, equally hard rock, and a potpourri of mysterious rites and signs. “Three years ago, nobody wanted to hear (about Satanism),… nobody believed it was real.” The speaker is Detective Sandi Gallant of the San Francisco Police Department. Gallant averages four calls daily from across the US on crimes accompanied by the satanic or the occult.
“Now I see skeptics tuning into it, looking to see that it is a reality and facing it head-on.” Take one youngster whom Ryckman refers to. He was 14 years old. He attended parochial school. He struck almost everyone as the all American boy. That view ceased abruptly when he stabbed his mother twelve times with his Boy Scout knife. He burned his books on Satanism in the family living room. He then killed himself. His teachers had warned his parents that the boy apparently was dabbling in Satanic ceremonies. After the fact, his distraught father recalled his son had told a friend he had seen Satan.
The Evil One had urged him, the 14 year old reported, to murder his family and tell others about his existence. Ryckman writes that the Cult Awareness Network in Chicago reports that no month goes by without their being informed of at least one crime associated in some form with Satan. One could go on. There is an abundance of material on this dark subject. I think, however, you get the picture. Surely then, the Evil One deserves a second look. There are five references to the Evil One in the New Testament. In the Old and New Testaments, there are sixty-nine different references to the Devil while Satan is referred to forty-four times. My adding machine tells me that makes one hundred eighteen pointings to the existence of the Devil.
Do you not get the feeling that God is telling us something? Some people are willing to drop the D off Devil and concede there is evil in the world. But that tells us nothing about its primary source. With such a position, we do the Devil a service and ourselves a disservice. Satan should be under spotlights for everyone to see him and then do a quick about face. Dante in his Inferno did not underestimate him. He called him “a liar and the father of lies.” The poet JB Tabb wrote, “In all God’s universe there is one, and only one, creature whom we know positively to be damned. And that creature is the Devil. But remember though the Devil is damned, he is no damn fool.” At times the wily Devil hides himself deeply in what Thomas Richstatter calls the “ism” family. The list is long: alcoholism, consumerism, narcissism, nationalism, racism, and sexism.
A none too deep examination of conscience will unhappily reveal that each one of us has been caught by one or more of these “isms.” It behooves us to shake the Devil off in his “ism” masquerade. As long as we breathe, we live with the Evil One. A cursory reading of the daily mayhem in even a third rate newspaper will confirm this. But we have one powerful weapon. It was outlined by CS Lewis. Each time we attend the Liturgy, we conduct a secret underground meeting. We get ourselves into shape for our next encounter with the Devil. Armed with the Eucharist, we are better able to be members of Christ’s Resistance. We are better able to make our global village prepared for Christ and His Parousia.
Digest of Articles from Catholics Blogs and Websites
May 17, 2015
The Ascension of the Lord: Taking On the Snakes and Poisons of the World
“These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18