Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Ways of the Devil

Sometimes people donning a holy garb may be captivated by the tricks of the devil into ways of thinking that are opposite to the gospel of Jesus which asks for universal love for all people without discrimination, inclusive of enemies (cf. Mt. 5). They do get some following just because of the supposed garb of righteousness. If you are not watchful you can, as anybody else, be carried away by such trickery of the devil. As Jesus warned very sternly, "you will know them by their fruits."

Consider history in the past years, the countless lives lost in encounters of judgmental attitudes, hate, anger and fury; the vocations to religion lost because of deceiving thoughts, teachings or ideas. At the time it was not clear, the whole deception. The words of Jesus: "The devil is a murderer and the father of lies" (Jn. 8:44). Jesus reiterates: "I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits" (Mt. 7:19). The formula of St. Edith Stein, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who became a Carmelite nun, and was martyred by the Nazi, is applicable here to escape the devil's wiles: "Do not readily accept as love if it is not accompanied by truth, and do not readily accept as truth if it is ot accompanied by love." As St. Paul explains in Rom. 13:10: "Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments." It is ever basic in our good relations to keep Christ's behest: "Judge not and you will not be judged" (Mt. 7:1).

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