Something wicked, this.....

I had a conversation with a friend last week that got me thinking. She mentioned that she had been to the pro-life march in D. C. in January. This was not her first trip, but this one seemed different. She felt that the group she traveled with was edgy and one mishap after another was happening. When they arrived, she felt a palpable heaviness there. "It was 'evil'", I suggested in a even tone--not necessarily because of where she was, but because I have, on many occasions, experienced that same feeling. She looked at me as though I had read her mind. That was exactly how it felt to her...and she just did not want to call it out. Not a surprise.

Why are we afraid of that--calling evil for what it is.

For those of us who are believers, it is certainly not because we don't, at some level, understand the basis of it. I believe the real reason is that we are afraid of being dismissed as being a little over zealous in our beliefs. Sadly, people feel that way with good reason.

I remember a few years ago, our parish Knights of Columbus had built a pro-life monument just outside the church building. On the first weekend of every month, prayers were offered after Mass for those who chose to stay. We had small prayer cards with intentions specifically for life issues. At the end, all were to recite the prayer the St. Michael the Archangel. It was really remarkable, as most people did stay to pray.

Shortly after this practice began, our Associate Pastor was leading the prayers and afterward commented that the Prayer to St. Michael was a little 'violent'. I've never forgotten that. Really? Violent? I wondered then, as now, had he ever seen the picture circulated about that same time of an aborted fetus being 're-assembled' to verify that all the 'pieces' were there? I cannot think of anything more violent, nor a better reason to re-introduce to the 'masses' this beautiful prayer of protection from the evil one.

In case you haven't noticed, he isn't finished yet. He is defeated....but he is not finished quite yet. We must know our enemy if we are to overcome in this life. Christ instructed his disciples to be wise as serpents. The Evil One knows us better than we know ourselves so we must remain vigilant.

"St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and, do thou prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."

Epilogue: This Associate moved on eventually. A few years later we got a new Pastor who stopped the pro-life prayer service completely. Reason: it was awkward for those who did not want to stay and pray. Really? And, what is that dark laughter I hear. Evil can only work when we 'cooperate' with it.

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