A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, April 25, 2008

The one who prowls... is toast

The words are ominous:

Your opponent the Devil
is prowling around
like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.

We find these terrifying words echoed in the English translation of Pope Leo XIII’s Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel:

...Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

But of course, the terrifying words of the prayer are simply identifying Satan and the evil spirits who by the power of God are getting cast into Hell.

Also, before and following the terrifying words in today’s first reading (1 Peter 5:5b-14), Saint Peter encourages us to “be sober and vigilant” and

Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters
throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.

The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory
through Christ Jesus
will himself restore, confirm,
strengthen, and establish you
after you have suffered a little.

To him be dominion forever.

The terrifying words in today’s first reading and in the Prayer to Saint Michael are not superstitious fearmongering.

Read the paper, watch the news, and you see that there are many evil predators looking for victims: crooked and greedy capitalists, con artists, terrorists, sexual predators, conspiracy theorists, cult leaders, hateful purveyors of doubt and cynicism, and many others.

Also, if we look into our own hearts and minds, we see the many temptations that so often afflict us.

Some of these evils are clearly human in nature, but it is easy to see much more than simply the “bad choices” people make.

There are good things in the world and good things in humanity but there is also evil on the prowl.

Yet, no matter what we may suffer, by the grace of God we overcome evil and its terrors in the name of Jesus.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection
against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, thrust into hell
Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli
esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum
pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.