“The devil wishes to assure some people that there’s no need for repentance, and others that there’s no hope for mercy. Some people are deceived into thinking they are too good for the gospel while others are accused into thinking they are too bad for the gospel.” ~ Russell D. Moore
Pride and despair. These are two weapons that the devil uses against people. If he can make someone arrogantly proud, that person would never ask for forgiveness as that person would believe there would be no need for it. If the devil can make someone feel ultimately hopeless, that person would not seek the Lord, believing that he or she is unworthy.
I have said this many times before and I say it again: the devil is real. His ways are real. His target is you and me. His understanding of our human nature is uncanny. He is wily. He is after our souls. As long as we are still living in this world, we are “game” for him. He will prowl and do everything that he can to win us over because he knows that he will lose us the moment we die if we remain faithful to the Lord.
When we tell ourselves that the devil is something made up and doesn’t exist, he has a leg up on us. It is easier for him to work against us and attempt to win us over. That is why we have to acknowledge his existence and be wary of his wiles.
When we think that we are too good for others, we will eventually claim that we are too good for God. That will lead to our downfall. When we despair and believe that we are unworthy and hopeless, we will not ask God for mercy, believing that we are already condemned. These are tricks of the devil and need to be avoided at all cost.
We are not better than anyone else. We have hope. Our hope is not rooted in the world. Our hope is rooted in the Lord who is our rock, our help, and our shield.
Has the devil succeeded in getting his hooks into you? Shuck them off today.
FAITH ACTION: Almost all parishes have Saturday afternoon confessions. As you continue your Lenten journey, should the need be there in your life, go to confession this afternoon.