APOSTOLIC INSIGHT What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here are some of their thoughts—
“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
No one can escape the haunting impact of diabolical assaults that are constant from politics to personal encounters. The tendency in today’s world is to consider these attacks as human error or mistakes. Time, education, and social improvement will bring the aggression to an end.
Really? Look at Chicago where murder is now on a rampage. Look at the corruption in government. Consider that in America the leading country in the world, the record is set for abortions and deaths caused by people who believe they have a right to carry guns. No improvement there?
The Church Fathers have important insight into evil.
St. Gregory of Nyssa ~ Now the origin of the tendency to evil (in Satan) and the foundation, as it were, the mother of all other wickedness was the love of power, which was a disease in him.
The Shepherd of Hermas ~ The devil comes and tempts all the servants of God. Those who are strong in the faith resist him, and he goes away from them, because he cannot find entrance. So he goes then to the empty and, finding an entrance, he goes to them. Thus he accomplishes in them whatever he pleases, and makes them his slave.
St. Ambrose ~ There is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience.
St. Augustine ~ Every sin is more injury to him who does, than to him who suffers it.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem ~ If that Lead us not into temptation implied that we should not be tempted at all, He would not have said, But deliver us from the evil. And the evil is the devil, our adversary, from whom we pray to be delivered. Then after the completion of the prayer, you say, Amen, setting your seal by this Amen which signifies, So be it, to be petitions of the divinely-taught prayer.
A Desert Father ~ Malice will never drive our malice. But if someone does an evil act to you, you should do good to him, so that by your good work you may destroy his malice.