The readings remind us that Christ bequeaths us this power in his One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Since the children share in blood and Flesh,.
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death,
that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested
The power to resist, combat and drive out demons comes through Sacraments of the Catholic Church, and only through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. Bishops and priests can use the power or ignore it.
What the world is experiencing now are the consequences of the ordained who ignore, obstruct and thwart it. What a test, eh?
As Christ was going from town to town throughout the whole of Galilee preaching and driving out demons each day this week, I was struck by the contrast. It seemed to be all around me. It was brutal.
Late last week, one of the detractors of the Catholic Church who frequents our comments section (whose sad afflictions have led him on a crusade to blaspheme the power Christ bequeathed to us on earth - His Mystical Body - as demonic) said something so profoundly stupid that it illuminates the power the devil currently has over his captives.
Joseph produced a torrent of excuses for his conduct which included an explanation that he was saved because, he 'accepts the sacrifice' and everyone who 'accepts the sacrifice' is saved.
I couldn't have been any more wigged out by his predicament if Joseph tried to convince me his car is a spaceship that flies him to the moon.
The sacrifice is the very thing Joseph does not 'accept'. You can't 'accept the sacrifice' if you reject It and devote yourself to blaspheming It.
There is only one Sacrifice. The Oblation of Christ is the Sacraments and Sacred Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It is inseparable. Christ cannot be divided from Himself and His Salvific Act.
Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains,that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did.But the word that they heard did not profit them,for they were not united in faith with those who listened.Early in the week a friend who for many years has permitted the demon of the victim mentality consume her took me on a tour. This kind and caring soul suffers bouts of rage and anguish which she medicates with alcohol and prescription drugs. By no means is she ignorant of the power in the Eucharist and Sacraments, but she is drawn to self-pity and hatred like a moth to the flame. She lights the torch and invites others to gather around those flames while she burns herself with memories and rage.
People who are hurting are attracted to people of faith because they see our endurance, joy, peace, surrender but they know not the Source.
Every person who has experienced abuse needs to tell their story, do what they can to protect others from an abuser, receive affirmation, kindness, mercy - but ooooohh, how the demons flock to obstruct, twist, contort and empower their own momentum. It deserves its own post, but suffice it to say, it all comes down to the obstruction of the authentic healing from Christ in the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
Attempts to lead a suffering soul to the Source can't involve enabling, can't involve egotistical use of the situation to flatter ourselves into the role of the healer. When a person hangs their recovery upon you, they never proceed to Christ. Ultimatums and insults follow every attempt to move them beyond watching and listening to hours of their self-destruction. I'm at a loss for what to do next, if anything.
Another man contacted me this week to tell me of his own abuse at the hands of the screwball priests and women who obstruct the power of the Sacraments in our local parishes. More about this later, but his story is the same old. Seeking true and authentic conversion through obedience to the teachings of the Catholic Church and the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, he was accosted by parish thugs. Seeking relief from Chancery wizards was as fruitful as talking to his refrigerator. Scandalized, he fell away from the very source that Christ is teaching us about this week in the Scriptures.
Near the end of the week, I had an experience with a homeless man who stands in the recesses of the rectory on Isabella Street. I pass the man to and from Mass. His face is weathered and he is always smoking a cigarette talking to someone he sees beside him. I'm a little afraid of him. He is not a happy camper. Often uses the "F" word when carrying on a conversation with his invisible friend or foe. I've often wondered whether he is mentally ill, whether there's something spiritual going on. Maybe even his guardian angel keeping him company in the streets of Boston.
This week, he yelled as I walked by "Hey, you've got to fight those devils". I looked around me and thought, "Whoah baby... God only knows what he sees!!".
I'll tell you something. As God is my witness, I ran like the dickens up the stairs of the Church and inside, to share in the Flesh, Body and Blood, the price of my soul's salvation, the power that overcomes the power of death of a soul.
Don't ever let anyone rob you of It.
In 1931, the magnificent prophet Venerable Fulton Sheen predicted that "in 50 to 100 years, there would only be the Catholic Church and paganism, we would be left to fight the battle alone, and we will".
It's going to be a hell of a ride. Let's pray for eachother.