Pastor's Letter - June 10, 2018

In both the reading from Genesis and the Gospel in today’s Mass, we see Satan, or the Devil, mentioned. The reality of Satan is a challenge for Modern Man. With the arrival of the “Age of Enlightenment” in the 18th century, it became fashionable to believe that everything could be understood through reason and science alone. The “Modernism” of the mid-19th century intensified this belief, such that the Church in response began to speak explicitly about the errors of “Modernism”, especially its rejection of religious belief. Just one example of this is the rejection of spiritual beings, since the only reality the modernists accept must be physically observable. So, angels – good or fallen – don’t really exist, they are merely mythical beings created from our imaginations in order to explain things we don’t understand. But NOW, science provides all the answers, and we can do away with these mythical beings. Of course, the Church has always held fast to the Biblical accounts of the existence of spiritual creatures. Angels – the good ones, like Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael; and the fallen ones, like Satan – really do exist. In the Book of Revelation (Ch. 12), we read how Jesus brings about the defeat of “that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan.” Pope Francis, even more so than his predecessors, often speaks of the nefarious works of the Devil. Indeed, the Catholic has always been deeply aware that the disciple of Jesus Christ will have to contend with “the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.” Certainly, even in our everyday pursuits, we are aware of particular obstacles which may impede, or make difficult, the goal we seek. Every runner surveys the course where he runs; every golfer looks out for the sand traps. In this sense, the things of this world, our own human weaknesses, and the temptations of the Devil, are all obstacles which we contend with in our journey to Christ. But in and through Christ, we triumph!

May God bless you!
Fr. Schaller