Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Relentless Enemy

"WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL SUCCESS, the enemy gets agitated, and makes war, if not openly, he would do it secretly; and if not through strangers, he would do it through relatives, and even through the body itself, and sometimes through those who call themselves ministers in the Church..." I am blown away by the wisdom of Father Tadros Malaty time after time. It is often asked why bad things happen to good people, or why demon possessions are not often seen in the West. The enemy focuses his targets on those who are spiritually succeeding when he becomes envious. In prosperous times, praise God. In tough times, praise God. Humility is our single best weapon against the enemy.

A good friend of mine told a group of us a story about a priest with the ability to exorcise demons. He had known about a monk who was younger in age and far better at exorcising demons than the priest. When word was out about the priest's abilities, he was brought a bus full of demon possessed people. The priest, knowing about the monk, took this bus full of possessed people over to the monastery. The monk was startled when he saw this bus full of possessed people and got annoyed with the priest for bringing them. The priest began to feel bad for what he had done and prostrated in front of the monk pleading for his forgiveness. The monk then realizing he had made his elder priest feel bad and prostrated in front of the priest. The two of them repeated this a few times and before they knew it, the demons had fled the people in the bus in horror from the humility shown by the priest and the monk.

In short, humility is the name of the game. Becoming arrogant and not continuing the struggle is a sure way to fail. Father Tadros Malaty continues to say "That is why the Lord advises us that 'A man's foes will be those of his own household.'" What is meant by this is to be constantly on guard, for the enemy can come in all forms.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Straight and Narrow

A RIVER WITHOUT BANKS is not a river, it is a flood. The life of a Christian is no different, it is a wild, fast-paced run and is difficult to stay on course. Therefore, it is important for a Christian to set boundaries for oneself. The boundaries are our banks and are often put to the test. It is important that we remain on the straight and narrow. Again, this is done only by setting boundaries for oneself. It is important to be careful and not "just try" something once, or experiment if you will. It's a slippery slope (if I may add just one more cliche to this post) and before you know it, you will be wondering what happened; and getting back on track can prove to be quite difficult. It is a long and difficult struggle, but the reward is sweet.