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Thursday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

There are evil things done by human beings all over the world every day. Not just small things, but gigantic atrocities. We read about them in the paper, we see them on television. Right in our own living rooms we can tune into wars and view the tragedies of wars. Men, women, and children are imprisoned and tortured, starved and denied medical assistance. Entire nationalities and races are condemned and murdered by other nationalities and races. Lust for power, greed for wealth, prejudice to the utmost degree reign supreme in many places. How some humans can be so cruel to other humans is something you and I find very hard to understand.

We were not brought up that way. We were taught to love and forgive and treat other people as we want to be treated. And we expect other people to think that same way. But they don’t! Facts prove that atrocities are being done by people at this very moment. And not only by people who don’t believe in God. They are committed even by people with strong and long religious backgrounds, which includes Catholics and Protestants. How can they do such horrible things? Why do they do them?

St. Paul presents his answer to us. “Our battle ultimately is not against human forces,” wrote Paul, “but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above.” Paul is telling us that creatures from hell exist on earth and are behind many of the world’s atrocities. They influence people, they enter people, and they do through people evil things. What can we do about it?

“You must put on the armor of God,” continues Paul, “if you are to resist on the evil day; do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground. Stand fast, with the truth as the belt around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and zeal to propagate the gospel of peace as your footgear. In all circumstances hold the faith up before you as your shield...At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort.”

Yes, much evil exists in our world. And it tries to take over the lives of as many people as possible. To keep it from entering you, stay very close to God and make love and forgiveness your everyday work. And never forget: God and goodness are infinitely stronger than all the evils of hell. Let us do our best to help God spread his goodness wherever we go.

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