The following is dialogue from The Exorcist:
“Father Damien Karras: Why her? Why this girl?
Father Merrin: I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as… animal and ugly. To make us reject the possibility that God could love us.”
We have only to turn on the evening news to see that evil is a real thing, a palpable force to be reckoned with. Murders, disasters, calamities, accidents, bullyings, school shootings. Each and every one an assault upon our sensibilities.
Make no mistake: the people to which these things happen pay a terrible price. They are victims in the truest sense of the word.
But the Devil is an opportunist. He is a master strategist with one agenda: to make us doubt the fundamental goodness of God. Not being God himself, he must use the tools at his disposal. Secondary to his delight in all the ways we harm one another, is his desire to cause as much collateral damage as possible.
There are the primary victims of crime, of tragedy, and then there’s the rest of us–the observers, the bystanders. Left in the wake of evil’s passing, we wonder “Why?”
The Devil’s methods may have multiplied over the millennia, but his fundamental agenda is the same:
He wants us to despair.
To despair of living, to give up hope, to despair of the goodness of God, and thus reject His love.
How could He love us? How could He love me? When all that goes on around us is evil and tragedy?
That is the abyss which is laid before our feet each and every day. Make no mistake: the enemy knows you, knows your story–knows from whence you come. And he will exploit all such knowledge to the hilt.
The devil is a pragmatist.
The first rule of warfare is: know your enemy. Know his strategies, know his schemes. Know that he hasn’t changed.
Where does the fight against despair begin? On your knees.
“Submit God, resist the devil, and he must flee.”
Fight the good fight, my friends!