winners and losers

I wonder how often we really perform a good examination of conscience, considering how we live our lives and our relationship with God. Is God central to your life or have you set him aside? Do you do what makes you happy or what God wants you to do?

Satan before the Lord God

Satan before the Lord God

Adam and Eve chose to determine for themselves whether what God had forbidden was really evil or whether he was simply playing them for suckers. What is important to understand is that the fall did not occur because they discovered the meaning of evil; the fall occurred because they did evil, they disobeyed God. They came to know evil by experiencing evil and becoming evil.

Underlying the fall is this question: “Why would man, created by God and happy in the Garden of Eden, wish to commit such a flagrant act of disobedience?” Although Saint Augustine had difficulty with the question, Saint Anselm gave a reasoned explanation in his dialogue “On the Fall of the Devil”. He argued that angels, like humans have two motivations for doing anything.

The first is self-interest or happiness, that is doing what benefits you, what makes you happy. The second is justice or morality which means doing what God wants you to do. It is difficult to conceive of any action or decision that we might make that is not motivated by either the desire to be happy or the desire to do what is right.

Occasionally we should remind ourselves that the God who created us gave us Free Will which means that we are free to choose what is moral and right, that is, what God wants us to do, or to choose what we believe will make us happy. I am free to choose my way or God’s way and if I choose my way I can rest assured that God will do nothing to prevent me from doing whatever I desire. Choosing self-interest or happiness over justice or morality requires—to paraphrase and skewer John the Baptist—for God to decrease while I increase.

As we diminish our reliance on God and ignore our relationship with our Creator, we find ourselves in the devil’s embrace, desiring only that which serves our own self-interest. We become addicted to achieving happiness and like any addict achieving that “happiness high” becomes all that matters. Nothing else, no one and certainly no God matters or holds any greater value.

The devil is a cunning creature who knows our weaknesses and our faults. He strokes our egos and entices us with all manner of delights; and he is winning.

We can fight against abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, co-habitation, divorce, poverty, or any other injustice or moral wrong but we will not win the war against the devil until we take up the fight in defense of God. As long as we believe in the primacy of man, the devil wins and we lose. It is far past time for the devil to lose and for God to win. We need to return God to his rightful place above all his creation and for us to step down from our self-deluded pedestal and kneel before him with great humility.


About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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