|Just another Disney film.....or is it?|
There is some good sense in that.
We should no more see the works of Satan in everything around us than we should be blind to those occasions when he is hard at work making our lives harder and endangering our souls.
But how to tell the genuine from the false?
Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that, when he gave a retreat for priests, when normally 50 or 60 priests would be present, there was usually some evidence of the demonic.
One or possibly two members of the audience would be tainted with some aspect of Satan and this would normally be revealed when ++Sheen focused, particularly, on redemptive suffering and the cross.
There would be some throat clearing and foot shuffling and then the challenging questions, denying fundamental elements of Catholic belief.
OK, no spinning heads or glowing eyes, just a bit of aggression and rebellion.
Remember, this is not the devil as such, it is as a result of some sin of pride or disobedience that has tinged the person concerned with the demonic.
It is like carrying a virus that manifests itself from time to time until it has taken a firm grip of the system over a number of years and erupts into something far, far more sinister.
I see evidence of the demonic in the manner in which many Catholics (laity as well as clergy) respond to any questions regarding the Ordinary Form of Mass, the Latin Mass.
Several times I have had occasion to ask if a Latin Mass could be arranged or, if a visiting priest could offer a Latin Mass at our parish church.
The response has always surprised me by its vehemence and expressed repulsion at the prospect.
When arranging my son's Nuptial Mass some years ago I made the request for it to be a TLM only for the priest to make a face as if he had trodden in something rather offensive and remark dismissively that he didn't go along with all of that.....he almost said "rubbish" but he stopped himself just in time.
How can you not "go along" with the Mass in its traditional form?
Drop in to a parish open meeting and put forward a proposal for a weekly Latin Mass, or Benediction or Confessions at a regular time and in a confessional as opposed to Father's sitting room and you will hear howls of derision and abuse.
That's the demonic at work.
And, if Fulton Sheen found one or two cases of the demonic among a group of priests, how many more instances are there in the world around us?
It's around us in our everyday lives: television programmes that reflect themes that make Christianity an object of mockery and ridicule, films where the Holy Name is abused, advertising posters ostensibly selling soap powder via a storyline of adultery or perversion, and Women's Hour on BBC Radio Four is one of the worst offenders; the list is endless.
So, do not see the devil at work every time you reverse into a brick wall at the supermarket or, when you find that the 8.10 Reading to Paddington has been cancelled; but do lookout for signs of the devil; the demonic, when you raise issues of orthodoxy at all times.
And when you do come across the demonic at work, remember the "Michael" prayer, as a certain US priest likes to call it.
And remember not to cave in to demonic pressure.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen found that by not wavering from his course, matters would resolve themselves within 24 hours.
On day two of the retreat, there would be one or two empty seats.
The obstructive priests had departed and with them the demonic.