DEMONS AND ANGELS

Saturday, September 19, 2015


“The seventy (apostles) returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!’ He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’ At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants…” (Lk 10: 17-21)

Here’s a liberating fact: Evil does not exist as some objective force, floating about like a dark hole, on its own. Evil only exists within living, created beings, both visible and invisible, as the result of their free choice to reject the good. This fact is liberating, because it liberates us from falsely seeing evil as some “power” that we’re up against. What we are up against is our own free choice to embrace good or reject it. We can also choose to be influenced in this choice through other living beings, both visible and invisible, who have also made this choice.

Any talk of demons or angels might prompt “the wise and intelligent” to smile, because this sounds like some medieval superstition or, well, infantile. As the Lord says in the above-cited passage, these things have indeed been “hidden from the wise and intelligent,” and “revealed to infants.” Note that in this context the Lord uses the concepts of wisdom and intelligence in a sarcastic sense, because it is neither “wise” nor “intelligent” to see evil as some objective, independent power. It is, in fact, the scariest kind of superstition, to believe in evil with a big "E."

Today I gratefully remember that I do not live in a world where there is “Evil” with a big “E.” I live in a world where there is only one higher power, to Whom I freely subject myself today: “One God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible...”

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