For most of my life, the diabolical world is the movie “The Exorcist”. Other than that, I knew he was far away and he could not reach me. I believe that there is a devil; I just did not realize that he could be very close by us. I was misinformed and  ignorant.

I had this idea that there is a line between Satan and us. He cannot cross it when we believe in God and practice our faith. I also thought that the devil lingers only to very evil people. My world appeared safe because my family prayed a lot.

My father became an orphan at 8 years old. Adopted and raised by the Franciscans, he lived an austere life typical of the Franciscan spirituality. Simple in his manner of dressing, he cringes when we buy him new clothes for his birthday presents. “I do not need more.” he assured us. While the wrist watch was a sign of prestige in those days, he never wore one. At that time, I judged him to have poor taste in clothes. While other parents flaunt about their new cars, we were stuck with one vehicle. We had a Ford Falcon gold car until I moved out of the house

Growing up, I saw my parents served our parish as leaders of various organizations and prayer groups. Family traditions involved participation in Church activities. Our faith was hands-on for us, not theoretical at all. I lived to see how my parents put our Catholic faith in action.

When I got married, I naturally wanted to replicate the Catholic legacy that my father passed on to us. We have several aces to our family dynamics to practice our Catholic faith such as the grace to homeschool and be in a traditional Catholic Diocese.  Yet, we struggled to raise our children in the Catholic faith. We followed the Church teachings but we were clueless to another door that we could open to the enemy to enter our family life.

A prevailing lie is eating up the souls of our children. It is not that they do not know enough of their Catholic faith. It is not because you worked too hard away from home and did not spend time with them to teach them the truth. It is difficult to even recognize the lie because it hides under what seem to be a good thing – “happiness”.

Like St. Francis who lived in tumultuous times of moral decadence, his saving grace to counteract the devil was to be spiritually married to “Lady Poverty”. Lady Poverty represents the Church, whom St. Francis serves with acts of humility and distaste for the false promises of the world.

St. Francis knew the big lie that the enemy keeps whispering to us:  “that you can get your happiness and fulfillment apart from God.”

Although we knew Jesus, our Savior as God, as we listen to the Gospel and homilies,  our senseless mind is continually duped and dimmed to serve the creations of God and not the Creator Himself. We have come to a time when we do not know the difference.

If we do not strive to please God in all things (2 Corinthians 5:9), then we cannot stand against the wiles of the devil and resist him. Eventually, the devil will make us adore him. Satan will claim for himself the adoration that is due to God. Satan mimics God and gives us many false Gods.

When we have false Gods – sex, sports, friends, our loved ones whom we put higher than God, career, business, investments, cellphones, internet, television, video games, etc., the enemy is not really far from us.  He has replaced our true God.

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