When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

After hearing Msgr. Ramacciotti’s homily yesterday, I decided to look up a Georgetown CARA (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate) poll which asked of 1496 professed Christians if they believed in the existence of Satan.  From that poll, the following results were published…

Only 17 percent of Catholics said they believe that Satan is a living being. The vast majority, the remaining 83 percent, report thinking of Satan as merely a symbol of evil.

The fraction of the Catholic constituency that affirmed the devil’s existence was smaller than that of any other religious group. Belief in the devil was almost as rare among Catholics as it was among those with no religious affiliation (16%).

Now knowing the results of that study, is it so shocking that the “professed” Catholic Governor of the state of New York so proudly signed into law for that state that any child who survived an attempted abortion still had no rights and will be killed even after that birth?  Was it so shocking to hear the supporters of that law cheer so loudly as he signed it?  May God have mercy on all our souls.

Today we read the following where God implores us that to follow Him we must love all.

From our first reading:

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy…
“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. 
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him. 
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

From our Gospel:

Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

I might add – ” I survived an abortion supported by you and you still killed Me!”

God warns us; Jesus professes this warning that we will be accursed, damned into the eternal fires prepared FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS, where our hunger will never cease and our thirst will never be quenched.

How many times does God need to tell us that Satan and Satan’s angels ARE REAL, they actively seek the ruin of souls – my soul, your soul.  Why?  Because they have been damned to that eternal fire and they can never be satisfied at ruining whatever pleases God.

We read in yesterday’s Gospel that when Christ was at a very weak point – after having fasted for 40 days, even the Son of God was tempted by Satan.  He offered Jesus the power to do three things, turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger; Satan offered Jesus power to rule the all the kingdoms of the earth; Satan then tempted Him to throw Himself from the temple for the wings of the Angels will save Him.  All Jesus had to do was offer worship to Satan.  Christ was strong enough to resist these temptations – the question now is are we?  Am I?

I am ashamed to say that Satan would have had me with the first offer of bread.  My biggest weakness in life is to turn to food as a response to stress.  Satan works as simply, as subtly as that.  He doesn’t have to offer me power and riches, he had me with a bag of Doritos.  That is why I daily “get on my knees” and beg for God to save me.  That is why I’m hoping this season of Lent to kick those bad habits and continually turn to God in times of stress.  Jesus is my KING – not Burger!

How I want to cry out at the sinfulness of those in power in New York, but before I canto pull the plank from their eyes, I must clean the spec from mine.  I must daily profess that Jesus is my Savior; He alone I will follow.  Pray for me over these next 6 weeks that I can break away from the temptations and comfort that I find in food.  Pray that I fully embrace that one does not live on bread alone, but from every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Do something great for our Lord today – reject Satan and all of his empty promises.  Turn to God and profess your desire to live according to God’s way – the way of Truth, the way of Life.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

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