Supreme Genius Nails the Bane of Our Existence

On 03/30/2014, in Catholic, by Tom Voiland

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;  but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”  The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!  For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and EVIL. Genesis 3:1-5

The rest is history, more accurately put, the future.

Paradise Lost

One man’s one sin.  And so it goes, sin entered the world, and with it, its chief purveyor – Satan.  We had paradise, we were in Heaven, that was God’s plan.  The Garden of Eden was Paradise, and the Tree of Life was the mind of God.  But it wasn’t enough for our original parents to just be WITH God, but they also wanted to get in His head.  God said no, Adam and Eve agreed, then comes Satan, and they give in to their earthly desires.

So out they went, because God cannot be around sin, for sin is the antithesis of God.  It’s like when you try to bring the same poles of two magnets together – impossible.  Before Adam’s sin, God and man were like the opposite ends of two magnets, completely drawn together.  But afterwards, Adam and Eve could not remain in God’s presence and I’d bet He wasn’t happy about that.  In his own way, I’m sure he was devastated.  These were his children.  He wasn’t angry, He didn’t throw them out.  It was their sin that forever stripped them of the greatest gift God can give; being with Him in Heaven.  We had it and we lost it and now we were separated from him.

Be In the World not Of the World

Wow, not much has changed since the beginning, now has it?  Christ gave us rules, we said okay, the devil tempts us, and we give in.  You know what the sum total of us “giving in” is?  EVIL.  As the world sins, and the nature of the sins become more abominable, the strength of evil grows.  It feeds on itself like a snowball rolling downhill, and for the past several decades, evil has been on a feeding frenzy.  The incredible degradation of our society has been swift and, at least for me, hard to watch.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a strong sense of right from wrong.  This was more than a moral compass, it was the presence of Christ within me.  I had a very strong attraction to wanting to be holy, to be Catholic.  But more than that, I wanted the world to be holy.  Well, it’s with such a heavy heart that at fifty years old, I can claim neither.  It seems that evil, Satan’s greatest strength, his plague, has infected me with sin so much more than I ever wanted.  And to this very moment, my desire to be a holy man, in a holy world, and to be Catholic, remains strong.  But evil seems to win more than I do.

I have done my very best to call upon my understanding of His plan through reading and listening to Scripture at Mass.  Although I know Christ is in my life, it’s been harder to understand how, to understand why certain circumstances are thrown your way.  It’s all relative though, they say God burdens you with only as much as you can handle.  The $64,000 question to most of us is “why do we have to be burdened in the first place?”  All we have to do is look back to the Garden for the answer.

I abhor this world and all its Godlessness, I hate that I am more “of” it than I want to be, then I ever wanted to be.  And just like the devil accomplished in the Garden, driving Adam and Eve away from God, and out of paradise, he wants to do with me………and you.  Right now, I’m in a boxing match with Satan.  It’s the middle of a round and I’m getting punched like Duane Bobick against Muhammad Ali.  With each belt, I get weaker, but like Rocky Balboa, I won’t go down.  Why?  Because Christ is in my corner, waiting for me.  Evil may win the battle, but I will not allow it to win the war.

Satan, god of this World?

As Christians, we’ve heard it mentioned in Scripture that the Earth is Satan’s dominion, as if he rules the world.  Nope.  EVIL, Satan’s “influence“, rules this world.  God has dominion over the Devil.  Satan is just a cockroach relative to our Lord, a bug he can step on at any time.  But as it was true in the Garden, it’s true today.  Satan’s influence is incredibly strong.  It cost Adam and Eve the Garden, but it won’t us.  Because by His ultimate sacrifice of death on a cross, Christ destroyed the absolute power of sin on our souls.  He removed the cherubim and the flaming sword from the gates of Paradise and we now have a path back in.  By no means though did he remove the influence of evil in the world.  What He did do is give us the strength, through His grace and His body, soul, and divinity in the Eucharist, to come out for the next round against the Devil and fight back, hopefully to beat his ass into submission.

So what’s this Supreme Genius stuff all about?  Well, one of my brothers’ and my favorite musicians is Stevie Wonder; a true musical prodigy.  I heard one of his songs the other day that inspired me to write this post.  I know this song, but hadn’t heard it in many years.  Only a supreme genius could marry these words with this music.

Evil
Stevie Wonder, Music of My Mind – 1972

Evil, why have you engulfed so many hearts, Evil
Evil, why have you destroyed so many minds
Leaving room for darkness, where lost dreams can hide

Evil, why do you infest our purest thoughts, with hatred
Evil, why have you stolen so much love
Leaving everyone’s emotions lost and wandering free

Evil, why have you taken over God’s children’s eyes, Evil
Evil, before they could really grow to see
That your way, is not the way to make life what it should be

Evil, why have you destroyed You’ve destroyed so much of this doggone world, Evil
Evil, oh, why have you bro-broken so many homes
Leaving sweet love, all alone an outcast of the world

 

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