By Fr. Roy Cimagala
WE have to keep in mind this reassuring truth of our faith. Especially these days, when cases of demonic possession seem to be on the rise, we should always remember that before God the devil simply cannot do anything.
This truth of our faith can be shown in that gospel episode where a demoniac approached Christ while he was preaching in a synagogue. (cfr. Lk 4,31-37) “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” the demoniac asked. “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
We should therefore not be too alarmed about this possibility of demonic possessions. But neither should we just sit pretty before this possibility. We have to be most wary of it, especially when we happen to enjoy a lot of privileges, power, fame, etc., that, unless referred to God and to our duty to love everyone, can only spoil us and make us vulnerable to the devil’s tricks.
We should never take the devils for granted. They are always around, ever scheming and plotting against us in many, many ways, and often in a manner that is so subtle that we may not even notice him. As St. Peter would put in his first letter: “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (5,8)
We should never consider the devils as a myth, or as some kind of literary device only to highlight a point in the drama of our life. They are as real as you and me. Our problem is that we think lightly or, worse, falsely of them. And so, we become completely unprepared to deal with their antics.
But in spite of this unfortunate fact of life, we should remember that the devils cannot do anything against us unless allowed by God. And if allowed, it is because God in his mysterious providence can always draw a greater good from any evil the devils may cause in us.
Just the same, we should always be guarded against them, especially when we happen to enjoy a lot of privileges in life or to fall into the other extreme of depression and despair.
That’s because these privileges, like some power we may wield, and our worries, if not referred to God and to our duty to love everyone, irrespective of how they are, can only spoil us and make us vulnerable to the antics of the devils.
These privileges and worries have to be handled most delicately, with great humility. In other words, they always have to be related to God from whom all power and authority on earth comes. (cfr. Rom 13,1) They should be handled always with God in mind and in heart. Otherwise, there is no way for them to go other than to be abused or to destroy us. Let’s remember that the only thing we are capable of doing without God is to sin.
Let’s never forget what Christ clearly said: “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15,5) We have to understand these words well. Definitely we can do a lot of things without God. We can even make war against him.
But what Christ meant is that without him, without God, we would be incapable of doing anything that is worthy of our dignity as children of God. And that, in the end, is what matters.