04 April 2011

Fr. Corapi and Our Lenten Fight with the Devil

The Anchoress--as usual--points us toward a universal truth:  during Lent, the Devil is working overtime to keep us pre-occupied with any and everything but Christ.  The focus of this particular post is the controversy surrounding the popular preacher, Fr. John Corapi.  She reminds us of the recent attempts by the Devil and his media minions to distract us:

"Every Lent the devil tries to disrupt Christians with scandal (in 2002, the scandal was tragically all too-true) or with the 'discovery” of some ancient artifact (here’s this year’s) that is going to “bring Christian narratives into question' or 'destroy the church' or both. Remember a couple years ago when James Cameron said he found Jesus’ sarcophagus, or whatever it was? A few years before that the 'Gospel of Judas' was going to take a wrecking ball to Christianity! Remember last year, when at Holy Week, the NY Times declared a 'smoking gun' about Pope Benedict that was so off-base that the instant Easter passed we never heard about it, again, and even non-Catholics called it 'a witchhunt'?  I think what the devil discovered, in all of those cases — and particularly last year’s — was that he was going about his destructor business all wrong. His ploys were actually serving to unite us, to get us rallied around our pope, our church, our faith and each other."

How perfectly demonic that Christians find themselves during Lent fighting among themselves over unproven accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against a priest.  The Devil tempted Jesus in the desert with the sins of pride, wealth, and power.  He's tempting the Church--right now--with the sin of division.  

It's a fight.  And we ain't winning.

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  1. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6-11).

  2. Yeah, maybe. The devil is all for strife and distraction.

    But when your thesis requires the devil to learn something new about human nature from last year to this, you might want to rethink your thesis.

    And I'm guessing the devil wouldn't have had to put in much overtime to pull off the Gospel of Judas or the sarcophagus of Jesus -- or, for that matter, this year's scandal (about which most of the Church would say, "Who?").

    And if you REALLY want to cause division within the Church, put those things on the same list as repeatedly reassigning pedophiles to different parishes.

  3. Tom, there's nothing new about doubt. The Devil has used it from the beginning.

  4. Here in Cleveland, the local paper, "The Plain Dealer", chose the 4th Sunday in Lent to publish a front page story about how well a breakaway parish in Rochester, NY, (Spiritus Christi) is doing after separating from the diocese. The tone of the story can be guessed from this quote:
    "This is history in the making," said parishioner Cindy McClurg, 53, attending a recent Sunday Mass in a packed, 880-seat concert hall downtown. "We're still a Catholic-faith-based church. People say, 'You're not going to make it.' But we are making it. And we've been making it for 12 years."

    This coverage seems to be brought about by a local story of parishioners from St. Peter's Church in Cleveland refusing to merge into neighboring parishes this past years when St. Peter's was closed. The parishioners and a local priest have started a new "Community of St. Peter" which rejects the bishop's request to disband.

  5. 1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

    2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

    3 What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?

    4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

    5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

    6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

    7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

    8 All things are full of labor; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

    10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

    11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

    Yeah, what he said.