PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

“The devil has his hour.”


(Post-9/11 reflection)

“The devil has his hour.” The priest made this pronouncement to cap his sermon about the worst terrorist attacks in world history. “But let us not forget that after the three days,” he continued, “death was followed by resurrection, darkness replaced with light, despair with hope."

Apparently the priest was using all the words he could muster at his disposal to console his assembled congregation, a few among millions around the world grieving at the horrifying death and destruction, perhaps next only to the horror that was Hiroshima.

The devil has his hour but his hour is short-lived. He knows it that’s why he is seizing the moment with impunity. He knows he’s a loser. He had lost ever since Jesus Christ conquered even death.

The devil is that desperate. Time is not on his side so tries to make the most of it. He scares, he deceives, inspires hate with such swiftness and violence. He laughs his evil laughter at every conclusion of his destructive handiwork.

But not for long. Just as smoke billows over the toppling twin towers, the whole world for the first time kneels down as one, in prayer, in awe, in the cry for God’s mercy and justice. Just as suddenly, kindhearted men and women stream out of their comfort zones to comfort and help the victims out. Like a thunderbolt, a city notorious for snootiness transformed into a little pueblo where everybody knows everybody. Overnight, a city well-known for its muggers and thugs just as it is admired for its neck-breaking skyscrapers and pace of lifestyle becomes vulnerable and Third World. With lightning speed, a nation pressured by secular humanists, atheists and so-called freedom-lovers to stop talking about God, is seen crying Oh my God, Oh my God in horror. God Bless America is on everybody’s lips. Catholic masses are aired without opposition. Once again, In God We Trust becomes a fashionable motto. With America suddenly becoming helpless, it turns to God for help, for protection.

The whole world closes in on America, offering prayers and condolences - and the harshest words available for the enemy. Suddenly, America’s enemy is the world’s enemy; it’s heretofore unimaginable to hear Muslim leaders express the same shock and condemnation, PLO’s Yasser Arafat publicly donating blood, relatively insular countries opening up their bases and borders for the anti-terrorist coalition.

The devil’s malicious, obscene moments of ecstasy suddenly turn into a groan of utter dismay. Where he meant to sow fear and breed desperation in the hearts of men and women, he unwittingly made God all the more attractive and sought-after.

Hell unleashed its fury like it’s the end of days. Its wild convulsions shook the farthest reaches of the globe like a man possessed. Its paroxysms of hatred and filth and untruth are on their best today, but only because God is exorcising all the demons in our midst. Time is running out - for these devils, not for us.

Whom should the people of God fear? If we have to fear at all, we should fear God who alone has the power to judge souls. We may feel helpless but not hopeless, for always, at the eleventh hour, the Lord is coming without fail to rescue us, there to expose the devil’s empty boasts. A new spring, a new dawn, a new advent shall come upon us after the curtains of darkness fall. The light of Christ shall rip through this very blanket and we shall rise, applaud, weep, and bow down in adoration of God, our Deliverer.

10.2001


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