PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

The devil's dirty tricks


Those among us who have stumbled and managed to pick ourselves up again and again surely have had a taste of one of the enemy’s subtler ploys, i.e., when he plays dirty little tricks with our tendency to envy others, particularly those who seem to prosper in spite of themselves.

To us who live in a fashionably materialistic world, the temptation to envy others is simply irresistible. It's a time when the world seems to gang up on us, poor fellows, deprived of the joys of the world. A time when the Lord seems to withdraw His favor and decides to look the other way.

Of course we know that the only thing that would console the deprived is the hope that there are riches greater than today’s creature comforts. But admit it, we wouldn't mind having these things either, given the chance. If it were our turn to receive, we would readily call them gifts from above, blessings. What's wrong with having a prelude to eternal rewards, right?

Tricky? I've heard the smartest argument on this matter from Fr. V. A. Confronted with the parishioner's gripe, "Why do people who don’t seem to care about what’s and what’s right do seem to have it better than we do?", Fr. V. answers, “Of course, Satan won’t mess up with those who are already in the dark!"

“The enemy won't waste time conquering the vanquished. Rather, he reserves his time for those who are faithful to the Lord so that in their moment of weakness they might trip and join the fold. Why waste time on the easily hoodwinked when Satan can work double-time on those who are not?”

Envying others is very easy and how it zaps the zeal of the devoted! But we who have traversed the narrower road with enormous calluses know better, thank God: God knows how to give back awesome surprises in His time. Only those who persevere in the end knows what joy, what speechless joy, means when those precious times come. The funny twist to this game is that they stand to end up being the subject of much envy - even hatred - themselves.

It’s not good being envious even when your chips are down. Who, what, is your greatest treasure? Where does your heart lie?

1.23.2001


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