The Catholic Defender: Wandering in the Desert
I was wondering what to write tonight and I was simply looking for something that might catch my eye.
Well, I think I found it. Lent is a very important season as we reflect on our lives. I recall Jesus “was lead by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.”
What was the main temptations? “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.” “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostate yourself and worship me.”
These temptations recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 4:3-11 tell us a lot about the devil:
"And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge of you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him."
Notice the Devil is crafty and cunning. He uses the environment to lure his victims. For many, he uses drugs, wild sex, homosexuality, and many other things.
Sometimes, he can be simply appealing to the mind. “C’mom Defender, everybody does it?”
Consider the following temptation that was attempted on me recently. The following was written to me:
“Defender, I have a challenge for you, I know you wont accept and if you do, you wont be honest about it. The challenge is this, don’t go to church for one month. Don’t be Catholic for one month. Don’t say any Catholic prayers, no rosaries, no Hail Mary, no saints. Don’t do anything Catholic for one month. Instead, just pray directly to God. Seek him out, ask for his guidance. Fast and pray, pray only to God and in Jesus name only. Ask for truth. Do this with a whole heart and you will find, after one month of not being Catholic, that you will never want to return to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). You will discover what some including myself and the rest of us have been trying to show you for nearly 2 years!!!” “What have you to lose, Defender?”
I couldn’t believe this when I first read this? “What have I to lose?”, Well, my soul would be important to me. I recall 1 John 2:18-20, “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the anti-Christ was coming, so now many anti-Christs have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.” So, I will not forsake my Lord for one second, one minute, let alone one month.
Then this was sent to me: “Try it Defender, I pray this always that you convert to real Christianity.”
They want me to convert to a new Christianity created and developed by men. Sorry friends, I can’t help but see the devil behind the curtain.
Then the following really tells me what is going on: “I have to say I agree with "Joe". Defender my friend – what do you have to lose? I did the same test (and I was a Roman Catholic Practitioner the whole 9 yards) and the Lord answered more of my prayers when I let go of all religions and used him (God) alone as my crutch (at least this was/is my experience). But this isn’t about answering prayers (I feel like many of us use God for his rewards only which is not the Prime Directives purpose). And if you think you can’t do it because you honestly think the Catholic Church is the only way, you need not fear because the Lord would highly appreciate you searching for him the extra mile, not to mention it is our duty to test all things in correlation to Gods Will (and/or using Gods word for reproof in righteousness in all we do). If we didn’t test all things & only practiced what we were fed, this surely would acknowledge no real zeal for the Lord but rather conformity for the sake of conforming! I urge you to at least try it, we will be their for you every step of the way! Either way I will always appreciate what you have done for North America (I know Joe does), and we will always love you man!”
I feel the need to add a comment here that the Lord has answered countless prayers for me. Healing, conversion, miracles, and much much more. Jesus calls me to receive him at Mass in the Eucharist. The Catholic Faith is the way in which to renew the Covenant. The Lord would leave the 99 to find the one gone astray. May these individuals find their true home in the Catholic Church!
St. Paul warns, “I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by the grace of Christ for a different gospel not that there is another. But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!”
The gospel given to us has to be nearly 2,000 years old, founded by Christ and commissioned by Christ to go to all the nations teaching them the gospel. This is the Catholic Faith, to deny the Pope, the bishops, the clergy, and all the teachings handed down from Christ to His Apostles would be a serious sin. Just like the Lord resisted the devil in the desert, we must resist him when he comes challenging you.
Lord, Jesus, give us the strength to resist the devil as you did so long ago.
The Devil will certainly want you to miss Mass so anytime you feel that you are getting weak, trust in the Lord with all your heart. This is a great prayer to recall during such times:
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host - by the Divine Power of God - cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits, who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
The Lord is Our Shepherd, and there should be nothing else we should want. All that we have is a gift from Him.
Let us be faithful to Him and renew the Covenant with Him at each Mass!