Holy Family

Holy Family

Friday, April 27, 2012

Feast of Saint Zita

Good morning. In the mid-sixties a comedian by the name of Flip Wilson started appearing on the Ed Sullivan Variety Show and he eventually started his own comedy show. He had an array of characters he would portray, and a favorite definitely had to be Geraldine Jones, who had a boyfriend named ‘Killer’ and Geraldine’s repeated explanation for various life blunders was that “The Devil made me do it!” Now, Geraldine, or rather Flip Wilson didn’t originate that line; no, this excuse for our failings in life is as old as man’s existence. This cop out of ‘The devil made me do it!’ dates back to the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve’s encounter with the serpent. Nevertheless, this idea of Satan or the devil is something which is hardly ever discussed or considered these days. I likely would need to return to the days of Flip Wilson and the Ed Sullivan Show to recall any mention of Satan or Lucifer, or the devil being referred to from the pulpit. It’s as if we’ve just decided to dismiss that whole notion of being engaged in a spiritual battle with the devil and his desire to capture our souls.

Well, this reluctance to make the presence of the devil in our lives a reality seems to fit quite well with what long ago we were frequently instructed in church and in school, for if I were the devil I would certainly focus my efforts on diminishing the importance of attendance at Mass, of prayer and the sacraments, and I would encourage the dismissal of believing in anything as silly as the devil and the existence of evil in the world. I’d likewise diminish the sanctity of marriage and family; I’d promote an ideology of sexual liberation, why, I’d work overtime to infuse the church with scandal, and permeate a mindset that obedience to the magisterium is optional and open to debate. 

Wake-up folks, let’s be real. There is no escaping from the reality that evil is real and actively engaged in our lives. Just look around, there’s no mistaking that the devil is actively out to destroy us. Just turn on the news any time of the day or night should you have any question of the devil’s existence. Just look at what is going on with marriage, and the active attempts in our schools and the media to dismiss homosexuality as being disordered, and look at what is presently occurring with efforts to encroach upon our religious freedom. Let’s make no mistake about it; the devil is alive and very much at work in our lives. 

This whole thing of blaming the devil or others is so common in our lives. How often we tend to look outside ourselves when we encounter problems in our lives. Saint Zita, whose life we commemorate today, is the patroness of lost keys. So it is when we misplace our keys, we start out looking in the more obvious places, and as the hunt continues we become more frantic, and eventually we find ourselves bellowing out to our spouse “What did you do with my keys?” And so it is with many things in our lives, the temptation is there to place blame elsewhere. But make no mistake about it; it isn’t the devil who is doing these things. Despite Geraldine Jones’ claim that “The Devil made me do it!” we make our own choices; the devil doesn’t make them for us. The late Servant of God, Archbishop J. Sheen, insisted that we often look to psychiatry as being the solution instead of where we are called to in today’s Gospel. “Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him.” 

Jesus offers us the direction we need and He offers us the solution to all of life’s problems. He likewise offers us the way to all of life’s success and joy. As married folks we need only look to the Blessed Sacrament as the way to enjoy a lifetime together, and as the way to enjoy the love and goodness which only Jesus can offer us. His grace is readily available to us in the Eucharist which is why He gave us this gift in the first place, so that He would always be there for us to keep us from being seduced by the devil and the temptations of this world. Make no mistake about it, the devil is real, but Jesus gives us all we need to protect us from the devil. He provides us all the strength we need in the Eucharist in our battle against evil. The solution is there for the asking. Make a great day! 

Today we recall the good life, gifts, and work of Saint Zita

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. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment