Saturday, June 18, 2011

Playing With Fire: Why Priests are Especially Vulnerable

A friend of mine is heavily enmeshed in the pro-life movement.  When the alleged scandal involving Father Euteneuer broke, she sent me a short email asking for prayers.  She felt her faith had been shaken.  One simple statement that she made struck me like a bucket of cold water and left me with an icy feeling in my veins

The devil got to him.

How? How does the devil get to a holy man renowned for his ability to save souls from the clutches of death?

I just lent the book "Hostage to the Devil" to a priest friend at his request.  Part of me wants to ask him what he thinks so far while what little common sense I have left tells me to mind my own business.  Dealing with the devil is  a risky business.  An entity so cunning as to defy imagination is not to be taken lightly or for granted.

Do priests become so confident, cocky even, that they forget what it is they're dealing with?  Do they forget that all the power that comes to them to drive the devil out is not their own, but solely from Jesus Christ?

I was trying to pray before Mass began tonight ( the Young Miss was lectoring again) and I just kept seeing that awful phrase from my friend over and over again in my head.  I kept my eyes on the tabernacle, where the Prisoner of Divine Love sat, listening to me.  I felt a thrill of fear that made me want to stay in that church forever, with my eyes fixed on Him.  But that's not what life is about.  The gravitational pull of the Eucharist compels us not only to dwell inwardly on Him but to bring Him to others in the world who do not know Him. This means having to walk among the holy as well as the demonic.
The best weapon to safeguard yourself against the devil isn't a gun, it's the Rosary.  

Some of the greatest saints wrestled with the devil, some of them physically.  The Cure d'Ars, St. Pio, St. Teresa of Jesus all were paid personal visits meant to terrify them.  The only way one can combat such a terror is to rely solely on Christ. Not a single one of us solely on our own merit can withstand the attacks.  Did the priests who have succumbed forget that?

I am having a difficult time accepting that someone I considered a warrior in the battle for souls is retiring from the field.  I can't  help but think that even if Father Corapi is completely innocent of all charges (and I pray that he is) if had kept himself solely about the kind of business a priest should be about, he wouldn't be in this boat.

With the kind of pope we have in Benedict XVI, with the emergence of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and with the traditional orders of priests and nuns bursting at the seams, the Father of Lies has a lot to be worried about. He's in an untold frenzy to drag souls to Hell with him.  The holier the souls, the more frenzied he becomes.  The only way we can protect ourselves is to abandon ourselves completely to Christ.  This includes our priests, who by virtue of their ordination,  are considered a particular conquest by the fallen angel.  He would like nothing more than for us to delude ourselves into thinking we're holy enough to be able to tempt fate by indulging in areas of life that do not lead to Christ, like a stunt person who runs through fire without first donning a protective suit.


  1. This is an excellent post. Scary, but excellent. Only prayer can keep our priests from the clutches of the evil one. Only prayer.


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