Satan, the father of lies, loves division.
It matters very little what the division is actually over. In fact, I think the more religious-oriented the division, the more it pleases Satan. But he will take any dispute, so long as it seeks to divide.
Knock down drag out brawls over the liturgy? Disputes over the placement of the altar? Feuding over Lenten fasting? Frustrations with priests and bishops? Sides forming over who is more Catholic than the pope?
Satan is delighted.
We spend our time considering what we think is best and we tend to lose sight of the Lord. I’m not arguing for an “anything goes” mentality. Far from it, I am encouraging us to focus on what is the most important rather than repeatedly increasing the divisions within humanity.
For the bonds which unite the faithful are mightier than anything dividing them. Hence, let there be unity in what is necessary; freedom in what is unsettled, and charity in any case.
(Gaudium Et Spes)
In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis portrays Hell as a place of isolation. The opening pages start in a town that is approaching the evening hours but seems empty of people. Yet the narrator finds people waiting in line at a bus stop. As the minutes pass, people leave the line because they keep quarreling with each other about one thing or another. The town is empty because the inhabitants cannot bear to be in such close proximity to other people with all their flaws and imperfections. So they keep moving, distancing themselves from others until they find themselves in complete isolation.
Satan seeks to use our human tendencies and imperfections to drive a wedge between us and God. Yet since we are made in God’s image and likeness, he also needs to separate us from one another. Jesus prayed for us to remain one, thus Satan continually works for us to be fragmented and scattered.
The saints did not live in isolation or work to achieve holiness on their own. Instead, they were united to one another and remain so as the Communion of Saints. Heaven is the Great Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Gathering together around the table, we enter into eternal relationship within the Mystical Body of Christ. We arrive at sanctity through our union with others. Other people smooth our rough edges and flatten our egos. They make us small enough to pass through the eye of the needle.
What are the areas of division in our lives? How are we in conflict with other people? How does Christ desire to bring peace into those situations?
St. Joseph, Mirror of Patience, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Terror of demons, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Pillar of Families, pray for us.