The Devil Made Me Do It

Does it ever feel as though the more you try to do better and live by God’s word, the hard the Devil tries to pull you back down? I thought about it for awhile and realized that the mantra, “The holier you get, the hard the Devil would try to pull you back down,” makes sense because when you are holier you are a bigger prize, you need more temptation to break you, and you need a stronger force to stop you. Well, in actuality, this may not be the case. What I can see is that all these things are already there, we just don’t notice them. There is temptation and sin in the world, everywhere. And the more we attune ourselves to God and what He desires, the more apparent these contrary things become.

I noticed that as I attempted to go to Mass more, pray more, reform my ways and thinking more, I would become more easily offended by things, whether it be swearing, media and sexuality, or plain respect. As I became more in tune to what was good, what was not good stuck out more. While we can try to change the world and clean up what is around us, we first need to establish a solid foundation to stand on for when these countless temptations and sins seemingly bear down on us. This is why the Church is a family. Community is ever so important. If one were to attempt to try and battle the world alone, he or she would encounter endless difficulty and setbacks to the point he or she would end up alone. Perhaps this explains the hermits and those in centuries past who separated themselves from the world to focus on God.

But those who separated themselves all complained about something similar: Satan would come after them there too. It wasn’t just the world and its lures, it was also themselves. Without any help they would be tormented by this and almost break. That is why many early saints advocated for those seeking God to live together in communities. There is strength in numbers. When we are together, we can lean upon each other. This is not only set up for monastic life; it is in God’s design for all of us: the married couple, the family relationship between brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, etc. This dynamic is even there in true friendship. What is the constant in all these relationships that is the biggest weapon against sin and temptation? Love. I know its simple, but that’s it. In the love we have for one another, the love of God and neighbor, we care for the other’s well being and help him or her in the battle. The Devil can never make you do anything. We all have free will and choice. The best way to make sure that you don’t succumb to things you should not is to surround yourself with what is good.

Those who truly care for you, especially your family, will support you and keep  you strong. This is what we should seek for in a friend, partner, or vocation. When considering the impact of relationships in our lives, we should ask: Will this relationship support us or bring us down? No man is an island. Besides being lonely, that kind of solitary existence can lead a person to be pushed around by outside influences like a ship blown in a storm. I would rather be part of a mountain  than an island, or perhaps a state that is part of a union, or a country that is part of a continent. That sounds a lot better, and it also sounds like  a situation in which I could get help when I needed it. Yeah, that’s it…..

Being an island looks like a lonely existence……


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