["The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse," Peter Paul Rubens, 1624-1625]
Satan and his minions don't do "random." The Evil One has a plan, such as any military commander would have. Looking at the world around us, it is not hard to discern some of the major elements of his plan:
1. Destroy the Family. The assaults on the integrity of the family have never been stronger. The family is the "domestic church," according to Church teaching and the foundation of a healthy and holy society. I have great admiration for the courageous families of today who live the Gospel in the midst of constant assaults. May the Holy Family intercede for our families and keep them strong!
2. Attack the Church. Similarly, the Church is herald of Christ's message and the instrument of the world's sanctification. Admittedly, many of the assaults against the Church are made possible by real sins of the clergy, for which we must repent and ask forgiveness. However, since May 2020, there have been about 300 incidents against Catholic Churches including destroying religious statues, burning churches, defacing gravestones, and other forms of vandalism. I know of no similar precedent in modern times.
3. Destroy the Faith. Ultimately it is faith in God and Jesus that sustains the people and this world. The presence of faith allows Jesus to work his miracles in our lives and a lack of faith blocks it (Mt 13:58). It is no secret that there is a large and steady erosion of the faith in our society. Catholic parents often tell me that they are distraught that their children, brought up in a Catholic environment, turn away from the faith. And many more are not taught the faith at all. Survey research shows a steady, strong decline in church membership in the United States, now below 50% for the first time. And it shows a rapid rise in those who profess no religious affiliation, "nones," now at 30%.
4. Amass an Army of Followers. The rapid rise of those practicing witchcraft, wicca, the occult, paganism, and Satanism is stunning. For example, WitchTok had over 18.7 billions views by Oct 2022. Satan is amassing an army of followers. Some of them knowingly follow the Evil One, but most are unwittingly bonding themselves in servitude to Satan by casting spells, engaging in the occult, and worshipping pagan gods.
5. Replace Christian Life/Values With An Agenda of Death. Euthanasia is on the rise. Legalization of drugs and drug-related overdoses abound. Abortion continues to be available and now it is openly supported by Satanists. Sexual confusion reigns. School prayer is "out" and after school Satanic groups are "in". Religious statues are being destroyed and statues of Baphomet appear in public places. Suicides in the United States are steadily rising.
6. Spread Conflict, Confusion, and Violence. Rational, respectful public discourse is gone. Violence is spreading in our cities and division in our nation and our world. For example, the incidents of terrorism in the United States boggle the mind. Fifty years ago no one went into a public place and randomly killed innocent people. Today it is commonplace. This is the symptom of a society gone terribly wrong.
In short, Satan's plan is to transform this earth into a hell. It is noteworthy that the Evil One is engaged in intense assaults on all the above six fronts at the same time. Some speculate that the end times are near. I don't know. But I do believe that his "100 years"* are up and as the Scriptures say: "Time is short" (1 Cor 7:29). We are certainly in a decisive battle with Satan who is at the end of his rope. It is as if all of hell has been emptied for a great battle.
I can understand those who are pessimistic. From all externals, things look bad and getting worse. No doubt Satan thinks he is winning. I suspect Satan and his minions thought that they were winning when Jesus was dying on the cross.
The words of the Rite of Exorcism speak the Truth to Satan: "Why, then, do you stand and resist, knowing as you must that Christ the Lord brings your plans to nothing?" And we, inspired by the Marian apparitions at Fatima, recall that oft-quoted line: "In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph."
*For a reflection on Satan's 100 years, see blog 266: https://www.catholicexorcism.org/post/exorcist-diary-266-are-satan-s-100-years-over
**Don't miss our next free monthly deliverance session this Monday. Rosary at: 6:40pm Eastern USA time and Deliverance Session 7-8pm. Register at: https://www.catholicexorcism.org/event-details/january-8th-online-deliverance-prayer-session
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