Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fulton Sheen on Satan

From Father William Saunders:

Archbishop Fulton Sheen provided us with a keen insight into Satan. "Do not mock the Gospels and say there is no Satan. Evil is too real in the world to say that. Do not say the idea of Satan is dead and gone. Satan never gains so many cohorts as when, in his shrewdness, he spreads the rumor that he is long since dead. Do not reject the Gospel because it says the Savior was tempted. Satan always tempts the pure—the others are already his. Satan stations more devils on monastery walls than in dens of iniquity, for the latter offer no resistance. Do not say it is absurd that Satan should appear to our Lord, for Satan must always come close to the godly and the strong—the others succumb from a distance."

It is basic Christian teaching that Satan is real, and is active in the world. His fingerprints can be seen everywhere-- in atrocities, in fear and despair, in licentiousness, in temptations, in ennui. People who are seriously trying to live with Christ are often particular targets-- saints are greater labor for the father of lies than are dissolute sinners, who succumb at a distance.  

21 comments:

  1. Well, Satan isn't dead, because he never existed in the first place.

    The concept of Satan, like that of God, has evolved though, to meet the needs of humans to believe any sort of nonsense to 'explain' evil and suffering.

    In Job, Satan was a willing servant of God, doing his bidding to test Job, and to ensure that he wasn't obeying God, just because of good fortune.

    Whenever anyone compiles the numbers of deaths ascribed to God or Satan, the latter usually gets 10 (Job's 7 sons and 3 daughters - forgetting the servants, although they probably were slaves and don't count).

    God's list of victims are too numerous to count - including 70,000 killed by a plague, because David had called a counting of his subjects.

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    1. Satan is very real, Bachfiend.

      I think I found the passage in the Bible to which you are referring. Your interpretation leaves something to be desired. God and Satan were having an argument, and Satan said basically that Job was only a loyal servant of God because his life was so good, blessed with abundance. He said that Satan had tried to incite Job against him without success. Satan argued that if Job were to suffer great tragedies, he would lose his loyalty to God and curse Him.

      See Job 2: 1-10.

      Satan is far from a willing servant of God but an adversary, which is what Satan means.

      I hope your misunderstanding is unintentional. I'd hate to think that you're being deceptive, as many atheists are, in order to shake our faith.

      --Francisca S.

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    2. Francisca,

      If God is all powerful, then the fact that God and Satan are having a dialogue concerning Job indicates that Satan is doing what he does with the permission of God.

      But anyway. It's just a story. A fiction. In Job, Satan is the 'prosecutor' charged to tempt humans and to report back to God. Satan has evolved. As I wrote.

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 9, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      Theodicy, or the "If God is all powerful..." argument is one of the least convincing arguments against God. Without the opportunity to separate oneself from God, which is the basic definition of Evil, there could not be a concept of Good. Just as there could be no Dark without Light, and vice versa.

      And it is a story. That's hardly news, nitwit. After all, virtually no one - and no one I know - thinks the author of Job was present at the conversation between God and Satan or received a transcript.

      But the Book of Job tells a powerful and inspired story, more powerful than Heart of Darkness or Moby Dick, about the cosmic battle betwen Good and Evil and the role of human beings within that battle. In fact, the Book of Job was listed as one of the top 100 books of all time by the Guardian, no less.

      You have a sadly narrow and cramped view of the world, my friend. You should go soak your head down at the People's Collective Aquatic Center you so admire.

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    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 9, 2013 at 8:29 AM

      Theodicy, or the "If God is all powerful..." argument is one of the least convincing arguments against God. Without the opportunity to separate oneself from God, which is the basic definition of Evil, there could not be a concept of Good. Just as there could be no Dark without Light, and vice versa.

      And it is a story. That's hardly news, nitwit. After all, virtually no one - and no one I know - thinks the author of Job was present at the conversation between God and Satan or received a transcript.

      But the Book of Job tells a powerful and inspired story, more powerful than Heart of Darkness or Moby Dick, about the cosmic battle betwen Good and Evil and the role of human beings within that battle. In fact, the Book of Job was listed as one of the top 100 books of all time by the Guardian, no less.

      You have a sadly narrow and cramped view of the world, my friend. You should go soak your head down at the People's Collective Aquatic Center you so admire. Might do you some good.

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    5. Yes, it is even more explicit than that that Satan is doing is mischief with the permission of God.

      Job 2:6: "The Lord said to Satan, 'Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.'"

      That is not to say that Satan was, as you said "a willing servant of God." Read the whole thing.
      ________
      On another day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

      Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

      3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

      4 “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. 5 But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

      6 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

      7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes
      ______________

      God and Satan are not friends here. God asks Satan what he has been up to, and Satan says that he's been out tempting people to disobey God. God asks if he has yet seduced Job, knowing very well that Job is a good and faithful servant. Satan laughs at this, saying that Job is only a good and faithful servant because he is so prosperous but surmises that Job would blaspheme God to His face if ever his good fortune dissipated. God invites him to try. That's what happened, which bears no resemblance at all to your version of the story.

      I won't hold it against you. You probably learned everything you know about the Bible from militant atheist websites.

      --Francisca S.

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    6. You're too kind to Bachfiend. It's a staple of angry atheists to lie about scripture. That's how they recruit people. His take on Job is rubbish and he knows it. That's called dishonesty.

      Joey

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    7. "Satan has evolved."

      Bach, your monism is showing. Try applying a different model for a change. No wonder you don't understand Job.
      You may find that the world is far more complex than your simplistic equations.
      Satan has not evolved, but his/it's/their designs certainly have adapted and become increasingly more desperate and complex.
      Satan's work takes the form of obfuscation and deception. But the intelligence/mind is as real as you or I. It's presence is as real as gravity or time. Denying it is simply to play into it. Pretending evil is subjective is simply to give it license and to allow it to flourish.
      Sooner or later you will realize that simple truth. Your not an idiot, even though you project that concept on others with relish. Once you understand that the absence of good is evil, you will rationally deduce that good is also elemental and objective. From there on in, the maths are pretty easy.
      I wish you luck in this. But, again, my advice is to ditch the 'one size fits all' monistic view of reality. That may work in a lab or even in the markets, but it is not a realistic view. The rewards for such a 'plan' are extremely limited to the physical.

      I am sure you would enjoy the new layers of intellectual challenges involved in a properly baroque cosmos.

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  2. Satan would love you to believe that he doesn't exist. He does his best work when no one sees his hand in it.

    --Francisca S.

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    1. I love it. The very absence of evidence is evidence of Lucifer. Christians are so gullible.

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    2. I didn't say he was absent. Wherever did you get that idea?

      But look at Bachfiend's comments. He begins by saying that Satan never existed in the first place. I'm sure Satan would love for us to believe that. Then he proceeds to play the part of the false prophet, butchering a biblical story for his own purposes, trying to convince others that Satan was God's servant. Nonsense. I don't know if it's Bachfiend's attempt to lead us astray or if he's simply ignorant, but I do know that it's Satan's attempt to lead us astray.

      --Francisca S.

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 9, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Francesca,

      Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
      --- Hanlon's Razor

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  3. The Devil, angels, demons, it’s all so incredibly boring and childish. It would be a joke if you weren’t literally retarding children by teaching them this nonsense is true.

    -KW

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    1. @KW, troy and other Brights:

      Belief in personified evil is a bit of a stretch.

      It's not sciencey, like the belief in an infinitude of other universes that, like everything, just sort-of happened.

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    2. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Well, Egnor, you must agree that the evidence for evil is not nearly so string as this:

      "[Sir Francjs] Crick posed that small grains containing DNA, or the building blocks of life, could be loaded on a brace of rockets and fired randomly in all directions...

      The strategy of directed panspermia may have already been pursued by an advanced civilization facing catastrophic annihilation, or hoping to terraform planets for later colonization."

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    3. "The Devil, angels, demons, it’s all so incredibly boring and childish."
      So say they devotees of the space brothers. Shone down in a beam of saucer light from the wizards of Venus and the planetary confederation!
      Such 'wisdom' shines like a morning star.
      And just wait, when the 'singularity' comes, they will be like gods, just as they were promised by... er... the 'aliens' and men of great renown.
      Just you wait and see! No use trying to resist the Utopia they plan for all of us. The New Atlantis is rising!

      BAH!

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    4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 9, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Crusader, they actually made a movie about it:

      Plan 9 from Outer Space

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    5. Space brothers? That's quite the elaborate straw man Crusader.

      -KW

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    6. KW,
      "Space brothers?"
      Sorry. How non inclusive of me. It should read space siblings. Please don't report me!

      "That's quite the elaborate straw man Crusader."
      Now YOU'RE being sexist.
      Straw person, KW!
      Come on now, what would the Venusians think? You may be mistaken for an 'un-evolved one' and they would no longer visit you at night with secret wisdom about conservatives, republicans, and those dreaded Christians.
      I mean honestly... do you have something against straw womyn and transgendered straw people?
      For shame.

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  4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyJune 9, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    A brief glance back:

    Yesterday, some of us were discussing issues in public education (others were burnishing the latest edition of their online "biography").

    So it was with some interest I noticed* a couple of relevant papers coming out of Progressive Schools of Education:

    University of California - Berkeley
    Smartness as Property: A Critical Exploration of Intersections Between Whiteness and Disability Studies
    This article explores “smartness” as an ideological system and particularly explores the ways in which it intersects with whiteness as ideology. Using Cheryl Harris’s analysis of whiteness, the authors argue that smartness works as a form of property...

    --- Zeus Leonardo, Assoc. Prof. Social & Cult. Studies

    Hip-Hop, the “Obama Effect,” and Urban Science Education
    The purpose of this article is to move beyond the existing research to science education by utilizing an ongoing study to interrogate hip-hop culture, its relation to the “Obama effect,” and the role of hip-hop culture in creating new possibilities for urban youth in science.

    --- Christopher Emdin, Asst Prof Math., Science & Tech.

    It's stellar and relevant work like this that deserves much more taxpayer funding and serves to explain much of the deep thought coming out of the Progressive education establishment.

    * Thanks to the irrepressible Wm. M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, for these fantastic references I'm sure one and all will want to read.

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    1. Adm.
      " Thanks to the irrepressible Wm. M. Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, for these fantastic references I'm sure one and all will want to read."

      Perhaps after my breakfast is well digested.

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