KNOW YOUR FOE
The first lesson in any battle is to identify the foe. Then only the chance of victory will rise. Wasn’t the obscure enemy, the one single reason for the defeat in numerous wars? This is the same reason why families and countries are warring on each other even today and are getting wrecked.
While the Indian church is confronting grave tussles as was never before, we should not forget that this is a battle. A few people are trying hard to prove that outside and inside the church, there are only problems in order to ruin our life of faith. They are people and organizations working with the sole intention of destroying faith. Their primary weapon is the social media. They shatter whatever is good and call it evil in the general public. Specially, they target the retreat centres, and the priests and the ministers working there and make mockery of the social service endeavours. In this manner, they are striving to baffle those individuals and speak poorly of the priests and nuns publicly. Thus, a group of people is working against the Church with a definite plan. The peril is in not distinguishing the adversary. Who is our adversary at the war front? A vital inquiry. It’s anything but an individual or a gathering of people or any association. As the Holy Scriptures teaches us “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). We ought not to imagine as though we don’t have the foggiest idea about these detestable powers. They will present a few inconveniences in the general public to occupy us in order to put off the lamps of faith in our lives. The fact is we should approach every problem spiritually keeping in mind what the media preaches is not the only truth.
Why it is happening in the Indian Church? The gaze of the universal church is upon India. As we know people will throw stones only on a tree with fruits, the Indian church is full of fruits. Years back when foreign missionaries came to India to preach the Gospel, today the Indian missionaries are going around the world to proclaim the Gospel.
Which other country has so many priests, retreat centres and social service organizations? Is it not the Indian preachers who travel around the world, taking the Word of God? Is not this sufficient for the evil to launch an attack? Satan’s plan is to destroy the foundation of this faith. So keep a watch for your enemy. What happened when the children of God who should have been keeping alert turned aside? Supreme Court gave the verdict that homosexuality is no more a crime. The section 377 has been partially annulled. Then came the verdict of extramarital affairs. Now that is also not an offence. Section 437 has been completely quashed. All the above mentioned matters are sure to influence the catholic faith. Can we forget Sodom-Gomorra and the way in which he destroyed it by bringing down fire and sulphur from heaven? Have we forgotten the sixth commandment of not to commit adultery? As we know, when such verdicts came, the people of God were busy on something else. Confusion was created within the church and proved that everything inside the church is unruly. It was so intense that even the desire to pray was removed. When such problems popped up, the faithful are not even able to discuss or think about the repercussions of these verdicts.
How can we overcome this?
To face any difficulty, the answer is prayer. “This kind can come out only through prayer” (Mk 9:29). Such a kind of battle is not new to the church. But the fact is, the church has always emerged the victor in the past in such battles. If it was so, the time has come for the faithful to get their girdles ready for such a battle. When Nehemiah heard that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down, and its gates had been destroyed by fire, what did he do? “When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven”( Neh 1:4). The enemy should not escape. We should keep alert.
Hence we should lift up our hands in our personal prayer as well as family and congregational prayers in the Church, for unity and experiences of faith. This has been the only weapon during any testing time for the church. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”(Eph 6:10-11)