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Saturday, April 22, 2017

How Does the Evil One Mess with You?

Two hives down with contents now in the belly of the beast!
If you're a beekeeper like I am, there is one thing that really messes with your bees. (Well, there are other things, but this one is a weapon of mass destruction.) I'm talking about bears! A bear got into our bee yard during the night between Spy Wednesday and Holy Thursday. We had four hives in the bee yard. He wiped out one completely and munched through about a dozen frames of nectar/pollen. He upset another hive turning it upside down which may have protected the bees since he couldn't pull out the frames without righting the box. He dragged half a dozen frames into the woods where he apparently munched in private and left several other demolished frames in the bee yard.

As a result of the bear's damage (and anticipation that he would return to the "candy shop" the next night) we had to spend Holy Thursday well into the evening erecting an electric fence. Talk about "messing with" our plans to attend the Mass of the Lord's Supper. We only made the last half hour of adoration at the Altar of Repose.

We are now ten days from that debacle and the poor bees are still angry and upset -- even the girls in the hives that weren't disturbed by the bear are stirred up. It's like the angry bees are transmitting signals to the rest of the bee yard to be on guard against ANYTHING that comes near. We can't get within fifty feet of the yard without dozens of guard bees buzzing and dive-bombing us warning to STAY AWAY. There is no way we'll go anywhere near the area without suiting up and making sure our veils are snugly zipped. Wow! That bear really upset the world of our bees.

Naval gazers don't gaze on the face of Christ.
Which got me thinking about how the evil one "messes with" us. The devil loves to convince us that
our happiness will be secured by habitual mortal sin, whatever its origin among the deadly sins: greed, lust, envy, pride, etc. That's how he gets us to turn the weapons of mass destruction against ourselves and others. But if we have eliminated mortal sins from our lives, he will shrewdly use other lesser weapons to mess with us: the betrayal of a friend, a chronic illness that tempts us to despair, an error in judgment that plagues our minds, a scrupulous conscience convicting us for the smallest faults. Whatever! He doesn't care as long as he can distract us from thinking about Our Savior and get us focused on ourselves. Naval gazers do not gaze on the face of Christ.

I was thinking this morning about how the devil messes with me. To paraphrase Browning, "Let me
count the ways." They are innumerable. A confessor a few months ago suggested that I pray three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys every day to work on a chronic fault that leads me into lack of charity with others, especially with those I love most. After two months, I see real progress in the control of my thoughts, passions, and actions in this matter. I still have a long way to go, but that simple act of reflecting every day on that fault and combating it with prayer has limited Satan's ability to "mess with" me on that particular matter. Whenever the temptation arises, my awareness kicks in and I say a quick prayer. I am so thankful for that progress.

Erect an "electric fence" of prayer for
protection  against the evil one.
It's like the electric fence. The prayers and awareness surround me now and when the devil approaches with that particular temptation he gets "shocked" with a jolt of prayer.

How does the evil one "mess with" you? As a wise spiritual director told me once, the first step in fighting our sins and faults is awareness when we are being tempted. So I offer here two prayers that may help us to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.
"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to Thee, that Thou mayest spare me in eternity." [St. Louis Bertrand] 
"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to Thee. Give me all that will lead me to Thee. Take me from myself and give me to Thyself." [St. Nicholas of Flue]
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.


Alan said...

I feel your pain - I had raccoon(s) get into the chicken coop. There is a company called Havahart that makes a motion-sensor activated water cannon that might deter the critter. I thought about rigging a motion-sensor fired shotgun shell device but the neighbors might not like that ...

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I like the idea of the water cannon, but the fence seems to be doing the job. We currently have it connected to the house by a very long extension cord, but we have a solar battery on order which will make it much more convenient.

CatholicNI said...

Penance, Penance, Penance!

CLGasper said...

Mary Ann ,thank you for those words of wisdom.
This Lent I was plagued with many temptations.It was a real struggle.
I was at Mass and a wise priest talked about the Litany of Humility.I have had this prayer on my fridge for 2 years and hardly ever prayed this.After hearing that homily I pray this every night.It has helped me to overcome my temptations with pride.It was written by Cardinal Merry Del Val.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I love that prayer, Char. Thank you for reminding me of it. I used to pray it regularly. I need to get back to it. When you find yourself caring too much about what others think of you, it's time!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mary Ann,

What a helpful blog post. Thank for sharing it.


susan said...

Mary Ann...what a tremendously beautiful spiritual insight...thanks for this!