A sermon from a while ago has been going round in my head, and whilst I can't remember it verbatim the logic behind it sends me round and round in circles.
Only God is omnipotent. The angels are not omnipotent. They are spirit that can manifest themselves in a form more recognisable to humans when they need to. Because they are not omnipotent, they can't be in two places at once. Likewise, Satan the fallen angel is not omnipotent, this would make him more powerful than the angels, which he isn't, so he can only be troubling one person at a time.
Whilst the sermon was about St Michael, at this point, you can probably guess what I was thinking. Well, phew, I'm only a small, insignificant cog in the machinery, the chances of Satan being bothered with me are small. He'll be with the big, important guys. If I'm really unlucky, one of his minions might start whispering in my ears...the big ugly fella isn't going to be bothered with me.
Hang on though, does this then mean that the angels and saints can only deal with one prayer request at a time (please hold, your prayer is in a queue and will be dealt with as soon as possible, your prayers are important to us...)? Quick, find some obscure saint with a little more of eternity on his hands than the really busy, popular ones, your bound to have success with them!!
No, this is rubbish! The saints must be able to deal with multiple prayer requests, they can and do spend quality time with us, when we need them, but not at the expense of any other needy soul. Everything is possible because of the boundless love of our Creator.
Now is Satan as powerful as ever? I'd say so. Then where is he getting his power from? He is not getting it from God. Satan is indeed weak if he can only influence one person at a time. In his wrath, hatred and spite for the beautiful, innocent, chaste St Gemma Galgani, as he dealt severe blows upon her body and mind, was the rest of the world at that time not then safe from his influence? That has to be wrong. Satan must be able to do more than one piece of harm at a time. Yes, but where is his power coming from????
Terrifyingly, the answer has to be, his power comes from us? If we deny God and set ourselves up to be like gods then we are doing his work for him, we are making him stronger. Also if we deny Satan's existence similar things will happen. His most successful traits are apathy and sloth, he's more than happy for us to work for him without his even having to try. I can see him enjoying making himself into human form and going to parties in rural Oxfordshire at some grand, but private house. Unable to enjoy the sensual pleasures God gave us humans, but deriving great pleasure from watching humans debase these pleasures through selfish lusts, greed and desire. That is what makes him stronger. Then the endless conversations he will get involved in, the intellectual chattering classes and moral ambiguity of intelligent people justifying their godlessness and "humanity" without God. This doesn't just have to be with the policy makers and people of the media, it can happen in school staffrooms and works canteens too.
Are we active enough in our Faith to combat his activities and persuasions? Are we ready for the wrath and severe temptations he inflicts on those who are on the path to holiness. Are we willing enough to curb our tongues and minds to prevent even a whiff of slander being added to the world and increasing his power even slightly.
Hmmm, sobering stuff. Have I taken a wrong turn somewhere with this line of thought? Where did the giver of the sermon get his ideas from? Are those ideas wrong in the first place?
All glory be to God!
St Michael pray for us!