Firstly, my Catholic witness in my place of employment has to be subtle and subversive. So I was overjoyed when some pupils, before performing in the school play, decided to pray to their guardian angels, and later tell me that it worked. I've also been encouraging prayers to St Anthony for a lost (very expensive) make-up bag, but either the girl has not taken on board my suggestion or St Anthony thinks she'd be better off without it and its contents.
A friend of mine that I see for tea about once a month told me a disturbing story from her parish about a formidable and strangely influential woman in her parish. Apparently, this woman thinks the Prayer to St Michael is theologically incorrect and that we ought to be praying for Satan and his fallen angels. I really have to ask if this woman is serving the Church. She'd get an earful from me if she started spouting that nonsense in front of me. I do wonder if Satan is strangely touched by her misguided concern for him or if he is just laughing at the damage she could do to the Church with her beliefs?
In my wanderings to Catholic churches far from here and far from orthodoxy, I heard a sermon that has left me very puzzled and for which I cannot find a suitable response. The sermon was about the devil and St Michael. The priest said that as only God is omnipotent, and the angels are not, this means that the devil can only be bothering one person at a time as he can only be in one place at any one time. Likewise with St Michael. Take this sermon's theme to its logical conclusion and it is the same with the saints; don't bother asking a popular saint for their intercession unless you are prepared to join a very long queue. Oh it is all stuff and nonsense, heaven exists outside of space and time, the supernatural is just that; supernatural. The saints and angels can do what they want for any soul that requests. Omnipotence is something else; it is more than the supernatural with the dial turned up to 11.
Lastly, I have been debating with another friend why there were so many demons around the place when Our Lord was walking this earth. We have several possible suggestions:
- The Holy Land was just the baddest, evilest of places 2000 years ago. (We're not convinced by this argument)
- The demons were necessary to give witness to Christ to show his dominion over everything.
- The very bad is always attracted to and seeks out the supremely good.
- There are just as many demons around today, but we are cr*p at recognising them and few have (or realise they have) the authority to deal with them.
- They weren't really demons but psychological disturbances, the Gospel stories are just stories about healing. (this is the rubbish some of us were brought up to believe and ought to be consigned to the Archives of Oblivion)