God Himself will contend with those who have contended with us. Halleluiah! He will confront and prevail against those that have sought to overpower and thwart and position against us! Where the enemy of souls has taken men captive and held children as prey, God will deliver. He will save our sons. He will save us. Only imagine! Only pray! The Lord will take the position of strength in our battle against wickedness. (Isaiah 49:24, 25)
It is for us in Cor Unum to recognize that sometimes, when the Lord challenges spiritual tyranny, He will be challenging our lethargy, our selfishness, and our fears. He knows that our cruel oppressors, spiritual forces that do come against us, set up bulwarks of darkness in our souls. The devil’s minions hide in self-pity and in the cold turrets of unrequited love and in many other shadowy nooks and crannies. How we must rejoice that the Lord with Whom evil does not dwell (Psalm 5:4,) loves those that have been afflicted by it!
That is how we pray in this Abbey. We answer the challenge that lies against the love of God. The enemy, the vile enemy of the souls of men, first tempts us to wrong and then torments us when he has trapped us in sin, but blessed be the Name of the Lord, the captives of the tyrant will be rescued, and the prey will be taken from the mighty!
There is a wickedness that is strong in the strength of deception. When the heart begins to believe that there is no hope of rescue, no love, no escape from guilt and pain, it can sink into a thick, almost impenetrable darkness. We see bondages in our world that are so alarming, so without human explanation, that even those who do not know the Scripture will dare to say that “something evil” took hold. Students murdering other students at random, shooters taking aim at passers-by from bridges and buildings, horrible self-destructive inventions … that kind of blind rage had a beginning, a starting point. It might have been a loss, an insult, or a fear, real or imagined, with no bedrock human ability to keep faith with God. Oh, dear Sisters and Brothers, on behalf of those so wounded, help is on the way!
For today, on this second of forty days of prayer, let us be sure that our God knows how to make distinction between those who have been held captive in darkness and those who have led them and held them there. To be sure, there is a time to cast off the works of darkness, but there is also a dungeon so deep and bonds so cruel that those held by them need help to escape. As with all things in the life of Christ which has come to us, we have a part. Our God will rescue, but it is for us to pray, as we are doing now and for these forty days. We must love the unlovely, even those who would slap our hands away. Whether they cry out for help or resist it, our prayers for them are before the Lord, Who loves them. His love will prevail! We will not fail them, because He will not fail them.
“Father, it is certain that You love beyond the bounds of our understanding, and You have chosen us to love with You. To learn of You is to learn to love, and You love those who have suffered in the torment of their own sin … we know that, first hand! Your Son came to destroy the works the devil, and we pray for these who are not yet set free where evil has bound them. You will not fail them! You will vanquish their enemies and set them at liberty to receive Your lovingkindness and to live by faith, as we do, here in this monastery of the heart! Amen.”
Dungeons of Blarney Castle