National Catholic Register

Commentary

Satan Discovers the Sun

BY Karin Morin

June 24-30, 2007 Issue | Posted 6/19/07 at 10:00 AM

 

Lately, I’ve had the feeling that Satan has finally gotten around to reading Aesop’s Fables.

You know, it would make sense that he would take his time; there’s been plenty of mischief to stir up in the world, not even counting all the trouble he has had with Christ and the Church.

Besides, I’m sure that sloth is one of Satan’s favorite sins.

So why do I think Aesop has penetrated Satan’s outer layer of pride? There’s a fable called “The Wind and the Sun” that has reminded me of the current situation in America. In the fable, the wind and the sun are quarrelling about who is more powerful. Now, there’s a quarrel Satan can understand!

They agree to resolve the quarrel by seeing who can remove the cloak from a man walking along on earth below them. The wind takes the first turn. But of course, the more the wind howls, the more tightly the man clutches his cloak. Then the sun shines, and of course the man himself takes the cloak off to cool down.

If you read the fable in a particular way, it might just give a picture of what is happening in America today, or even in the Western world today.

Satan, who has spent centuries blowing hardships at the Church to no avail, has discovered sunshine. Plenty, prosperity, abundance. The gifts of the world laid at the feet of Christian society.

During the hard times, even the worst of times, mankind clings to God’s cloak of faith. “There are no atheists in foxholes,” to coin a phrase. And persecution, as we Christians well know, strengthens faith and grows the company of the faithful.

Yes, in prior centuries there have been corrupt leaders and corruption in the Church. But where? By and large, at the top of the ladder. Where the riches have been, where the power has been.

Today, suddenly, we have a whole society (or group of societies) where the ordinary people have attained an unimagined level of wealth and prosperity. There is still poverty in America, in Europe, in Christendom, but it is relative. Our poor are the envy of the world. Certainly the envy of their peasant ancestors.

In fact, to be poor in America is to be wealthy beyond imagining for most of the world; so much so that the poor who can beat their way to our shores.

And what is the result? Our society has fallen away from God. Now, I know the statistics about Americans believing in God; and there are many parts of our country where faith is the central part of people’s lives.

But church attendance is down, and church weddings are way down, and people’s beliefs impact their lifestyles less and less.

And even within the Church, fewer and fewer are willing to stand up for what they know is true.

Satan, it appears to me, has discovered sunshine.

Karin Morin is a home-schooling mom from Massachusetts.