God is infinitely more powerful than the Devil and his hosts. So why doesn’t God prevent them from their evildoing on planet earth? We could ask a similar question about why God doesn’t stop human beings from committing wicked deeds. Evil’s continuing presence among us is a mystery we can’t fully figure out in this life.
Nevertheless, we can say this much: God allows evil because He’s powerful enough to bring out of even the greatest evil a much greater good.
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ provides a vivid illustration of this reality. According to the Gospel, when “Satan entered Judas,” one of the twelve Apostles, he went out to betray Jesus (see Luke 22:3-14). So the worst evil we can imagine — the torture and murder of God’s innocent Son — occurred through the Devil’s influence.
Yet the triumph of the empty tomb transformed the horror of the Cross. Satan was thwarted. When Jesus rose from the dead, He displayed God’s power to bring out of the greatest of evils an even greater good: the world’s redemption.
Meanwhile, our days in this life provide a season for God to test, purify, strengthen, and perfect us, making us fit to live with Him forever in heaven. To that end, demons serve as useful tools for Him as they constantly test us by tempting us, so that we become purer and stronger and closer to perfection every time we resist temptation.
In this sense, we might say, quoting St Augustine: “As an artist, God makes use even of the Devil.”
– Paul Thigpen-
Manual for Spiritual Warfare, TAN books, 2014.
On Among Women, we look at the blessings and challenges of midlife and beyond! This is a great take on the feminine genius and how women become more beautiful — not less! — as they age. Join author and amazing catechist, Lisa Mladinich, and I as we discuss the heavenly sides of dealing with our own mortality, and rediscover our mission in God’s plan as we discuss themes from her new book, True Radiance: Finding Grace in the Second Half of Life.
You’re going to want to listen and share this!
This story is from 1970…
I’m a little late to this news, but I wanted to share it with you. So many people have asked me about the trip to Philly for the World Meeting of Families, and to see Pope Francis, and I’m glad to be able to share some of the content here.
Here is the direct link for the videos that were captured from the keynotes. I had many favorites, but I’ll just mention the messages from Helen Alvare, Scott Hahn, Bishop Barron, Pastor Rick Warren & Cardinal Sean O’Malley, and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from the Philippines. Now run along now and begin listening to the all. There are some I missed that I have yet to get to — so I’m bookmarking this page!
If you missed my Among Women podcasts related to the World Meeting of Families, you’ll find three:
“Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, so that they may exercise without offense the sovereignty that you have given them. Master, heavenly King of the ages, you give glory, honor, and power over the things of earth to the sons of men. Direct, Lord, their counsel, following what is pleasing and acceptable in your sight, so that by exercising with devotion and in peace and gentleness the power that you have given to them, they may find favor with you.”
-Pope St. Clement of Rome-
(As found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1900)
A little proverb in the book of Sirach gets me started…
“Wine and music gladden the heart, but the love of wisdom is better than both.”
Ah, wine and music! Two of my favorite things! Yet the proverb from Sirach offers much to consider as we examine the love of wisdom.
The sound of a cork pop remains a signal to my heart that life is good. The influence from the French side of my family taught me the beauty of wine on the table. I grew up a wine drinker and to this day, it is a joy to shop for wine, to taste new labels, to pair a special vintage with a good meal. Even the delicate nature of wine glasses signals to us that we must handle wine with care, savor its bouquet, and drink temperately. Every glass of wine was years in the making. It ought be respected and consumed with gratitude.
Wine is an occasion waiting to happen; through it we toast the gift of family, we honor friends, and celebrate milestones. For Catholics, we intuit the wisdom of Jesus in bringing us together for the Eucharistic meal whereby he shares his very self under the guise of bread and wine. That knowledge alone elevates our notion of wine as a gift that must be shared with love.
I also grew up a music lover and a musician. For me, music is a way to sing, to dance, and to pray. Music moves us, not only to sing and dance, but it moves the heart.
I’ve seen the right choice of music change someone’s day. I’ve been privileged to choose and sing music at weddings where the memories of those songs will last a lifetime. Music offers a soundtrack to some of the most important moments of our lives. Music is the language of the heart.
Wine plus music equals a celebration! From simplest gathering to the more elaborate events—whether an intimate gathering for two, a party with friends, or a wedding reception—wine and music are complementary sensory gifts that make life better, joyous even!
Yet, Sirach reminds us, even as we find the gifts of wine and music enjoyable and inspiring … “the love of wisdom is better than both.” Why might this be?
(WINE = Women In the New Evangelization)
WINE has many events throughout the year, mostly in Minnesota, although its mission is growing.
Come join me and 300+ friends for this women’s conference in the Diocese of Richmond.
Registration is still open here!
I have this memory of helping my Mom packing goodies to ship to Vietnam where her younger brother was serving in the Army Infantry. In all I had four uncles who were in the military. Two were her younger brothers, and two were my father’s older brothers who were in the Navy. Today, I know many Vets from my generation. Many friends have sons and daughters serving our country at this very moment. I have the names of three of them on my prayer board.
I’m a grateful recipient of their sacrifice and service. So are you.
Let us be grateful when we meet them in person, and pray for them when we are apart.
You might like this story about military chaplain Fr Emil Kapaun…
UPDATE 9.13.2015: A article I missed earlier describes the steps toward canonization being made regarding Fr Kapaun. From the Register:
On Nov. 9, Bishop Carl Kemme of Wichita, Kan., delivered a report on the life of Father Kapaun to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. More than 90 pilgrims accompanied him to Rome.
Bishop Kemme and priests from the diocese personally delivered the nearly 1,100-page report on Father Kapaun’s life, officially called a positio, to Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the congregation. This step had been in the making since 1993, when the Vatican named Father Kapaun (pronounced Ka-PON), who was a priest of the Wichita Diocese, a “Servant of God.”
Once the Vatican studies and approves the positio, the heroic Army chaplain, who gave his life for the soldiers in his charge, can either be named “Venerable” or beatified as “Blessed.”
While the positio can lead to Father Kapaun being named a “Venerable,” it can also mean he can be beatified and declared “Blessed.” The reason is that the diocese is investigating some alleged miracles.
“We have two cases,” Father Hotze noted. Both came to light in previous years. One involved a 12-year-old girl who was near death; the other was a severely injured college track athlete — doctors expected him to die. Both recovered rapidly after prayers seeking the intercession of Father Kapaun. Doctors said both recoveries were medically unexplainable.
“If they’re able to get the miracle accepted and approved along with it [the positio’s approval], that will also mean being beatified,” explained Father Hotze. Both processes are going to proceed simultaneously.
Celebrate Among Women’s “200th” episode by entering to win 1 of 4 prize packs (3 books each)! Enter thru 12/9.
On December 10th, we reach 200 episodes of Among Women! I’m celebrating that milestone — to say thank you! thank you! thank you!
The drawing for the 4 prize packages, each containing 3 books, focus on some of the major themes we’ve covered over the years… the feminine genius, Mary, the saints, and the maternal mission of women as physical mothers and/or spiritual mothers.
4 ways to enter:
- You can comment and enter here, by clicking the “leave a comment” link, above.
- Leave a comment at our AW Facebook page.
- Leave a comment at any combox of the November episodes for 2015 released on 10th, 20th, or 30th of the month.
- Or if you want your voice on the podcast, send an email to me, Pat Gohn, at this address: email@example.com. I’m also encouraging listeners to send short voice memo greetings recorded on their smart phones to be used on Among Women 200. Go ahead and record something like… “Hi, this is ________ from town/state, and what I love about Among Women is ______”. I will also be reading some email comments on the Dec 10th show.
(Comments may be read on the episode for Among Women 200 unless you request anonymity in your comment.)
This is a free drawing and all comments/entries must be received by Dec 9, 2015 at 11:59pm Eastern. Winners will be notified by email or Face Book message on Dec 10th. Prizes will be shipped via USPS priority mail as soon as winners send me their mailing address — hopefully, in time for Christmas!
Here are the four packages that you might win!
I’m so thankful for the many listeners Among Women has and for your prayers and encouragement throughout the years. Please share Among Women with your friends and family, and ask to add it as a resource to your church bulletin. If you’d like to leave a review and rating for Among Women, that would be awesome! Do that here!
It’s been my joy to meet some of you at the conferences, workshops, and retreats I’ve been privileged to give. If you’d like me to come to your church or diocese to give a talk or a one-day women’s retreat, contact me directly.
I’m also grateful to the following publishers for sending me books to give away to my listeners: Ave Maria Press, The Word Among Us, and Franciscan Media/Servant Press.