Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Wondering what evil is really like?

Evil is often cloaked in reason, with sweet-sounding arguments. Think of the idiot letter of the four evil Detroit priests. Evil is calm and speaks with a quiet voice. But take a look at what evil is in its pure form. In Matthew 8:28-34, we have the story of the Gadarene demoniacs. The demons beg Jesus to send them into the herd of pigs. What do they do once they are in the pigs? "Behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters." Once the demons have free reign, they kill.

St. Peter Chrysologus explains it this way: "The foul-smelling animals are delivered up, not at the will of the demons but to show how savage the demons can become against humans. They ardently seek to destroy and dispossess all that is, acts, moves, and lives. They seek the death of people. The ancient enmity of deeprooted wrath and malice is in store for the human race."

(Chrysologus quote courtesy of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture.)

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