Thursday, October 16, 2008

"All these I shall give to you..."

"Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, 'All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.' At this, Jesus said to him, 'Get away, Satan! It is written: 'The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.'" (Matthew 4: 8-10).

"Matthew and Luke recount three temptations of Jesus that reflect the inner struggle over his own particular mission and, at the same time, address the question as to what truly matters in human life. At the heart of all temptations, as we see here, is the act of pushing God aside because we perceive him as secondary, if not actually superfluous and annoying, in comparison with all the apparently far more urgent matters that fill our lives. Constructing a world by our own lights*, without reference to God, building on our own foundation; refusing to acknowledge the reality of anything beyond the political and material, while setting God aside as an illusion - that is the temptation that threatens us in many varied forms." (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, p. 28).

As Christians who strive to live a holy and authentic life in the Lord Jesus, there is something which becomes immediately apparent as we survey this broken world. And it is this: while as disciples of the Lord we receive the power of God and His gifts which include wisdom and fortitude (courage), often we are hesitant or slow to do good or when we do choose to do good we meet almost constant opposition. By contrast, those who receive the power of the devil appear to be tireless in their activities as they work frenetically to discover new ways of doing evil or deceiving others and everything seems to come to them very easily.**

There is an important spiritual lesson here. The world we live in is under the dominion of Satan, the "Prince of this world." When we witness an individual achieve outstanding success without any real setbacks, opposition or persecution, there is a very real possibility that such a person is an adept of the Prince of this world and is receiving his "gifts": "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me." By contrast, often lack of success and persecution are sure signs that one really stands for God.

Soloviev, in his Tale of the Antichrist, describes all of the worldly success of the Antichrist and describes this outstanding success as being driven by some superhuman force. This is most interesting since Daily Kos has described Senator Obama's success thusly: "Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all," and one individual who left a comment at this Blog wrote, "There are unseen forces behind Obama's meteoric rise to fame and prominence. How else can we explain his rise to world fame from nowhere? Most of us never even heard of this man until a couple of years ago. And 458 million raised in campaign monies? This is nothing short of startling. Now people all over are heralding him as a new "Christ" and a new Messiah."

And, in an article written before the third presidential debate and entitled "Analysis Shows Mainstream Media Silent on Barack Obama's Pro-Abortion Views," Rich Noyes wrote: "Two of the three presidential debates have now passed without either candidate being asked about abortion, an issue that nearly four out of ten voters said was 'very important' to them, according to an August Pew survey. What makes the abortion issue especially salient this campaign year is Barack Obama’s extremely liberal record — which may also explain why the big broadcast networks have practically avoided the subject. TV reporters barely mentioned Obama’s pro-abortion stance during the primaries — from the launch of his candidacy in January 2007 through the end of the primaries in June 2008, just six out of 1,289 network evening news stories about Obama (0.46%) mentioned his position on abortion; none discussed it in any detail."

The Mainstream Media has done its best to propagandize for the Obama campaign (read here for example), while ignoring critical issues which reflect on Senator Obama's character and that of his running mate Senator Joseph Biden. Read here and here and here for example.

What does all of this indicate to us? What does it mean? What do you think?
* "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." - Senator Barack Obama.
** This should not, of course, lead us to envy (which St. Augustine calls the diabolical sin). Instead we should reflect prayerfully on the words of Jesus as given in the eighth chapter of Mark verse 36: "For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?"


Anonymous said...

The media bias has reached a demonic level in my view. I watched the McCain-Obama debate last night and felt that McCain had Obama on the defensive for most of the program. He made some excellent points and even quipped that Obama (who is constantly - and dishonestly - attempting to equate McCain with Bush) should have ran four years ago against Bush.

It was a triumph. And yet, I watched GMA, Today, NBC and others and they all had Obama as the winner of the debate. Stephanopolous was tripping over himself in his rush to paint this as an Obama "victory." This from the guy who once quipped (while working for Clinton) that sometimes the American people don't know what's good for them. This in connection with the homosexual issue.

The bias has reached chilling proportions as the MSM attempt to manipulate the American people and guarantee a positive outcome this November for Obama.

Anonymous said...

The liberal MSM are so anxious to silence legitimate criticism of Senator Obama that they employ the mantra "negative attacks" to effectively mute the McCain campaign.

When McCain is referred to by the Obama Campaign as "unstable and erratic" the same liberal MSM are largely silent. This even though the criticism has no basis in fact. But when legitimate concerns are raised about Senator Obama's association with an unrepentant domestic terrorist who wanted to bomb more or radical leftist groups such as ACORN, the old mantra is whipped out of the bag of dirty tricks used by the MSM to manipulate public opinion: "negative attacks."

As a result, questions regarding Senator Obama's character or ability to lead are deemed "negative attacks" and true democracy and free speech suffer.

Any and all legitimate opposition to "Messiah Obama" is effectively muzzled.

Michael Cole said...

I think we'll all be in the catacombs soon. Or underground if you prefer that term. Whatever term you prefer, thiese words of Jesus are now so obviously for us:

"See that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name saying, 'I am he,' and they will deceive many. When you hear of wars and reports of wars do not be alarmed; such things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes from place to place and there will be famines. These are the beginnings of the labor pains. "Watch out for yourselves. They will hand you over to the courts. You will be beaten in synagogues. You will be arraigned before governors and kings because of me, as a witness before them. But the gospel must first be preached to all nations. When they lead you away and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the holy Spirit. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved. "When you see the desolating abomination standing where he should not (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, (and) a person on a housetop must not go down or enter to get anything out of his house, and a person in a field must not return to get his cloak. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days. Pray that this does not happen in winter. For those times will have tribulation such as has not been since the beginning of God's creation until now, nor ever will be. If the Lord had not shortened those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect whom he chose, he did shorten the days. If anyone says to you then, 'Look, here is the Messiah! Look, there he is!' do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise and will perform signs and wonders in order to mislead, if that were possible, the elect. Be watchful! I have told it all to you beforehand. "But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather (his) elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. "Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come." (Mark 13: 5-33).

We need to be ever vigilant. We Christians should be coming together and preparing. But will we?

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