I write a lot about good people and good deeds because I believe that is what we should all focus on and celebrate. However, I think it is also important to realize that evil, and specifically the devil, exists—and we need to beware of him in his many shapes and forms.
When you think about it, evil must exist. You cannot have good without evil any more than you can have light without dark or space without matter. The existence of one forces you to accept the existence of the other, its natural counterpart.
Why is it important for us to think about and accept the presence of evil in our world and our lives?
So we can guard against it.
First let’s consider evil in ourselves. In popular culture it is often referred to as “the devil on our shoulder” admonishing us to do something we know is not right or good. The angel on our other shoulder implores us to resist. Whom do we most often listen to? Also, how do we even determine what is right or wrong in a given situation? If you are a Catholic like me, the first place you look to is the Bible, and specifically the Ten Commandments. It instructs us as to what thoughts and acts are forbidden: thou shalt not lie, murder, take the Lord’s name in vain, covet thy neighbor’s wife, etc. As such, it is an excellent guide for the well-intentioned.
Now let’s consider evil in others, and in the world around us in general. Unfortunately, the devil’s handiwork is all too easy to spot. Consider someone who abuses children, or a man who lies in wait for innocent women, only to kidnap, rape and murder them. And what about a serial killer who finds joy in the senseless death of his victims, or the Muslims who murder in the name of Allah? Surely these people are possessed by evil.
As an aside, unfortunately I must admit that even the Catholic Church has been possessed by its share of evil in its history, what with the atrocities committed during The Crusades and The Inquisitions, and more recently with the unspeakably horrible pedophile scandal.
In sum, it’s great to focus one’s attention on all that is good and right with our world, for there is much to rejoice in this regard. Just keep an eye open for the darker side, for it might begin to slowly creep into your life, and even overwhelm it, if you aren’t vigilant.
Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.