St. Ignatius would remind us that the evil one doesn’t leave us alone that he’s always trying to get us to move away from what is healthy for us. Immediately after the computer was stolen I could see the evil one working on me and my friends who were nearby when the computer was lifted.
One friend: “Well who left that door open? That’s how he got in!”
Another: “Shoot if you weren’t working with me, you’d still have your computer.”
Me: “I can’t take this anymore. It just rains and then pours.”
A final friend: “It’s my fault. I should have been watching the place better.”
Well now, if that’s not the evil one at work…
The devil gets us to look for blame, blame and doubt ourselves and believe that there’s no way out of this hopeless situation.
But perhaps the question to answer is why we immediately often go to that dark place? The place that keeps us protected from admitting the fact that sometimes desperate people will do desperate things no matter how hard we try to prevent them from doing so. We often take blame for something that we didn’t do but rather, something that we can’t believe could happen while we were nearby. We get angry at the violation of privacy. We are upset that someone hoodwinked us and could easily do it again. We are upset and feel that we are so stupid.
But God’s grace gives us the opportunity to see things differently.
I realized that had I not been with the woman I was doing spiritual direction with, I may have encountered the crook and had I , I may not be writing this post. The thief could have been armed and if I startled him or her it could have ended badly. I was able to thank God for the blessing of being a spiritual director, because that’s what I was doing when the larceny occurred.
Do you see how spiritual direction saves lives? (He says, tongue in cheek)
Imagine being so desperate for money that you steal someone’s computer. How desperate must the thief have gotten to go this far? What must it be like to feel that way and now to have to go on the lam?
Computers can be replaced–and there really wasn’t a whole lot of data on it that can’t be replaced anyway. A few pictures maybe, but I have most of what was there on facebook anyway.
What we can’t replace is people–and perhaps we can’t immediately replace their self-esteem, but we can allow ourselves to realize that there’s only one person to blame here and that’s the thief.
And even he somehow merits both God and our forgiveness.
That’s how we keep the evil one, the devil, Satan…whatever we call the dark forces in our lives, at bay. The darkness has no power over us. We are people of the light and we cannot let incidents like this rule over us and weigh us down.
So today, let us pray that God will give us the strength to let go of our hatred toward others and towards ourselves. May God also give us the strength to realize that forgiveness awaits our call. That we have the power to not let this sin dominate our thoughts, words and deeds.
A pastor friend of mine in New York once said after having his rectory robbed, “If we become so careful, that we stop reaching out to the poor because we’re afraid they’ll just start robbing us, well then we’re not doing anything worthwhile.”
Amen. Alleluia. Peace and harmony always triumphs.