Faith: Our power to choose is the most influential of all
Crosslake priest advises people to remain faithful, choose the life and grace of God and more, and they will be blessed
There are three spiritual powers in the world. Namely: God who is all powerful; Satan’s power of darkness and lies; and the human will.
It may seem controversial to say this, but the absolute most influential power in our world is human beings’ power to choose. The human will is the force that guides not only our own personal history but also the direction and history of the world.
Simply put, when we choose evil, evil prevails; when we choose good, good triumphs.
From the beginning, God demonstrated His power and will to create a world for us that was good. Adam and Eve flourished in this world, this paradise, until confronted by the other spiritual powers in paradise.
First, God’s mandate not to “eat of the fruit” and then the serpent’s temptation to “eat of the fruit."
Eve and subsequently Adam chose to risk that which was good (a state of justice) to replace it with what they felt was a greater good, “to have the knowledge of God," to be like Him, and by their sin of disobedience they altered the course of salvation history.
Now this fault was to bring about our greatest joy, a happy fault that would bring about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
From the beginning of time, we have been in need of Jesus. He alone is our salvation and it is by Him and through Him that we can recapture what was lost for us through Adam and Eve — paradise.
The devil is real and he continues to work in the world against us. He hates us because God loves us. The foremost battle front the devil and all his fallen angels (demons) employ against us is by temptation.
Temptation is “an attraction, either from outside oneself of from within, to act contrary to right reason and the commandments of God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #538)
When we are weak, when we are not thinking straight, when we are not aligned to God and His ways, we can be persuaded to choose to take a “bite of the apple.”
I think the most telling example of the reality of these three spiritual powers and how powerful they really are is to examine marriage.
Marriage is a choice, perhaps the most important choice an individual will ever make.
If a person made as part of their choice the presence of faith in their espoused, it would bear great fruit; if they choose to get married before God (in His house), it would represent a truth greater than the two of them standing alone before a judge or wedding magistrate; and if they pray together as married couple as a part of their daily routine, grace abounds.
Flip all that to say that marriage is just a civil function, that we determine the goods we want to receive, if we choose the truths we want to draw from marriage. Marriage fails and the devil slithers up and into and around what was designed by God as a good and our relationships are destroyed.
There is nothing more beautiful that a happily married couple and there is nothing uglier than a marriage destroyed.
Adam and Eve’s marriage was not destroyed by the original sin, but I’m sure they had regrets. If only they had remained faithful and obedient to God.
And this is the point. Remain faithful, choose the life and grace of God, pray daily, go to church, do good, love your husband, love your wife, follow the commandments and you will be blessed.
Allow the deceiver time and space and you will risk your life and the lives of others.
You have the choice. Add to the bounty of the Lord with your choice for Him and the good of those around you.
Father David Forsman is pastor at Immaculate Heart Church in Crosslake and St. Emily Catholic Church in Emily.