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A Perspective on Angels and Demons, Final Part

In real life ambition, greed, lust among others drive humans to commit evil things. But what drives them to act? Do evil ideas just come as a spur of the moment thing or are they inseparable from self? St. Paul alluded to this in his Letter to the Galatians where he suggested that the earth’s elements may be transformed from its own energy and to degenerate as caused by fallen spirits. Meaning humans are good candidates for the picking.

Star worship is one who worships himself as gods of the earthly elements (air, earth, fire, and water). Think of capitalism as evil per Pope Francis, that make use of these elements to enrich themselves or be famous (oil, space travel, real estate, manufacturing, agriculture). Star worship is a lot more. It can start with a selfie (metaphorically) and you like what you see. You’re the man, the top guy, number one!

Star worship, big or small in and of itself is a cult, a fast-growing religion with its own commandments. The insatiable thirst and hunger for self-fulfillment serves as an aphrodisiac for higher and bigger things that a man desires most – fame, wealth, power. Trying to achieve and fulfil these desires is an endless loop. Nothing earthly really satisfies man.

What makes self-worship so potent is the fact that we are susceptible to sinning. Sinning is pleasurable. Star worship truly believes that man is the source who defines what is the truth. His words are authoritative, and he becomes a sovereign in his mind by virtue of having followers who help make things happen because he has the power.

Man wants to climb the highest peak that God created and declare himself supreme. Desire for millions to billions, trillions and gazillions even, it is bottomless. Unsatisfied with his earthly kingdom, he wants to expand beyond and rule the heavens too via the most expensive airfare space travel can offer.

And because you attain orgasmic high in sinning, who needs grace? There, star worship leads to self-righteousness, endless pursuit for self-glorification. You are convinced of your own star power, and nobody could be more powerful than you here on earth. You become the Antichrist.

There are biblical references supporting the idea that the collective space around us contains unseen powers both from the good and bad spirits (seen and unseen) that inhabit the earth along with humans. That their supernatural powers can encompass phenomena as diverse as pandemics, calamities, divination (healing individuals – priests or witch doctors, seers), efficacy of religious or pagan actions, and even social unrest and political upheavals that has happened or have been predicted (by guys like Nostradamus).

The stories of Jacob and St. Anthony wrestling with a supernatural being here on earth and evil deeds both from biblical and modern times, tell us that God is not in control of this world and do allow star worship to grow. St. Paul said that this world’s god is someone who has “blinded the minds of them (unbelievers).” Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on this because saying that God is not in control of this world sounds subversive.

All these cosmological and supernatural stuff from the Old Testament have been overtaken by Christianity. Paul’s letters to the Romans and Galatians emphasized that Christians are no longer under the Mosaic Law because Christ is the new deal. Yet, many still believe the supernatural stories of the Old Testament in our struggles with life towards salvation. In the process, our lives become complicated.

For humans, being in control of our lives is being human. We hate dictators because they’re control freaks or any control freak for that matter. So, the idea that we surrender ourselves to God is an idea that is hard to grasp much less to practice in life. We want to be free and be the king of the road, the “captain of our soul, master of our fate.” We prefer democracy over communism precisely because of that concept.

God created everything from the farthest galaxy to the smallest particle or atom. God owns everything because He created them. He is sovereign. Yet, from the get-go, Adam displayed such self-reliance by not wanting to be ruled by a sovereign. He chose to exercise free will and self-rule. God wanted him to rule earth and enjoy all the creation on it, above and below it. But he rebelled with Eve thus opening the door for the Serpent to rule earth and produce star worshippers.

So, when the world is chaotic, like what’s happening in Ukraine and elsewhere, we ascribe a motive that there must be evil characters in play. Still, we hesitate and often ask when confronted with evil, “If God is in control, why does He allow evil to exist?” The short answer is because man freely allows evil to exist.

One good way to discern the question is to say that God is in charge. Like a teacher in a classroom, he may lose control of the class being noisy, chaotic but when the teacher stands in front of the class, looks everybody in the eye, raises his arm up or bangs a ruler on the table; everybody takes heed, finds their seats and keeps their mouths shut.

That in essence, is what God does to us. He let us play, think and act – to a degree. It is always important to remember that from the beginning mankind (through Adam) was already given free will and the liberty to decide what is good or bad. Adam’s disobedience caused everyone else’s sin because the man lost the grace given him. Consequently, every reproduction carries the original sin. Adam has shown that man has an inclination to sin.

Baptism cures the original sin but that is as far as it goes. We continue to sin because of a term called concupiscence or the tendency to sin. For Catholics, the Church created the Sacrament of Penance or Confession as an off-ramp for sin forgiveness. The thing is though, less than 40% goes to confession once a year and 35% never do, the recent poll in the U.S. showed. Does that mean that over 60% are good to go? Or just plainly not into it.

The Catholic Church has codified over 400 of what it considers sins to guide the faithful on what to avoid. Recently, more mortal sins were added to cope with globalization, to an already long list of sins: drug dealing, environmental pollution, engaging in manipulative science, pedophilia, abortion, social injustices that cause poverty or the “excessive accumulation of wealth.”

Are we hopeless? No. The opposite of evil thoughts or committing sins is exercising free love, to practice humility, to think of good things, to follow Jesus and the Beatitudes. There is no physical place called heaven where everyone wants to be in the afterlife. Jesus taught us that here on earth, the Beatitudes offer a potent antidote to star worship, to the toxicity around us. Heaven can wait.


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