Crossposted from the new blog, One Peter Five, a must read for faithful Catholics.
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. In amazement the whole earth followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it? – Revelation 13:1-10
In the 2010 film, Clash of the Titans, there is a scene in which Zeus, angry with the humans, is persuaded by Hades to visit vengeance upon the mortals in the form of the Kraken, a giant monster from the depths of the sea. The visual of this great evil being unleashed is something to behold:
If this scene is evocative, perhaps it is because it’s familiar. Like a Kraken released, we have a colossal problem in our world today. There are few who are not stunned by the growing specter of evil; a darkness more profound and spreading more quickly across the globe than any civilized human being could have ever imagined. Many of those I speak with have admitted that they now abstain completely from watching the news: “It’s just too much,” they say. “It’s just so horrifying!”
For the past two years I have been confiding to close friends my own growing sense that something is happening, that something unholy is stirring. I have spoken with others who have admitted the same suspicion. The way I have tried to describe it in the past is like the rumblings felt just before a volcano explodes.
Now, I find myself wondering if the eruption is upon us.
Who could ever conceive of atrocities like those we are seeing executed in the name of religion? Where once we might see coverage of a tragic conflict far away, we now face an evil that is not confined to some distant corner of the planet. With the always-on, near-instant spread of information in our digital age, your next door neighbor can be radicalized from the comfort of their living room.
What we are facing is, first and foremost, a form of spiritual warfare. In a time where violence is rampant and the innocent are threatened, it is true that we must be ready to physically engage the malefactors. But if we deny the spiritual nature of this surge of evil we are facing, we will have no hope of victory.
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Fr. Richard M. Heilman is a priest of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. He is a regular guest host on Relevant Radio’s The Inner Life, and is the founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, which is an apostolate for Catholic men’s faith formation. He is the author of the Church Militant Field Manual and companion website, Churchmilitant.com, dedicated to helping Catholics understand and train for their role in the mission of combating evil and rescuing the souls of our loved ones who have lost the precious gift of faith.