The temptation of survival begins with fear in our hearts deceiving us that there are not enough jobs, resources, and food even though statistically we throw away half of our food every year. The spirits of fear and greed trick us into believing we are no longer safe, and we must protect and preserve all our goods against the “the strangers“ (Lev. 25:45) who appear different or as Fr. Gabriel Amorth (Vatican’s exorcist) explains,
“The demon’s ability to trick and introduce errors of the worst kind into entire groups is incredible. There are those who insist that it is easier to trick a crowd than a single individual. It is certain that the devil can strike very large groups; however, almost always it is clear that human assent is involved, the human sin of free acceptance of satanic actions. The motives of this acceptance are many: wealth, power, vice, and more.” (An Exorcist Tells His Story)
The temptation of survival withers the hearts and dreams of an entire nation, and it paralyzes with terror, panic, and anger leading us to build storage barns (Lk. 12:19) instead of sharing. The devil tricks us into thinking the end of our resources is inevitable, and it is either us, or “the stranger in a strange land” (Exodus 2:22) or as Pope Francis explains on Feb 2, 2017,
“The temptation of survival is an evil that can gradually take root within us and within our communities. The mentality of survival makes us reactionaries, fearful, slowly and silently shutting ourselves up in our houses and in our own preconceived notions. It makes us look back, to the glory days – days that are past… A survival mentality makes us want to protect spaces, buildings and structures, rather than to encourage new initiatives. The temptation of survival makes us forget grace. In a word, the temptation of survival turns what the Lord presents as an opportunity for mission into something dangerous, threatening, and potentially disastrous.”
Once the temptation of survival reaches its pinnacle, distrust and hate collects in our hearts like a virus towards the “strangers“ (Eph. 2:19) who are taking our provisions and jobs even though the latest research says otherwise. It now becomes a survival of the fittest mentality, and a blind frenzy ensues toward a road of isolation, banishment, and concentration camps. The evil spirits of fear, violence, and death grip the land and its people because this is not a normal wave of evil, but a great tsunami wave of “intrinsic evil [which are] violations of human dignity, such as acts of racism, and treating the poor as disposable,” (Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship paragraph #23) or as when God commands Moses, “There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exodus 12:49)
Historically, these spirits take over when we don’t pray and listen to the voice of the Church and our bishops (Bishops Along Northern Mexico And Texas Border Issue Statement On Immigration and Committee On Migration Chair Strongly Opposes Administration’s Announcement To Build A Wall At U.S.-Mexico Border, Increase Detention And Deportation Forces). This domino effect of evil occurs when we cooperate with fear, indifference, and most especially silence. Fr. Gabriel Amorth explains how listening to the wrong voice during grave times can have disastrous effects,
“It is possible for the demon to use one person to strike even a very large group—these groups can even take over or influence one or more nations. In our own times, I believe that this was the case of men such as Karl Marx, Hitler, and Stalin. The atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis, the horrors of communism, the slaughters of Stalin, for example, reached diabolic proportions.” (An Exorcist Tells His Story)
Martin Niemöller, a Protestant pastor jailed in a concentration camp, explains how evil takes over when Christians remain silent,
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did —not speak out — Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Are we there yet? Will “the practice of separating families through deportation,” (FC paragraph #52) unleash evil as happened in Germany? Will we create millions of orphans? Incidentally, immigrants have a much, much lower crime rate than the native born according to the latest research. Who will be next? Most probably the 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S. since they too affect our survival as when Pharaoh felt threatened by the Hebrews and ordered the death of innocent children (Exodus 1:15-16).
Make no mistake Christians are next after these two groups! Throughout history, the devil’s most prized targets are the Christians beginning with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph fleeing as immigrants to Egypt since Herod was killing children sensing his survival in jeopardy. (Mt 2:13-15) The devil also hates Christians because we always speak out in defense of the weak and vulnerable, for Jesus will remind us when He returns, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me…” (Mt 25:35-36)
We still have time as the great tsunami wave of “intrinsic evil,” has not fully hit since we are still divided as when Jesus says a father against son, mother-in-law against daughter in-law,…(Lk. 12:53). But, time is running out, so earnestly pray for the spiritual protection of our leaders, since they too, as any of us, can become victims, as, “The devil loves to take over business leaders and those who hold political office,” says Fr. Gabriel Amorth. (Maria Mensajera magazine, 2008) “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,” (Proverbs 31:8) before it is too late, and there is no one left to speak for you.
St. John Paul II prophesied to America, “The ultimate test of your greatness is in the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones.” Therefore, remind our governor, legislators, and the president what God declares, “You shall not wrong the stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt,” (Ex. 22:21) and “The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.” (Lev. 19:34)
Finally, remember that before our political party, patriotism, and citizenship, we are first Christian, and that as Christians, “An unjust immigration policy is a serious moral issue that challenges our consciences and requires us to act.” (FC paragraph #29)
Scriptures taken from Revised Standard Version Second Catholic Edition.