After writing about Live the Gospel Radically and Stop Being Lukewarm I received an email from a friend in response to them. Her testimony and life experiences as a military chaplain are very insightful. (I have been given permission to post the email).
Written By: Flavia Beriault
I think that the biggest mistake that today’s Catholics make is the denial of the Devil. The Devil is laughing in our faces because there are so many lukewarm Catholics who believe in his lies – as in ISIS not being true to the Islamic faith – yet do not want to believe that those lies come from him, that he truly exists and is here to hurt all humans and tries to win our souls over to his dark and God-less home called hell. In third world countries, like the majority of Latin America, the Devil is present and real, almost everyone believes in him. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. Coming from Chile, I know that as a fact. I have been there, seen it, come back and shared it – only to find that people up here are so comfortable with his lies and live in them every day that they don’t even know what’s happening to them and those around them.
I have always thought of Islam as being from the Devil. Yes, a little straight forward, but it doesn’t take a blind man to see it (only lukewarm Catholics can’t). In 2012 I worked on a base as a military chaplain for the entire summer. It was a great posting. I had a boss from an evangelical church; he was the base chaplain. This man was wise – almost too wise to be a protestant because he sounded so much like a radical Catholic! One day, during a team meeting, he brought up Islam and how their radicals are called to be terrorists and our radicals are called to be saints (check that out from a protestant minister, eh!). The other chaplains sort of ignored it and didn’t bring up the subject again. I stayed after the meeting to chat with him about this and tell him that I truly believed in what he said. Then he started talking about how he has met so many Muslims (he’s gone over to Afghanistan twice) and they are all the same. It doesn’t matter if they are suicide bombers or ones who pray at the mosque every day. They all believe the same thing and they hate everyone who is not Muslim. He knows people who have left the Islamic religion and how horrible it was for them, with Muslims trying to kill them for being traitors and what not. We had many good conversations from that point on. As an evangelical protestant, he believes in the presence of the Devil. We have so many saints who were tempted by the Devil, who fought the Devil, and here we are, unbelievers (well, not you and I, but many Catholics).
Pardon my ranting. Living in Canada makes me upset, seeing so many liberal Catholics and having to listen to their ignorance of the faith. Having gone to Regis is living proof. What a waste of space! Why is it so hard to be a good Catholic? Why must people try to change the Church and not themselves? People who think that changing the Church is easier than changing themselves live in such a huge lie. Yet they don’t see it! They are truly annoying and think that we’re ultra-conservative traditional old-school Catholics. We’re just Catholic. That’s it. We’re trying to follow our faith as much as possible. We don’t want to change God, we want God to change us. It’s hard to be a good Catholic. I think sometimes that our worst enemies are part of our Church. Just look at the attacks on Cardinal Burke and how much Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI suffered while in the papacy. They are trying to live radical Catholic lives and get shot down so often. We should be elevating them, not trying to burry them.