Daily Prayers for Lent from CPLO and the Jesuit Institute 29 March – Week Four Evil can easily be disguised as good
Lenten Prayer Reflections by Ron Boudreaux SJ
“Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. It is nothing extraordinary, then, when his servants disguise themselves as the servants of uprightness.” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15)
People who are making spiritual progress will not be tempted by something which is grossly evil. However, we can easily be fooled by something which is seemingly good, but which turns out to be bad. So, for example, I can come to believe that hiding some income (to avoid taxes) is a good thing because (1) I will have more money to spend, (2) taxes are evil, (3) government wastes too much, etc. In the end, however, cheating is never right. Society functions well (to varying degrees) because everyone contributes to the good of all. When one person cheats, the whole of society is diminished. Another variation of the “evil disguised as good” scenario is the abused woman who remains with her abusive mate because he “loves” her and he “will change”. We will only defeat the angel of light by careful discernment.
Loving God, teach me not to be fooled by disguised evil, either when it comes from outside of me or inside of me, for I know that I can deceive myself as easily as I can be deceived by others.