Saturday, March 26, 2011

Red Devils

From time to time, emails are sent to our parish from Protestant preachers, either not realizing we are Catholic or perhaps attempting to evangelize us. This past week, we received a lengthy treatise from a minister in St. Louis. I generally forward these messages to our pastor and then delete them. I am not particularly interested in yet another self-interpretation of Scripture by another Bible-only believer, but a chapter on the Immaculate Conception caught my eye.

The essay itself was about Satan’s attack on humanity – no argument there. The author proposes that Satan became the opposite of God and therefore experienced pain beyond human comprehension, and this pain is soothed by dwelling in humans, specifically in the blood. He cites Leviticus 17:11 and Deuteronomy 12: 23-25 to show the life of the flesh is in the blood, and concludes that the forces of darkness must inhabit the Spirit of Life in our blood to exist without pain. I am not sure I follow his logic, but he seemed to be saying that the devil experiences pain because of his separation from God, and because the Spirit of Life is in our blood, the devil lives in our blood to ease his pain.

Now, allow me to jump ahead to his section on the Immaculate Conception. He says sin enters humans at conception. Okay, so far. He then says, “Christ was totally cut off from Mary’s blood supply, because all humans’ blood is contaminated. He was cut off from the umbilical cord that attaches mother to child or he would have been contaminated.” The author just denied Christ’s human nature. Allow me to propose another possible explanation to his dilemma. What if Mary was not “contaminated”? What if the “Immaculate Conception” actually referred to Mary’s conception having been shielded from original sin rather than Our Lord’s conception in a human mother?

It is always interesting to me to see how some Protestants today find it necessary to re-trace certain paths that Catholic theologians walked many centuries ago. They may start well but eventually wander off course only to be lost in the wilderness. Those who don’t, often end up Catholic.