Satan’s Hiss

“Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy;
when I fall, I shall rise;
when I sit in darkness,
the Lord will be a light to me.”
– Micah 7:8 (NRSV)

Anyone who does not believe that Satan prowls the earth needs to watch the Netflix docu-series entitled, “The Keepers.”

I have long believed that Satan’s most powerful weapon is the human-formed religions of the world. He has used religion to convince men to bomb buildings, enslave innocent people, and corrupt the minds of children. He has used it to pit families against each other and to shame the powerless. He has used it to wiggle his way between the Love of God and His children. Sadly, “The Keepers” shows quite clearly how Satan used religion to horrify the minds and souls of several young girls, and to wipe the life of a sacred soul from the earth.

As I sat and watched the first four episodes of the seven-episode series, “The Keepers,” I was at first intrigued by the unsolved murder case of Sister Cathy Cesnik. My intrigue quickly turned to disgust as the story unfolded and I learned more about why Sister Cathy Cesnik was most likely murdered. One of the priests at the all-girls school where Sister Cathy taught was Father Joseph Maskell. Through what he referred to as “counseling,” Father Maskell was able to carry out sexual abuse, rape, and the sexual trafficking of several of the girls who attended the school. During these “sessions” Father Maskell often used religious speak to shame the girls, telling them that they were whores for doing this. I will not go into further detail here, except to say that when Satan uses religion to mess with people, he is as devious and convincing as ever.

There were several moments as I was watching this docu-series when I wanted to pick up the remote and press the “stop” button. However, with each of those thoughts also came a moment of goodness weaved into the story. The one nun who listened. The priest who loved that nun and was her friend. The former students who were not abused, but loved the nun as their teacher and have never stopped trying to find her killer. The husbands that God gave to two of the victims, who stand by them and support them at every turn and with every returned memory. The reporters and retired police who continue to assist in the investigation. Satan was certainly at work in that priest and the other men involved in the abuse and the murder; but God has also been at work through it all as well. His light shines in the friendships, the repressed memories that allowed some of the victims to continue on with life without losing their minds, and in the love of a man for his wife, and a priest for his friend.

There was a time in my life when I questioned God about everything. Why did He let this happen? Why didn’t He save that wonderful person from death? How could He profess His love for the human race and allow a few brainwashed terrorists to annihilate three buildings and four airplanes full of regular everyday people?

Today, I understand that God does not make horrible things happen. We do that. We human beings, with our free will and our ego, are the ones who make all these horrible things happen. From the moment Eve offered the apple to Adam and he accepted it and bit into it, we have believed the lie of Satan’s hiss. Fortunately for us, God doesn’t hold this human-ness against us. Instead, when our enemy rejoices over us, God helps us rise; when we sit in darkness, God is our light.


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