"The serpent was the craftiest of all the creatures the Lord God had made." Genesis Chapter 3, v. 1
The serpent definitely is crafty. He uses the same tactics now that he did back then in the Garden of Eden, and he has used the same tactics all throughout the history of our salvation. Back in the Garden, the serpent said to Eve (in Genesis, Chapter 3 vs. 1) - "Really? None of the fruit in the Garden? The Lord says you cannot eat any of it?"
Yes, the serpent is very crafty and knows just how to manipulate us. He is far superior to us in intellect and power, and he yields that intellect and power in bold zeal toward the means of our destruction. From Genesis Chapter 3 vs. 4, "That is a lie!"
We all know the rest of the story, don't we? We all know that this crafty tactic to undermine our trust in God has had the a deadlier impact on our world than anything else. It has caused all evil since the beginning of time. It is a simple wedge, that simple doubt Satan places in our minds and hearts: Can we really trust God?
We seem to fall for this tactic time and time again, all throughout the history of the world, and we see the destruction and devastation it brings, every single time, time and again, over and over. Yet, we continue to fall for it. Will we ever learn, will we ever begin to open our eyes to this devious ploy to separate us from the one who loves us above everything and all else? I doubt it. But I do believe that some of us get better at recognizing it, and others just wallow in the lie.
It is difficult. Satan is intellectually superior to us, and we as a whole are much too prideful to recognize this and rationalize our situations accordingly.
I think one lie and subtle technique Satan is spewing now, among many, is: "Did the Church really say it is okay to take a Covid vaccine?"
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued an authoritative directive stating that it is licit for Catholics to receive the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. And yet, so many refuse to recognize this authority of the Church. It seems the same tactics and techniques to subvert trust in the Church's authority is at play here.
People have good intentions with their rejection of this authoritative decree and even some convincing arguments. But the fact remains, if we can't and don't trust what the Church decrees authoritatively, then the whole house of cards comes crashing down on us. There is no other authority on which to depend or look to at that point, and Satan wins.
Without the authority of the Church, we become no better than Adam and Eve, who distrusted God and determined that they themselves would be as God, and make these determinations on their own.
I get it, it can be confusing. The point is that Christ lived to leave us a Church. His mission was to save us from sin by dying on the cross, but he knew we would be left to navigate through some treacherous waters and storms in our mortal lives and as members of the Church Militant. So he left us a Church to guide us and direct us through those storms.
Satan has done a magnificent job throughout history placing seeds of mistrust among the faithful with regards to the Church. These seeds of mistrust have caused schisms, revolts, uprisings, and even wars. Yet the Church continues to prevail, just as Christ promised She would.
Satan is effective at this because of our prideful and willful ignorance of how the Church works and of who Christ is. So many of us don't understand the differences between infallible teaching, doctrine, and disciplines of the Church, and because of this are easily led astray through misguided zeal toward righteousness, or in the pursuit of personal and political agendas and mindsets.
Understanding the difference between authoritative decrees and controversial comments made by our Holy Father is necessary and paramount to proper navigation through this fallen world. We don't want to be someone who falls for the distortion and unknowingly leads other astray as well. We must trust Christ and the Church He left us, but to do so means we must learn how She functions and works, what She truly teaches and stands for, and what teachings and issues of the Church can change and what cannot.
There are many things the Church allows, even though it might not be the best avenue for us, but She nevertheless does allow. To stand in holy and righteous opposition to these disciplines and allowances is to be in holy and righteous opposition to Christ himself. It is the same as Eve, letting Satan place seeds of mistrust within the heart as justification for determining on our own what is True and Good.
This happens continuously. There are numerous well-intentioned Catholics, both laity and clergy alike that get caught in this trap and espouse and promote a subtle rejection of the Church and Christ, and they have been so fooled by Satan that they just don't see it. Whether it be those rejecting the decree that same sex unions cannot be blessed, the church's teaching on gay marriage, or the licitness of receiving the Covid vaccine - it all stems from the same Satanic tactics and devices used to separate and divide the faithful.
There are other arguments continuously circulating on social media platforms that undermine the Church and Christ as well, practices such as Communion in the hand, and the Latin Mass vs. Novus Ordo, and on and on and on.
Bottom line, if the Church allows it, who are we to question its authority and validity? Do we trust the Church or not, and for those of us who don't, Lord help us. The actions of the few affect us all, because we are united in Christ, all of us. The destruction that mistrust of Christ and the Church orders is more deadly than any temporal destruction we could and can ever face.
Let's continue to grow in holiness by continuing our quest to learn Truth in all it's forms and beauty, and let us learn to recognize these deceptions of Satan for what they truly are, subtle attempts to draw us away from the love and trust of our Divine Savior. There is no room in the Church for this type of division among the Faithful, we must be united to spread the Truth to those lost in darkness, and these distractions are causing us to fall and fail in this mission, or at the very least to not be as effective and efficacious as we could.
Let unite to spread truth and Christ to all, and let's strive to learn the tactics of Satan so we can assist our Savior and our Blessed Mother in his defeat.