Christ is Our Lord and captain, but if we do not also recognize that Satan is the Enemy, we are not actually in the battle.
Oculi mei semper ad Dominum, … “My eyes are ever towards the Lord: for He shall pluck my feet out of the snare. Look Thou upon me, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor.”
These words, plucked from Psalm XXIV, launch the Introit at this Third Sunday in Lent, and express our condition, exactly, even when we are turned the right way. And when we are not, we are devil’s prey. We look to Christ, because we look for orders.
And if we do, we find He leads, by example as every great field commander. We find Him in the Gospel today, doing what? Casting out a devil. It is a passage from Luke, in the course of which we are told, that “every kingdom divided against itself shall be brought to desolation.” … And, “he that is not with Me is against Me.” … That, “you gather with Me or, you scatter.”
For this is war.
Is the Church then a field hospital? Yes, it is a function of the Church to bind her wounded, and to heal them. Note this latter point: to heal, not to provide those displaying ghastly wounds with certificates of health. That is not mercy, in a field hospital.
“Let no man deceive you with vain words.” In today’s Epistle, Saint Paul lays down the law, telling the Ephesians without hesitation or doubt what these wounds are. He mentions fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, obscenity, foolish talk and scurrility, and finally, unbelief — all the causes dear to the Left. These are wounds that need treatment, in the field hospital on our side, and our doctors must know what they are, and judge them accurately.