Sign Up for our Free Daily Email Updates
SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Satan’s Lies

September 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

Satan's Lies
(Journal of a Soul)

Book Club INTERNAL IMAGE (internal to post) 600x214

Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going? I am nothing. Everything I possess, my being, life, understanding, will and memory – all were given me by God, so all belong to Him. Twenty short years ago all that I see around me was already here; the same sun, moon and stars, the same mountains, seas, deserts, beasts, plants and men; everything was proceeding in its appointed way under the watchful eyes of Divine Providence. And I? I was not here. Everything was being done without me, nobody was thinking of me, nobody could imagine me, even in dreams, because I did not exist. 

And you, O God, with a wonderful gesture of love, you who are from the beginning and before all time, you drew me forth from my nothingness, you gave me being, life, a soul, in fact all the faculties of my body and spirit; you opened my eyes to this light which sheds its radiance around me, you created me. So you are my Master and I am your creature. I am nothing without you; indeed, if at every moment you did not support me I should slip back whence I came, into nothingness. This is what I am. And yet I am boastful and display with pride before the eyes of God all the blessings he has showered on me, as if they were my own. Oh what a fool I am! “For what have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” (1Cor. 4:7)

God created me. Yet He did not need me; the whole scheme of the universe, the world which surrounds me, everything, in fact, would exist without any help from me.

Why then do I think myself so necessary to this world? What am I but an ant or a grain of sand? Why do I puff myself up so proudly? Arrogance, pride, self-esteem! What am I set in this world to do? To serve God.  – Journal of a Soul, pg. 64-65

Satan wants my soul. And he goes after it daily by telling me little lies which are beautifully refuted by this passage. Lies like, “If you drop just one of those plates that you're spinning right now, your entire household will fall apart.” Or, when my son gets caught in a fib, “You’d better discipline him exactly right or he’s going to end up working a chain gang in San Quentin.” Or, when he says, “You CAN'T miss that charity function!  Better yet, you'd better help organize the dinner, because if you don't, who will?!”  Or, even tonight, as I start this post at 10pm Monday (because my husband has been out of town and I’ve been nursing three sick little ones since Friday), “You’d better hustle up and write well, because thousands of people are depending on you – don’t make it look like you threw it together because it will show. And of course, you MUST write, because the world would stop spinning if this post were a day late!”

In addition to all the lies he tells me about the power I wield, he also whispers lies about the gifts God has given me. The one I fall for most is that my “time” is my own. In The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis addresses this concept, and it rings so true. At one point, Screwtape, an insidious devil who is giving advice to his protege, says about their “patient,” “Now you will have noticed that nothing throws him into a passion so easily as to find a tract of time which he reckoned on having at his own disposal unexpectedly taken from him.  It is the unexpected visitor (when he looked forward to a quiet evening), or the friend's talkative wife…(turning up when he looked forward to a tete-a-tete with the friend), that throw him out of gear.  Now he is not yet so uncharitable or slothful that these small demands on his courtesy are in themselves too much for it.  They anger him because he regards his time as his own and feels that it is being stolen…”

Time is my downfall. The devil succeeds in convincing me of his lies despite my knowledge of his plans. Just last night as I got into bed, the baby cried out because she wasn’t feeling well. Did I jump up lovingly and rush to her, cradle her in my arms for an hour until she could get back to sleep, thankful that God had given me that precious, uninterrupted time with her? I wish. I did jump up, because I am a mother, after all. But first I gave the grand “sigh” (No idea why because no one was around to hear it), and then spent the time that I rocked her thinking of how it was already midnight, and I had to wake up at 5:30 the next morning. That's just one example – I'm sure I would not be exaggerating to say that those “sighs” occur dozens of times each day.  Forgetting that time is a gift is something I do often.

Reading this beautiful passage brought me great joy because it reminded me that I am not my own. I say joy because there’s a lot of pressure in believing that I am “all-important” in my roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and blogger.  How horribly prideful I am!!!

Sadly, I listen to Satan’s lies more often than I like to admit. If only I would remember that my household is a place for each of us to grow in holiness. As much as I THINK I'm in charge, there are a million and one things that I can’t foresee that could cause my plates to spin out of control. And my children are not mine, but God’s children and He will guide them in spite of me if not through me.

As for this blog? CSD was here long before me, and I’m sure it will continue to grow as long as God wills it, regardless of whether I am writing. On the other hand,  as long as I am blessed to serve God on this beautiful site, I need to remember that this is His book club. It came about purely by God’s Providence, and I've no doubt that He will continue to lead it as we move forward.

Now, if you'll excuse me, my precious baby is crying out in her sleep.  I think I'll try this again…without the sigh.

 

Discussion Questions:

1.What comments in the above quote hit home for you and why?

2. There was a lot of Great stuff in this past assignment – please feel free to comment on anything you read this past week.

Reading Assignment:

Week 3: Aug. 22, 1900 – Jan. 31, 1903

 

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

For More Information on the Book Club:  https://spiritualdirection.com/csd-book-club

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

please consider supporting our mission with a donation!