Welcome back, readers.
Let’s pick up where we left off at the end of In Praise of Inconvenience. (If you haven’t read that one yet, you may want to dive in now, and then come back to us here!)
In that article, we explored how the “convenience” factor of most modern gadgets often robs us not only of opportunities for spiritual growth—it also has the disturbing effect of detaching us from our human pathways to God: our brains and our senses.
We saw—in the final paragraph of that article—how this could be a campaign in the devil’s war on humans, a war born out of his pure hatred for us and the God Who decided to become human in the Incarnation.
As promised, we will now dive into the nature of this war. We’ll take a step back and get a full-scale view of the whole thing, including the devil’s motivations and real goals. We will then study the new intelligence we’ve uncovered on the devil’s most recent campaigns—which are some of his craftiest and deadliest yet.
In the modern world, naming a particular atrocity as a genocide is an event that makes international news.
This is because genocide is radically different from a war for territory, a skirmish over trade routes, or even a war of religion (although any of those things can entail genocide). Genocides hold a very different place in the history books and in the courts of international law.
Genocide as defined by Merriam-Webster is “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.” It comes from the Greek word genos (race or tribe) and the Latin suffix -cide (killing). The term was first used in the 40s to describe the annihilation of the Jews in Nazi Germany but the reality itself has existed since the dawn of time.
In cases of genocide, a people are targeted for what they are, rather than what they have. That’s a key distinction separating genocide from other sorts of wars.
In a war over territory, an enemy can be placated by handing over the disputed land. The same can be said for a war over riches or other material things. In some wars of religion, you can often keep the enemy happy by subscribing to his religion.
That is not the case with genocide. People are exterminated like cockroaches for the crime of simply existing. There is nothing you can do to satisfy the enemy except lie dead at his feet.
So, to put the devil’s War on Humans in the proper perspective, let’s call it for what it is.
This war is, essentially, a genocide of the human race on the supernatural level.
The devil hates us not just for what we do—worshiping and serving God—but for what we are.
And what are we, exactly?
Of Men and Angels
We, mere mortals, are the creatures whom God not only loved into existence, but for love of whom He became incarnate. He didn’t just make us. He became us in order to make us a part of Himself. We are the Mystical Body of Christ.
There is a traditional theory—though we won’t know the truth of it until the afterlife—that the reason Lucifer pronounced his infamous Non serviam (“I will not serve”) was because he was told to bow before a man: before Christ, Who would, in the fullness of time, become a lowly human. One version of this belief that I heard from the Franciscans was that he was shown the woman with child—Our Lady, bearing the God-Man—and told to kneel.
This was more than Lucifer could take. He was not only an angel—he was the highest of the angels. He was second only to God. He, whose name means “Light-Bearer,” bowing before mere flesh? Before a man?
You know the rest. The devil hates God for being higher than him, and he hates man for the same reason. And he really hates the God-Man, Who—in a magnificent turn of divine wisdom—took on that mortal flesh so hated by Satan in order to defeat his wicked designs.
Satan is defeated by God and Man—at the same time! Isn’t God so delightfully clever?
So you can see why the devil is in a chronic state of rage against Christ, and against us, His Mystical Body.
In destroying us, the devil is not only destroying God’s greatest work—he is also wounding the Body of Christ, his mortal enemy. He knows he can’t destroy Christ completely, but we are within his reach. He will torment the Body in order to wreak vengeance on the Head.
The incomprehensible atrocities that human beings are capable of committing against one another in instances of earthly genocide give us but a vague inkling of the intentions the devil and his minions have towards us.
They won’t rest until we are dead and damned. Every last one of us.
The Good News
Now, it’s necessary to pause and clarify that we are not telling some morbid story in order to inculcate panic or despair.
We may be caught in the middle of a soul-genocide, but we are in no way helpless. We are not in the dreadful position of many victims of earthly genocide, who are often helpless non-combatants, faced with armed enemies of vastly superior power.
The devil is after us, that’s for sure. But you and I are combatants. We lack neither armor nor firepower. And our battle is ours to win or lose. We will win if we choose to, if we hone our fighting skills, keep our weapons in working order, stay vigilant, and remain informed as to the movements of the opposing army.
These Peculiar Times
Speaking of the movements of the opponent, the War on Humans has taken an interesting turn in these peculiar times we live in.
The devil’s goal is the destruction of human beings. As we mentioned in this article’s prequel, he has used various means throughout human history to do this, but in more recent times he has taken the tack of simply deconstructing us—or rather, convincing us to deconstruct ourselves.
He wants to destroy all those things that make us human. Let’s take a closer look at some of those things—and see what he is doing to destroy them.
1. The Five Senses and Sense Experience.
Counterintuitive as it may seem, the devil is trying to destroy our five senses.
Why, you might ask, would he do that? Doesn’t he want us to overfocus on the pleasure of the senses?
Yes, but the devil is a clever fox, and we must examine his tactics carefully to really grasp them.
It’s true that he does hold out the allure of sense pleasure to keep our minds off God and ruin our love for penance.
But his long-term goal is the destruction of the senses and the knowledge that they bring us.
This attack on the senses comprises a couple of different attack fronts.
First, he wants us to overuse our senses. The devil knows well that if we overuse them, they will get numb. Sniffing a rose is an everyday example—wiff it more than a couple times and you won’t smell it anymore.
Similarly, if we have indulgent food all the time, we will lose our taste for it; it will no longer bring us any joy. We will no longer be grateful for it or appreciate it.
Whereas, if we save the indulgent food for a special occasion to share with friends, we not only enjoy it more, but it will also have a spiritual context—bringing joy and camaraderie and offering an opportunity for fellowship and charity. The rarity and the context make it a much more spiritual thing, but if we take away those factors, it simply becomes a drug.
As a wise Franciscan said once, “Catholics know how to feast, because they know how to fast.”
The second attack front is the deepest and most subtle layer of the devil’s battle against the senses. We touched on this in In Praise of Inconvenience.
It seems that—in our age obsessed with convenience, easiness, and instant gratification—the devil is actually pulling us away from sense experience.
This is the experience of doing, making, smelling, tasting, feeling. We do nothing but touch metal or plastic buttons all day.
Almost everything we use, eat, drink, and wear is of poor quality, created for convenience.
We have no skills: no ability to carve, peel, hand-write, weave, mold, trace, or anything else that requires time and practice and talent.
You can read more about the specific consequences of all this in the prequel.
We’ll all agree that modern society doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on getting us to think more. Everything is about doing less, thinking less…less, less, less.
As we said in In Praise of Inconvenience, the simple things of everyday life have become so “convenient” that we hardly need to think at all to obtain them.
We are constantly bombarded, every day, every hour, with media to passively consume. It gets easier every day to tune into it, through phones, streaming services, Bluetooth, virtual reality, you name it.
So why is the devil targeting our thinking?
Thinking—or to be more precise, reasoning—is a uniquely human skill. Animals can’t reason, because they are not rational creatures as human beings are—that is, they do not have a thinking mind. Angels don’t need to reason, because that’s not how they receive knowledge. Angelic intellects were infused with all necessary knowledge at once upon their creation.
But we humans, we reason: that is, we take what we do know and mentally work our way towards what we don’t yet know.
It sounds like a dumb question (and a few decades ago, it might have been) but why is thinking well so important?
Here are some benefits of a healthy, functional thinking faculty—and things that the devil definitely doesn’t want us to be good at:
- Absorbing and retaining knowledge—i.e., learning and the concurrent skill of good memory—helps us draw closer to God through a deeper understanding of Him and His creation.
- Taking what we’ve learned and thinking about it abstractly on our own leads us even more profoundly into God’s mysteries, and hence to a greater love of Him.
- Cranial skills like honest self-reflection are crucial to recognizing our own flaws, improving our spiritual lives, and exercising control over our passions and emotions.
- Thinking critically about what we see, hear, and are told ensures we do not fall victim to erroneous ideas and bad suggestions.
3. Gender and human love.
Gender is a particularly interesting and dangerous theater of the War on Humans. At stake are both human identity and human love.
The cult of transgenderism that enjoys the spotlight today has, as its goal, the utter annihilation of the concept and importance of gender. This cult wants to make gender an outfit you can put on or take off but which has no real relationship with a person’s identity. Or perhaps, more accurately stated, this cult desires that we can assert a godlike power over our own identity, including gender.
Interestingly, separation of the genders is actually specific to material beings. God has revealed Himself as “Father” and became incarnate through the Holy Spirit as a man. In addition, angels (who are pure, non-material spirits) have only ever appeared to human beings as male and are only referenced in Scripture as such.
Females—and I really think this is a cool thing about women—are known only among earthly creatures. We know of rational hes that aren’t human. But we’ve never met a rational she who isn’t human. I’m guessing that women really make the devil mad because they are, among other things, so thoroughly of the earth, so relentlessly human.
(Of course, there is another big reason why the devil hates women. They remind him of his great enemy, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her particular power over the devil and his minions is a fascinating topic and we’ll explore it in a future article.)
So why is the devil targeting gender specifically? Why does he see its grave importance, while the cult of transgenderism cannot?
To answer this question, let’s take a look at the purpose of gender in the first place.
Gender is necessary for reproduction, of course, but this is an incomplete answer. God could have produced men individually just as he did with Adam. He could have drawn each one up out of the dust of the earth. He didn’t need to create woman. He didn’t need to involve humans in the reproduction process.
But recall the state of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The Book of Genesis notes that, although he was surrounded by all the beautiful creatures of earth, his heart was lonely because he had no one like himself. His life was devoid of human love.
God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” He then created woman out of Adam’s very flesh, causing Adam to declare that “this is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” At last he had someone in his life like himself, and out of his heart sprang the first instance of human love.
The wise God had made man in His own image, and the image was now perfected: man had learned how to love in a relationship, which is a very divine way of loving. Adam now loved a piece of his own flesh, extracted from himself, sharing his nature, a reflection of him but also a distinct person…why, it was positively Trinitarian!
And what is more—Adam and Eve’s love would ultimately be creative. Their love would be embodied in children, in other persons. The love between God the Father and the Son is also a Person—the Holy Spirit. The Holy Trinity thus left its divine imprint on the human family.
The love between man and woman—and the family love that it begets—would henceforth be a special conduit to divine love, a human school that would teach us, in ways we could understand and act upon, the ultimate lesson of divine love. Through loving each other, we could come to love God.
You can probably see now why the devil is targeting the concept of gender. It’s inextricably tied to human love, and hence to divine love.
Man was made to love and be loved. Love is divine, it is God, it is the third Person of the Blessed Trinity. It is the entire point of life. The devil can’t destroy God’s love for men. But he can destroy men’s love for God, and a great way of doing that is to destroy their love for each other.
In addition to the transgender movement, other attacks on marital and family love are obvious and numerous: abortion, contraception, the societal acceptance of gay “marriage,” the epidemic of divorce, widespread cohabitation before marriage (even among Catholics, unfortunately), etc.
To Be Continued…
This seems like a strange place to end. We have only just scratched the surface of our topic.
There is so much more to say about the love story between God and humans. So many more pages could be spent on the beauty and worth of the human person, and all the ways the devil and the world are trying to dehumanize us.
So why stop here? Let’s continue on! This particular article must end for now, but we will continue the War on Humans series in future articles. The urgency of this war demands it.
We will dig deeper into the marvelous human truths of our faith—the Incarnation, the human Mother of God, the Eucharist—and contemplate who we are in the eyes of God.
We will continue exposing the hidden anti-human agenda of the devil. In addition to the attacks on marital love, some less-obvious operations of the enemy that target other human relationships include the breakdown of true friendships and community life, and the increasing isolation of individuals who spend more and more time online and less time in the company of other humans.
We will explore all these things, and discuss ways to counter the devil’s tactics and bring some humanity back to our lives.
For the love of all humans and the God Who deigned to share our nature, we will continue.
Want to learn more about how to sharpen your fighting skills against the devil? Dive into our series Spiritual Warfare!
We would also love to hear your thoughts on the War on Humans. Share in the comments below!