I was walking home after a long day in work on Saturday and I got to think; does the Devil ever 'win'? And I thought of instances where pure evil have prevailed over good. Then I thought of 'lesser' instances when the Devil, it could be argued, has won.
And I came to the conclusion that every time we sin, it is a mini-victory for the Devil. Every time we have an ill-thought about someone, when we over-indulge, when we do something which is deemed 'bad' - basically whenever we sin the Devil 'whoops and hollers'.
But these are short-lived victories on the most. As soon as we, as Catholics, go to Confession the Devil has lost. As soon as we as Catholics turn back to God, accept our faults and failings and seek His forgiveness the Devil loses. Hence the 'short-lived victory'.
There is however a problem with this, not everyone goes to confession. And I'm not talking of Protestants who don't embrace this sacrament. I'm talking primarily of Catholics who do not take 'advantage' of this beautiful gift which has been bestowed on the Church.
But what does this mean? I think this means that the Devil continues to have these small victories, but for those who don't turn back to God these small victories become greater and greater.
I'm not going to make a sweeping statement and say that all non-Catholics are falling into a hole that they will never escape. There are plenty of non-Catholics who live good lives and there are plenty of Catholics who don't. But there are people out there who sin without realising, and then fall further into sin. It is these people that need our prayers; it is these people who need the Church.
The immense feeling of 'lighter shoulders' on leaving the confession is truly wonderful! Forgiveness is one of the greatest human characteristics. But through the Sacrament of Reconciliation we are not forgiven by a human for doing something against them. We are forgiven for letting ourselves be tempted by the Devil, and in doing so, acting against God.
Catholics! Go to confession!