Being afraid of the devil...
A man walked into my office holding an 8½ x 11 card with a print of the Octavio Ocampo crucifixion, and he tells me to look intently at the face of Jesus. I said, “Oh, this is pretty. I’ve seen a number of these.”
Then the man says, “Father, look again. Do you see how the mustache of Jesus is drawn? It’s a woman’s v*gina!” This is one of those moments where a priest says, silently to himself, “Oh, no, … I did not just hear, what he just said to me.” So I said, “Excuse me?” I was trying to look calm and composed, and was probably not succeeding.
The man goes on to tell me that I need to warn parishioners that the print was probably made by devil worshipers so that each time they look at Jesus’ face, they get sexually tempted. Then followed some minutes where I had to give this man a quick catechism on how the devil works to tempt us, and that this print of Jesus was NOT one of them.
Most people have uncharitable thoughts, and uncharitable actions with their fellow human beings, without giving that a worry or a thought, but react when someone tells them the devil is hiding, let’s say, in a rock song. They’ll destroy rock cd’s but go on practicing uncharity.
This man’s silly theory about female anatomy hiding in a print of Jesus led me to remember that it is easy to fall into the fearful suspicion that the devil is hiding, in a “subliminal” way to get into our brains. We are quick to look for and find the devil in those “subliminal” ways and yet miss him in the obvious occurrences of our lives which are unChristian attitudes and actions.