One of the common themes in demonology is the way Satan engages in the mockery of holy things. Most widely known are the Satanic “black masses.” Satanic mockery is also widely on display on Halloween, when the eve of all hallows (all saints) becomes a parade of the ghoulish, ugly, violent, unchaste, or just plain evil. Recently costume makers have mocked women religious by promoting costumes depicting pregnant nuns or religious habits altered to promote unchaste thoughts and depict religious life as lewd. No other religious group is subjected to this sort of mockery. Anti-Catholicism is almost the last forms of “acceptable” bigotry.
More subtly, Satan mocks holy things by distorting Christian virtues. For example, false compassion is used to promote physician-assisted suicide and the abortion of babies with abnormal prenatal diagnoses. False or excessive versions of tolerance are use used to insist that the morality of certain behaviors never be questioned. Satan mocks our freedom by presenting a fraudulent version of it. For the Christian, freedom is our capacity to be conformed to God’s will. Satan mockingly substitutes licentiousness leading to freedom being described as the right to do what one pleases.
As Christmas approaches, we should also ponder that satanic possession is a mockery of the incarnation. It is said by tradition and held by many of the Fathers of the Church that the reason for Satan’s fall and the falls of the other demons was their utter rejection of the incarnation. Why would God seek union with us mere humans when He could seek union with higher creatures such as the angels? In their pride and envy (see Wisdom 2:24) as many as a third of the angels waged war against such an idea and were cast down to become the demons they now are (see Rev 12:4).
Yes, in seeking to possess the bodies of the possessed there is a kind of mockery of the incarnation by Satan. As the Eternal Son takes to himself a human nature, Satan in a kind of ridiculing imitation takes up a human body and manifests his presence through the bodily faculties. Of course, Satan cannot take up a full human nature. Satan cannot possess the soul of a human person, only the body. Neither, then, can he effect a hypostatic union, uniting in his one person a demonic and human nature. Satan’s mockery of the incarnation steals from the concept but cannot come close to its true glory.
Understand this: Satan sneers at and mocks everything we hold sacred; he seeks to distort what is good. Sadly, right in my own neighborhood, Satan’s mockery of the incarnation could not be more obvious. Recently a Planned Parenthood “mega center” opened, enabling the killing of thousands of unborn children each year. Its address is 1225 Fourth Street. That’s right, 1225, another way of writing December 25th. The numbers are prominently displayed on the building (see photo above). It is as if Satan is saying, “Here’s to your Christmas Day!”
All the more reason for us to honor true Christmas and the true incarnation. Because evil is the privation or lack of good, all Satan can do is to steal ideas from what is good and either distort them or mock them. He is a thief and a murderer, a deceiver and a distorter; he sneers and mocks. Look past this antichrist and seek always the true Christ. Our true Savior’s birth is soon to unfold liturgically. May the true Christ be ours this Christmas, 12-25-2017 A.D.