Do What the Devil Don’t Want

In the last few years, I’ve come to see more clearly when the serpent is tempting me. I don’t always know, but it’s been easier to notice, especially when I keep in mind that I want to do what the devil doesn’t want me to do. I think it’s a pretty good motto for a Christian to live by: DO WHAT THE DEVIL DON’T WANT. Some examples:

  1. The last thing the devil wants me to do when I see a beautiful person is to pray for her. Instead, the devil would rather have me lust and abuse the woman. So what do I do?
  2. The last thing the devil wants is for me to start my day by offering it to God’s will. Instead, the devil would much rather have me forget God and go on with my life in my own selfish way.
  3. The last thing the devil wants is for me to forgive my friends when they betray me. The devil would rather me lash out and plot revenge.
  4. The last thing the devil wants is for me to ask God for help and trust in the Lord when chaos and danger happens. The devil really wants me to curse the day and turn my back on Him who is the o
    only person who can truly help me.

I think you get the trend, right?BetterWay

The better way is always the way the devil hates. So always choose the better, not the easier!

And I think you realize also that by doing what the devil doesn’t want, you almost automatically do what Jesus wants.

So do not let the devil win, because if he wins, you will always lose. But if Jesus wins, then you win too. And don’t you want to win?

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The Confessions of the Joker

Confession2

That’s right… even the Joker is serious about the Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation! Have a listen to his conversion story!

Here’s the transcript:

Hi…

Most of you know me as the Joker. When Evan heard about my conversion, he contacted me and asked I could share my experience on Holy Smack. I said, I’d love to, but only if I could say whatever I wanted. He said okay. So here goes…

Last time you saw me, I wasn’t in a really good mood.
I killed people.
For fun.
I almost destroyed Gotham.
For fun.
And I tore down Gotham’s White Knight.
But her Dark Knight… oh, that Bat Man flipped my life around.
You see, while I was in prison, I was kept in isolation, and for good reason. I was insane.
And I never had any visitors. Except for one man.
He was a Catholic priest.
And he told me something I’ll never forget. In fact, I’m gonna tell you what he said, and I hope you’ll never forget it either:

You see, in confession, all your sins just… disappear.
You go into the confessional, and there’s the priest. Just sittin there. You can be anonymous to him, and he doesn’t care. You can tell him anything, even everything, and he doesn’t care. You think you’re sins are special? Original? Yeah… right… there was only one original sin, and Adam and Eve beat you to it long time ago…

Anyway, the priest can’t tell other people what you confess. What’s spoken in confession, really does stay ONLY in confession. He can’t tell your friends (if you have any), he can’t tell the police (yup, separation of Church and State at its best and original form), he can’t tell a recording device, he can’t tell another priest (not even the Pope!), and he can’t tell even your own sweet mother…

That’s called the seal of the confessional. And whatever you confess stays between you and Jesus. In fact, most priests even forget your sins as soon as you walk out the door. The Holy Spirit gives them a holy amnesia, otherwise, can you imagine living life knowing all the sleaze people do? It’d drive you crazy! Not to mention that confession can even get boring after you hear the same sin for the thousandth time… but don’t go out and try to impress a priest now! Trust me, that’s beside the point.

But in confession, you’re in hand to hand combat with the devil. Satan is a fiend. Worse than what I ever was. And he doesn’t want you there. He doesn’t want you anywhere near confession, because in confession, you’re really near the Lord. Confession is actually more powerful than exorcism! And in confession, you’re humbling yourself, and the devil is one prideful, stuck up jerk. And in confession, he’s hiding in the shadows of your past.

And the closer you get to Jesus, digging up your history of sins (and it might me from 5 years back, 20 years back, or maybe even just 20 minutes back), the stronger the light breaks in. Oh man… that light burns, like 10,000 UVA and UVB. And it obliterates the shadows. That’s when you can see the worst sins trying to get away from confession — they want to hide from being exposed. They first try to convince you that they’re no big deal, small fry, no more sins here, just move on. But keep going after them, and they get nasty. Then they try to convince you they’re too big for forgiveness, way too big to be rid of, way too much and you can’t handle it… you’ll be so embarassed by them.

Don’t listen to those lies. In fact, that’s when you know for sure this festering thing has to be purged. So grab it, and it’s black greasy tentacles will freak out. Like some leprous octopus. So drag it out into the light, spit it out in confession, and it’ll scream: “Let me go! Jesus can’t forgive you! You’re disgusting! Leave me alone!”

But that’s it’s last words. Because Lumen Christi — the light of Christ, that’s right, I know my Latin — His light sears and cuts that demon down, and it fizzles off like a fart in the wind. Nothing left. Just… gone.

That’s the power of the priest’s absolution: Christ working through the obedient and docile man, so he can pluck off and chop up the leeches that sucked on your soul. If you need to know how ugly sin is, just look up images of leeches and lampreys and pelican eels, and remember that sin is even uglier.

And now, why am I telling you this? Well because it worked for me.

I went to confession. And I confessed a sin that was festering in me since I was a little 10 year old boy. No matter how much a tried to stop, I just couldn’t keep clean. It haunted me, perverted me, and I lost control of my childhood. I was addicted; I became evil. But I didn’t want to stay this way.

So thank God. Because after that confession, that sin no longer had any control over me, and today, I’m free. Even in prison, my soul is free. I feel stronger and better today than I can ever remember!

And if it can work for me, it can work for you.

Now, all I need to do is try and talk like a normal person again… baby steps… baby steps…

God love you.

An Exorcism Experience

IMG_20141003_145844By now, most of America is in Halloween mode.

And I’ve been saving a special something for Halloween mode.

A few months ago, a dear friend shared with me about her exorcism experience. Now, just to be clear, she did not undergo the Ritual of Exorcism. What is meant is that she experienced the power of the exorcism prayers in the Medal of Saint Benedict (do yourself a favor and click the link!). And when I heard her story, I felt she should share it with others also, and so I offered her the chance (and SO glad she responded generously! Thanks, Sarah!). In many ways, it reminded me of the Exorcism of Emily Rose, and ultimately because both Emily and Sarah became witnesses not to the devil’s tricks, but witnesses to Christ’s power and love.

But that’s enough from me. Have a look and a listen yourself:

 

LML: The Secrets of the Legend: The Genesis

The Secrets of the Legend

[WARNING: what follows is an interview that reveals the details and depths of Little Miss Lucifer: The Legend of the Exorcess. SPOILER ALERT.]

—You (yes, you, the reader): So Evan, tell me where you got the idea for Little Miss Lucifer. It looks like you’ve thought of the story for a while…

—Evan: You’re right! I have. I remember in the autumn of 2002, while I was thinking of the human brain, I must’ve remembered something about how we merely use 15% of our neural capacity — I’m sure most people have known about that. But I pushed for more and asked: What if… what if someone could use more? What if an experiment was done that unleashed the brain’s full potential…

That’s what inspired me first. I saw a young girl manipulating the world around her — innocent and beautiful, imaginative and amazing — but that’s all I saw. Over time, I thought of scenarios to show off her abilities, and an origin story started to take shape.

Aurora BorealisIt begins with an alien abduction, and they take her. The extraterrestrials test her, study her, and observe her. In fact, they had been observing her since her conception. They started even before her birth, and she is the perfect specimen.

When the girl is ready for abduction, they begin more rigorous examinations, focusing on her brain. For years, they tweak it, test it, push its limits, until one final operation: they unleash it and lose control over her.

Mind Mining

Mind Mining

This was not what they wanted. They wanted to research the human brain’s unique power for more, but they also knew our fallen nature’s violent tendencies. So precautions were always in place to ensure their safety.
But of course, she escapes. And from there I wandered with her. For 400 pages I explored with her, watched her mature and meet her fellow characters. Eventually, I received plenty of encouragement and good feedback for the story and style. But I wasn’t impressed anymore. Remember that I was only wandering for 400 pages! Wandering! I didn’t want to wander anymore.

I desired to discover.

So although others wanted to read more, I couldn’t bear to read the story-in-progress myself. Where others expected major revelations and profound insight, I knew there was nothing behind the story and between the covers except for some good action and fluffy fluff. I needed there to be more, and there wasn’t.

I set the manuscript aside. Pretty much abandoned it. Three years after I started it (2005-2008), I had hit a solid wall of writer’s block. But by then, I began working on my English degree, so there were plenty of different things to work on: research papers, screenplays, poetry, memoirs, essays, short stories, etc. That took up most of my imagination.

—You: Do you still have the original manuscript?

—Evan: You bet I do! I think it’s great to look back on the beginnings and see how much has matured and how much is still so novel. It’s especially encouraging on an occasional discouraging day that we all run into.

—You: That’s a good way to think of it. Anyway though, please continue.

Never Forget

Never Forget

—Evan: Sure. Well, so for two years after I archived the manuscript, I never really thought about it. But in the autumn of 2010, as I was flossing my teeth, readying for bed, something filled my thoughts, something I call a mental aneurism. It was so clear to me, and it was so clearly not me: Evan, why does the story have to be about aliens? Why does it have to be about the brain? Why not be about the devil? Why not…

—You: The devil? That’s a big shift!

—Evan: Yes, and no. And then it hit me! Right! WHY NOT? The devil has preternatural powers, and can manipulate the world and show off all the special-effects I’ve been loading into the story, the devil can do even more than any alien or human can do! Because demons are not bound by natural laws, and demons are fallen angels! And angels are beautiful, imaginative and amazing (and although some are fallen, they remain powerful and brilliant — hence why they are dangerous).

This will work! Oh my goodness… this will work even better!

I was so excited, that I couldn’t keep up with the ideas swelling in my mind. I whipped back onto the computer and started organizing the scenarios, the plot and the insights. I did that for a year, gathering and sorting, researching and praying, watching and listening until I was ready.

When I started writing the resurrected version of the manuscript, Little Miss Lucifer (which was once merely the title of a chapter in the first draft), I never ran into writer’s block. It was smooth, slick, and like no writing experience I ever had before or since. I finished drafting the whole thing in ten months, and then began the editing process in August 2012.

—You: So once you knew, nothing could stop you?

—Evan: Once I knew how to end the story, everything came together.

—You: You knew the ending before you started writing?

—Evan: Absolutely. There are two things that I need to know about a story before I can tell it well: the ending and the title. It doesn’t matter if it’s a flash-fiction, an essay, a song, whatever. If I know how it ends and what it’s called — I’m off!

—You: That’s some useful advice!

—Evan: I hope so! Hasn’t failed me yet…

—You: Well, I guess this is a good point to wrap up this section. Right? Can we talk about the cover art and the design next time? I have to say… it’s not an ordinary looking book!

—Evan: I tried to make it as extraordinary as possible!