Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Conquering the World

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Conquering the World

Article excerpt

A most serious temptation, one that impedes our contact with the Lord, is defeatism." So observed then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in a talk he gave to priests, now part of a collection, Open Mind, Faithful Heart. I'm a magazine editor and culture warrior, not a parish priest, but I've often felt this temptation. After decades of struggling, we've made very little progress protecting children in the womb. Increasingly commentators say gay marriage has to be accepted as "inevitable." Religious freedom is being threatened. More and more people live without feeling any need to go to church.

When I'm tired and demoralized I hear the Devil whisper: "It's pointless, you know. You've lost. Why are you wasting your time? You could be doing some real good if you'd focus on something else." Sometimes he continues: "It's not really capitulation, you know. You should let the secular world go its own way. …

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