We know that original sin came through deception, and I believe that deception is used to bring many men to damnation. Here are some common deadly deceptions: 1) There is no devil; 2) God is too good allow anyone to be damned; 3) There is no hell; 4) Hell is empty; 5) Hell isn’t so bad; 6) All religions are alike; 7) One will have an opportunity to repent after death.
There is no substitute for experience – either for learning or for being deceived. When we turn on a light switch we fully expect the light to go on, even though we know that one time out of a thousand the light won’t go on. When we go to sleep at night, we fully expect to wake in the morning, even though we know there is a tiny chance that we won’t. The point is that the experience of cause and effect teaches us to expect the usual result. Therefore we can be easily deceived.
We tend to believe that it is safe for us to “put off” repentance. Even though we know that death can come to us at anytime, we expect to live into our old age. Always remember, “God promises us forgiveness, but He does not promise us tomorrow,” and, “Time flies, remember death.”
Most people, while claiming to be independent thinkers, accept popular morality and ways of thinking. For example, for the past 40 years, or so, we have been told that masturbation is “normal” and even “healthy.” We have also been told that the Catholic Church is “oppressive” and “out of date.” Most people believe these lies. However, God does not change in order to conform to the spirit of the age. What was evil 100 years ago is evil today. What was necessary for salvation then is necessary now.
The devil has a great ally in his efforts to deceive us and lead us to damnation: ourselves. We usually believe that our inner thoughts are secret, so we are usually not careful about what we think. Also, we often believe that if we do a thing in secret, that we will “get away with it.” Remember: God is all knowing. He knows our most secret thoughts and actions.
We usually believe that the way we appear is who we really are. If we appear nice and polite, people will usually consider us to be good. We usually then believe we are good and overlook our sinfulness. Most people consider themselves to be good because they compare themselves to the worst sinners. “I’ve never robbed a bank, raped a woman or sold drugs to minors, so I’m good,” they reason. However, they are deceiving themselves. We are all sinners. We should be comparing ourselves to God, Jesus, Mary and the Saints. Then we would see how sinful we really are.
The best way to keep from falling prey to “deadly deceptions” is to sincerely and diligently practice our Catholic faith. God will then give us “eyes to see and ears to hear.” He will gladly give us the gift of wisdom so we can see through all deceptions and lies.