Demons are Real. So are Angels.

St. Anthony the Great Being Tormented by Demons, Anonymous painting from the Upper Rhine (From Wikimedia Commons)
St. Anthony the Great Being Tormented by Demons, Anonymous painting from the Upper Rhine
(From Wikimedia Commons)

The other day, I wrote that many of us are usually ready for Lent to be over at about this time. And I must admit that that includes me.

Today I was reminded of all that again, when a snowstorm on the last day of winter interfered with an event important to me as well as a beautiful church service I’d planned to celebrate tonight. But of course ill-timed snow is bad enough. I also had to leave said event early right when I was about to sit down to a beautiful catered Arabic lunch because one (or both) of my darling sons had stopped up the kitchen sink, turned on the faucet, then walked away.

Twenty minutes later, their mother discovered the kitchen flooded, and water was pouring into the basement through the ceiling. So I came home to help deal with it. Thank God, it does not seem that there was any major damage, though I did have to rip out some of the ceiling paneling from our already gradually more de-finished basement.

And my wife hurt her hand this afternoon, so I had to go shovel the snow. And that hurts. (I normally only do a small amount of that task, since I have a bad back and also because my wife strangely enjoys it.)

"Daddy, I wuv you, too."
“Daddy, I wuv you, too!”
And just as I was writing this post, fully intending it to be about how annoyed I felt and how angry I thought I “needed” to be (yes, I said earlier today in the midst of this “I need to be angry”), in walks my little Raphael, possibly one of the culprits in the Great Flood of March 20. He strode into my office, jumped onto my reclining chair and announced, “Daddy, I wuv you, too!”

And earlier, my wife noted that “The Karate Kid” was going to be leaving Netflix streaming and said that we should watch it before that happened because “it’s part of the cultural conversation.” My wife is not given to sarcasm (indeed, when I use it, she often has to ask me if I’m trying to be funny or not), so I guess she meant it. And then I thought for a moment whether that were so. And that made me smile.

And then I re-read this post from Presbytera Katherine Baker from this morning:

Yesterday morning, early I was working at the computer in my husbands office when I heard little feet running toward me. My four year old ran in the room and looked around and then looked at me happy and expectant: “Did Daddy rise from the dead?” and I responded as I have several mornings since the accident, “No, not today but he will. It will seem to take a long time to us, but he will.” completely undaunted he smiles and saunters out. I suddenly realize that each morning he has been looking for the resurrection of his father. The story of Christ’s resurrection is so real to him, he sees it as something that could happen any day and probably in the morning. I suppose we could smile at his immaturity but I wonder if that is not the better attitude to have. Maybe this is what Christ meant when he said that we must, “become like a little child.”

This post began with the title “Demons are Real.” And that’s true. And the demons take notice even of our little attempts to do Lent the right way.

But angels are also real. And they nudge bits of joy our way, too, because they know that it’s tough with all these demons about.


  1. Dear Fr.
    Thanks for including the post by Presbytera Katie. It made my evening. Now I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!!!!
    Ps. I’m so sorry that I missed out on meeting you at blessed Prebyter Matthew ‘s funeral at Annunciation. Maybe someday. God bless.

  2. Hello, I just want you to know, that I have been reading your posts for about 6 months now. I am often nourished and encouraged by your words and insights. Thank you for your service.

  3. So sorry you had to deal with your kitchen flooding. Thank you for sharing your story and Presbyteras post.

  4. Wednesday morning I had an early shift at work. I was trying to get out of the house on time and quickly ran down my stairs,which is not unusual for me. But for some strange reason I missed the last step, came down very hard on my right ankle, rolled it, heard it, and sat there at the bottom of the stairs in disbelief and severe pain! I’ve lived in houses with stairs for the past 15 years, and have never come close to such an accident as this. Thankfully it is not broken. But the swelling and bruising is pretty bad. I’ve been angry with myself since. How could I be so careless!?! But reading your journal this morning . . . well, maybe there is a spiritual lining there somewhere. This is the first time in about those 15 years that I am participating in Great Lent and the Paschal cycle. I’ve been away from the church for many years. Finding your journal has been a source of great encouragement to me. Your posting today put my ankle into perspective. Thank you!

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