The famous Maronite saint believed Satan is “hell-bent” on destroying the family.
In his writings, some of which can be found in the book Love is a Radiant Light: The Life & Words of Saint Charbel, he writes about the family and its greatest enemy, the devil. His thoughts about this topic are further expanded in this SlideShare, where his profound wisdom is featured.
He explains that the devil has always focused his energy on the destruction of the family, as it so closely reflects an image of God.
The family is the basis of the Lord’s plan; and all forces of evil are focusing all their evil on destroying the family because they know that by destroying the family, the foundations of the plan of God will be shaken. The war of the Evil One against the Lord is his war against the family, and the war of the Evil One against the family is the core of his war against the Lord. Because the family is the image of God, from the beginning of the creation of this universe, The Evil one is focusing on destroying the family, the foundation of God’s plan.
One does not have to look far to see evidence of Satan’s plan in our world today, as the family is further fragmented and divided in modern culture.
St. Charbel then gave some advice to families for how they can protect themselves from the assaults of the Enemy.
Guard your families and keep them from the schemes of the evil one through the presence of God in them. Protect and keep them through prayer and dialog, through mutual understanding and forgiveness, through honesty and faithfulness, and most importantly, through listening. Listen to one another with your ears, eyes, hearts, mouths and the palms of your hands, and keep the roaring of the noise of the world away from your homes because it is like raging storms and violent waves; once it enters the home, it will sweep away everything and disperse everyone. Preserve the warmth of the family, because the warmth of the whole world cannot make up for it.
It is interesting to note how St. Charbel highlights the need to “keep the roaring of the noise of the world away from your homes.” Living in the later part of the 19th century, St. Charbel would have never imagined how much noise has invaded homes during the past 50 or 60 years, and how difficult silence is to achieve. Yet, true to his word, the family appears to be deeply wounded from this invasion of noise.
St. Charbel has much wisdom to teach us if we are willing to listen to the words of this humble monk. If we seek to protect our homes from the influence of the devil, let us seek to create a culture of listening, striving to reduce the noise in our homes, maintaining dialogue, understanding and forgiveness.