By Susan Ciancio
Today we celebrate the feast of St. Lea, who lived in fourth-century Rome. Not much is known about her life. What we do know comes from a letter written by St. Jerome after her death. He apparently knew and admired her greatly. St. Lea was a widow who gave up all of her worldly possessions and entered the consecrated life to devote herself to prayer.
In Jerome’s letter, he spoke highly of her, saying she was a “soul which has trampled Satan under foot, and won for itself, at last, a crown of tranquility.”
We don’t need to know much about this holy saint to try to emulate her. We only need to know that she loved God above all else, that she spent a great amount of time in prayer, and that she understood the importance of battling the evil in this world, for she “trampled Satan under foot.”
As we look around at the world today, we see the evil wrought by Satan and his corrosive forces everywhere. Day after day our children are attacked by a secular world that sees no use in faith. They are pummeled by people screaming “my body, my choice.” They are inundated with talk of sexuality. And they are purposely confused by teachers—whose responsibility it is to protect them—who tell them that there are multiple genders and that gender is fluid.
Is it any wonder so many people are so unhappy today and that our country is facing a mental health crisis?
Our country is divided. Instead of building on love, it’s divided on hate. People seem to find thrills in wreaking havoc, in vandalism, and in spreading lies. They care nothing for the sanctity of life, and they have lost the ability to think. They have become so angry, so bitter, and so filled with disdain for others that nearly everyone is seen as the enemy.
This is exactly what Satan wants. We know that Christ said that “no town or house divided against itself will stand.” The same is true for a country; a country divided will fall. We see evidence of this all around us.
We have played right into Satan’s hands. He has gleefully stirred up the proverbial pot and created chaos. Now he just sits back and watches as the world spirals into ruin. And you can be assured that he’s relishing every moment and laughing while he’s watching. He’s laughing as people destroy each other because he is pure evil and hatred. And he’s getting humans to do his evil work.
But we know that our God will have the last word. We know He would never laugh at the destruction people cause each other. And we know that, with every evil thing Satan creates, God can turn it around and create something good of it—if we let Him.
So let us not feel defeated by the world today. Let us learn from saints like Lea that we all have the power to trample Satan under foot.
We do this through our words and actions. We do this by treating all people with respect. We do this by never denying Church teaching. And we do this by teaching our children to live the tenets of their faith.
It is our job as parents to constantly and lovingly educate our children about our faith. It’s our job to communicate with them—as much as their age allows—about what’s going on in our world today. It’s our job to ask what’s going on in school—who their friends are, what they talk about, what their teachers say.
If we do not combat evil by taking the reins and instructing our children in Church teaching, the world will corrupt them, lie to them, use them, and destroy them.
We love and protect our children by strengthening their faith and by helping them build moral courage so they can live as Lea did and crush the serpent. Education is how we will defeat Satan and his evil ways.
St. Lea, pray for us!