Give the devil a devil of a time!

The Verbumquo for today is "Vade, Satana!", the obvious Latin which translates very demonstratively in English to "Begone, Satan!" Those words, pronounced by Christ at the end of His forty-day, forty-night fast in the desert, should be on our lips and heart as well!
Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      This series highlights one word from the Proper of the day's Mass. Taking the Latin Verbum and Quotidianum, which mean respectively "Word" and "Daily", we we have coined the word "Verbumquo" by contracting quotidianum to quo and running it together as VerbumQUO for this feature series, thus "The Daily Word," as in the sum of the message, the 'quotient', if you will. It is also our hope that in choosing the Latin word with its meaning and etimology more will be attuned to hearing the word read at the altar and better comprehend the beauty of the Mother tongue. Hopefully in this Time of Septuagesima and Lent we can gain a higher appreciation and contemplation on how the Daily Proper of the Holy Mass applies in our lives in alignment with the will of Christ and His Blessed Immaculate Mother and His Mystical Bride, His Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    The VerbumQUO today is evident in its directness and it is something each one of us should repeat regularly each and every day, if not every hour, every minute for the evil one will not let up but, as Father Louis Campbell points out in his sermon Spiritual WMD's, we have the Spiritual Weapons of Mass Destruction to neutralize the demon. All we have to do is seek God's will and do all He asks through His True Church, manifested so magnificently and clearly in the one year liturgical calendar. Unlike the conciliar "all-inclusive" church, the Church of Eternal Rome had a method to her wonderful madness that truly frustrated satan for so many centuries. Today, instead of following Christ's example in this Sunday's Gospel, and saying: Vade, Satana! - "Begone, Satan!, they dilly-dally and think they can deal and dance with the devil. It can't be done and Christ vividly shows this in Matthew's beautiful words in Chapter 4: 1-11. Yet, as we know, satan has been given free reign to do whatever he wants because of the "abomination of desolation" (Matthew 24:15)that has left modern Rome totally vulnerable to the snares of satan as is only too evident over the past 40 years for so many of lucifer's own have risen in power in high places, yay the highest places and the very echelons Saint Paul alerted us in Ephesians 6: 12.

    There is much that can be said about today's Gospel and the bitter fruits of those who have not heeded Christ's example or remained ever loyal to His Holy Church - His Mystical Bride. But I think the one who puts it most succinctly is the renowned Benedictine Abbot Dom Gueranger who, in Volume 5 of The Liturgical Year for Lent, writes of this temptation from an interesting perspective, and points to three leg saws that will chop the three legs Fr. Campbell speaks of today. We need to be aware of these three dangers which Abbot Gueranger illustrates as follows:

       "We have three enemies to fight against; our soul has three dangers; for, as the beloved disciple says, all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eye, and the pride of life! [1 St. John 2: 16] By the concupiscence of the flesh, is meant the love of sensual things, which covets whatever is agreeable to the flesh, and, when not curbed, draws the soul into unlawful pleasures. Concupiscence of the eyes expresses the love of the goods of this world, such as riches, and possessions; these dazzle the eye, and then seduce the heart. Pride of life is that confidence in ourselves, which leads us to be vain and presumptuous, and makes us forget that all we have, our life and every good gift, we have from God.

        Every one of our sins comes from one of these three sources; every one of our temptations aims at making us accept the concupiscence of the flesh, or the concupiscence of the eyes, or the pride of life. Our Savior, then, Who would be our model in all things, deigned to subject Himself to these three temptations.

        First of all, satan tempts Him in what regards the flesh: he suggests to Him to satisfy the cravings of hunger, by working a miracle, and changing the stones into bread. If Jesus consents, and show an eagerness in giving this indulgence to His body, the tempter will conclude that He is but a frail mortal, subject to concupiscence like other men. When he tempts us, who have inherited evil concupiscence from Adam, his suggestions go further than this: he endeavors to defile the soul by the body. But the sovereign holiness of the Incarnate Word could never permit satan to use upon Him the power which he has received of tempting man in his outward senses. The lesson, therefore, which the Son of God here gives us, is one of temperance; but we know that, for us, temperance is the mother of purity, and that intemperance excites our senses to rebel.

        The second temptation is to pride; 'Cast Thyself down; the angels shall bear Thee up in their hands.' The enemy is anxious to see if the favors of Heaven have produced in Jesus' soul that haughtiness, that ungrateful self-confidence, which makes the creature arrogate God's gifts to itself, and forget its Benefactor. Here, also, he is foiled; our Redeemer's humility confounds the pride of the rebel angel.

        He then makes a last effort: he hopes to gain over by ambition Him Who has given such proofs of temperance and humility. He shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and says to Him: 'All these things I will give Thee, if falling down, Thou wilt adore me.' Jesus rejects the wretched offer, and drives from Him the seducer, the prince of this world [St. John, 14: 30]; hereby teaching us that we must despise the riches of this world, as often as our keeping or getting them is to be on the condition of our violating the law of God and paying homage to satan.

        But let us observe how it is that our divine Model, our Redeemer, overcomes the tempter. Does He hearken to His words? Does He allow the temptation time, and give it strength by delay? We did so, when we were tempted; and we fell. But our Lord immediately meets each temptation with the shield of God's word. He says: "It is written: Not on bread alone doth man live. It is written: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. It is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve." This, then, must be our practice for the time to come. Eve brought perdition on herself, and on the whole human race, because she listened to the serpent. He that dallies with temptation is sure to fall. We are now in a season of extraordinary grace; our hearts are on the watch, dangerous occasions are removed, everything that savors of worldliness is laid aside; our souls, purified by prayer, fasting, and almsdeeds, are to rise with Christ, to a new life; but shall we persevere? All depends upon how we behave under temptation. Here, at the very opening of Lent, the Church gives us this passage of the holy Gospel, that we may have not only precept but example. If we be attentive and faithful, the lesson she gives us will produce its fruit: and when we come to the Easter solemnity, we shall have those sure pledges of perseverance: vigilance, self-diffidence, prayer, and the never-failing help of divine grace."

    From the root of vade is vadere meaning "to go" and from that we get various English words such as "evade" and "invade" which Webster's defines as follows:

    "invade" - verb "[From Latin in and vadere to go.] 1. To enter for conquest or plunder. 2. To infringe; or encroach on; as, to invade the rights of people. 3. To spread over injuriously and progressively; as, gangrene invades healthy tissue. 4. To enter with a rush or make an irruption into, with or as if with intent to take possession; as, a crowd of tourists invaded the village. - v.i. To make an invasion - syn. See TRESPASS. - invader, n."

    We can see why Vade is so demonstrative. The English "begone" is chiefly imperative meaning "Go away; depart." Our Lord meant business and didn't pussyfoot around with His greatest adversary, but dispatched him immediately. Should we do less? What should buoy us on to emulate our dear Lord for our fast, our penance, our almsdeeds are the following words from Dom Gueranger in which we should also call on the very angels that comforted Christ immediately after. They are more than willing to comfort us if we are sincere and pure of heart:

       "When the apostle speaks of the wonderful mercy shown us by our divine Savior, Who vouchsafed to make Himself like to us in all things save sin, he justly lays stress on His temptations. He, Who is very God, humbled Himself even so low as this, to prove how tenderly He compassionated us. Here, then, we have the Saint of saints allowing the wicked spirit to approach Him, in order that we might learn, from His example, how we are to gain victory under temptation...

        Let us admire the exceeding goodness of the Son of God, Who, not satisfied with atoning for all our sins by dying on the cross, deigns to suffer a fast of forty days and forty nights, in order to encourage us to do penance. He would not that the justice of His heavenly Father should exact any punishment from us, unless He Himself first suffered it, and that, too, a thousand times more severely than we could. What are all our penances, even were they donee thoroughly, when we compare them with the severity of this fact of Jesus in the desert? Can we have the face to be ever seeking dispensations from the little which our Lord asks of us in atonement for our sins - sins, alas! which deserve such rigorous penance? Instead of complaining at our feeling a slight inconvenience of a few days' duration, let us compassionate our innocent Jesus, Who subjects Himself to forty days of most rigorous privation of food and drink.

        What was it that supported Him? Prayer, devotedness to us, and the knowledge of the exigencies of His Father's justice. And when the forty days were over, and His human Nature was faint from exhaustion, He is assailed by temptation; but here again He thinks upon us, and sets us an example: He triumphs over the temptation, calmly and resolutely, and thereby teaches us how to conquer. How blasphemous the boldness of satan, who dares to tempt the Just by excellence! But, how divine is the patience of Jesus, the Saint of saints, Who was given over, so to speak, to the wicked spirit; and yet, He is not the less the Son of God, the Conqueror of hell; and all that satan gains by his attack is utter defeat. In the same way, if the soul, when under the violence of temptation, resist with all her energy, she is not one jot less dear to God, and satan retires with one more eternal shame and chastisement upon him. Let us take part with the holy angels, who, as soon as the tempter is gone, come to our Redeemer, and respectfully administer food to Him. How affectionately do they compassionate His hunger and thirst! How zealously they make amends, by their adorations, for the frightful outrage offered to their King! How fervently they extol the charity of their God, Who, out of His love for man, seems to have been forgetting His Own dignity, in order to provide for the wants of the children of Adam."

    That should provide all the motivation necessary for us as we begin this journey of Lent. If we are firmly rooted in the Gospel and understand what Holy Mother Church is conveying as necessary for the salvation of souls, beginning with our own, and we are willing to condition our bodies and souls to guard against the three dangers. If we do, we'll be prepared for the devil and through our fiat to God we can give the devil a devil of a time.

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic