BY: BR. IRENAEUS DUNLEVY, O.P.
Light veils monsters to weak eyes. This fact is familiar if you’ve ever been spotted in the dark. A blinding flash fills your doe eyes, abruptly ending your midnight escapades. Frozen, you hold your breath, waiting to see who is the concealed sentry. Depending on your activity and location, they could be beneficent or malevolent.
The anglerfish is a hideous creature that cloaks itself in darkness and light. In the depths of the ocean, this fish lurks in the darkness holding out a lantern. From the top of its head, a long stem stretches out with a small light at its point, the esca. An unsuspecting fish sees dinner, but it’s likely to be swallowed whole. Hidden underneath that light are the hungry jaws of the angler. The light hides a horrid mouth brandishing knives.
This creature from the deep resembles our adversary who fell from heaven like lightning. Lucifer, the lightbearer, chose darkness over the true Light of Christ. Now as the prince of this world, he hides in darkness and lies. As our tempter, he falsely presents goods to us, trying to lure us into his mouth. Like the angler, he offers food—an enlightening apple—only wishing to swallow us into the darkness. St. Peter wrote well of our situation, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
His prowling resembles the lurking of the anglerfish, putting before our eyes something desirous. If we find ourselves walking in darkness, his offering seems good. Without the night of the deep, the anglerfish couldn’t hide itself behind its luminous lure. Likewise, if Satan couldn’t hide himself in the darkness of lies, his offering would seem enlightening—”you will not die … you will be like God.” The light of knowledge was offered as bait to our first parents, and subsequently they and we are swallowed up into death. Thankfully, Jesus’s salvific act rescues us from the mouth of the grave, but the devil continues to lurk and seek out our destruction.
One prevalent temptation today hides itself in the light of experiential knowledge. False teaching across college campuses suggests that personal subjective knowledge is the path toward wisdom. Objective knowledge is dismissed as draconian,….