--1--The devil's in the details: this is what my laser mode looked like Monday night.
--2--That this is the mode (read, spot) of my laser remind me of Saint Paul's warning: "And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). I suppose he was going for literally "angel of light," meaning "angel made out of light."
--3--Given the size of that screen, he must be an awfully tiny devil. Perhaps this is a reminder that no matter how big and bad our sins, they are still much smaller than God's mercy for those who are contrite. Is it any surprise then that the Devil may be overwhelmed by the grace given to a truly repentant sinner*?
*I for one went to confession the next day. It's a start.
--4--On the other hand, it's also a reminder that the little things can trip us up. This is a point which is apparently lost on the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Not all sins are mortal, but they all attempt to chip away at charity, and they can all lead to bigger sins.
--5--Small though this beam is, it would still be quick blinding if I were to glance into it. Indeed, it is brighter for having all of that energy concentrated into a small area. This reminds me of two tricks which the devil may use against us. The first is that he'll make our small sins seem larger than they are, either to lead us into despair or to cause us to ignore (or miss) our larger sins. The second is that he can tempt us to overlook them entirely, which causes us to slowly become blind to sin, including progressively bigger sins. The two are related, of course.
*No, I'm not saying that it was written by the devil himself. However, Satan (if not Moloch) surely did have some hand in it, even if we grant that everybody else involved has the best of intentions, since the actual effect is to be the persecution of the Church and to attempt to subvert the Catholic teaching on contraception, not to mention sterilization (and yes, abortion).
**If, as some have claimed, 99% of women and 98% of Catholic women have used contraception, then odds are that 100% had access to it. The claim is of course false, but its plausibility relies on the assumption that 100% of women must have had access to contraception.
Finally, the ccd camera saw this image after a series of neutral density (nd) filters. For those who are not familiar with nd filters, they are basically dark-colored pieces of glass. Like the ccd, we see as through a glass, darkly (1 Corinthians 13). We see neither the good nor the evil we do in its fullness, nor do we see its full effects. The smallest trifling kindness on our part can be the salvation of another; the least evil become the proverbial straw which broke the camel's back. Neither do we see God nor His angels nor the demons of Hell perfectly in this life, for to do so would be more than we could bear (see Exodus 33:20). But we can pray to God, as St Thomas Aquinas did,
"Creator of all things, true source of Light and Wisdom, lofty source of all Being, graciously let a ray of Your brilliance penetrate into the darkness of my understanding and take from me the double darkness in which I have been born, sin and ignorance."
Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Mrs Jennifer Fulwiler at her Conversion Diary blog.