I feel like there is so much evil in the world and it gives me anxiety. I think about it and feel afraid. How do I stop feeling afraid of evil?
There is a quote attributed to Saint Teresa of Avila: “I’m more afraid of someone terrified by the devil than I am of the devil himself.” This quote has a great deal of applicability right now in the world.
Many people are experiencing very difficult and dark times in their lives. Even within the world, we have this thing going on in the Ukraine that could literally be the brink of a nuclear war. We live in terrifying times and we can see Satan’s handiwork behind so much of it. However, what Saint Teresa is telling us here is that it is GOD who is all-powerful. The only power the devil has is the power we give him by acknowledging what he can do, by being afraid and allowing him to stop what we are doing.
Imagine Padre Pio. He would get physically assaulted many nights. It is said that the devil would literally throw things at him. He would be hit with dresser drawers and harassed all night, but he just went on. He didn’t even pay attention to it.
We need to realize that God is all-powerful. Whatever the devil does within our world, God allows only certain leeway. If we don’t acknowledge the devil and we reject him, then the devil doesn’t have any hold over us. That’s not to say that we deny his existence because he is very real. But I think what God is telling us is, “Listen, trust Me. I’ve got this under control.”
That’s what you have to do. You have to trust God in all things, even when they seem dark, even when they seem malevolent. No matter what, we have to trust God. We have to realize God is in charge and that’s who we need to turn to when we fear our own situations. And not to be intimidated by the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God grant you that grace.