The parents of this 15 year old boy were telling me how their son, after starting to hang out with this gang at school 'who wore nothing else but black', began extolling suicide, rape and violence. His arms were constantly marked with small, self-inflicted wounds. He spent hours riveted to his walkman, listening to heavy metallic music.
They even showed me the lyrics of one CD cover, "We come bursting through your bodies, Rape your helpless soul, and Transform you into a creature, Merciless and cold. …. We are pestilent and contaminate the world. Demonic legions prevail".
I started to get uneasy. But I was even more shocked when they showed me a picture which they found in the drawer of their teenage son (a former altar server) - a holy image of the Virgin Mary which he had defaced with ink, painting over her face a moustache, beard and whiskers… even a pair of horns coming out of her head. And these offensive and sacrilegious words 'F... off me! You have sk...ed my life!' scrawled all over the holy image.
Even today, my body has goose bumps when I recall this picture!
Knowing that music is at the center of the youth culture, I decided to go somewhat deeper. I went to a music store and …. I was literally jolted when I started glancing through the lyrics of some of the CDs on sale… "Burn in hell", "Come home where you belong, so come jump into the fire", "I'd kill my mother for rock and roll. I would sell my soul", "In lord satan we trust!" (millions of copies of this CD from the group Slayer sold!), "We curse the Holy Ghost", "It's my sweet satan…" So morbid and so gruesome.
I read in a magazine which was on show in the store that during the 1992 MTV Awards, the group Red Hot Chili Peppers, upon receiving their award said, "First of all, we want to thank satan . . ."
I went out of the music store reeling. Music is one of the agents of change in society. It tends to shape the moral attitude of a generation. And apparently, modern rap and rock'n roll music has turned to sex, satanism, drugs and violence for its major themes.
It all starts with a simple and perhaps naive interest in rock or rap music. Influenced by his buddies, a teenager buys a CD. Then he starts liking this kind of music and begins to memorize the texts of the songs. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that the music and words are so repetitive and recurring that they penetrate effortlessly into the subconscious and hammer in deep subliminal messages.
The next step is easy. The young boy starts purchasing magazines, start accessing to the internet. And it goes deeper and deeper….
Even ingenious books like Harry Potter can be dangerous. In a recent interview with the Italian news agency ANSA, Father Gabriele Amorth, author of the best seller An Exorcist Tells His Story spoke out against J.K. Rowling's book and the subsequent movie Harry Potter. His most serious criticism is regarding the way Harry Potter promotes magic, which makes the reader feel sympathy for the "good" magic personified in Harry himself.
Harry looks like a nice little boy who, compared to his evil enemies, is almost virtuous. In reality, Fr. Amorth explains that good magic or a good magician "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil…magic is the satanic art par excellence. Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of darkness, the devil."
Many disagree and find this somewhat exaggerated. I do not know, but one definitely needs to be very careful with what we and our kids read and listen to.
In Italy, 12 million people resort to clairvoyants, fortune tellers, and other similar agents (charms, potions, amulets, cards, ouji board) of the evil one. The widespread use of the horoscope and study of the signs of the zodiac may seem harmless but behind it lurks the evil one. Satanic games can be purchased easily. And more and more and more….
Sadness is a devil
The devil is brainy, mean and merciless. He exists and is active. He wants to usurp God's place and constrains all those he can get hold of, to live under the clutch of his own bigheaded restraint and gloominess. He is an horrific slave driver. He wants to destroy hope from our hearts.
But he will lose. In fact he has already lost. Jesus Christ fought a tremendous battle with satan and managed to vanquish him for ever. The evil one may still kick and lash out. But these are the final jerks of a deadly wounded beast.
Just learn how to keep away from his dull and demoralizing thrusts... And never get duped by his lies.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.