Early evening—the “breezy time of day”—is lovely. We look back upon a day’s work well done and recline over a meal with friends. Morning is more difficult. I usually wake from fitful dreams around 5am to face another day’s work in a declining Church. To find meaning, I read a chapter or two of the Bible right after washing up. The Word of God never fails me. Today I began the Book of Tobit, where I again meet Sarah and her uncle Tobit. They are both in exile, and God seems far from them. Tobit is mocked by his Jewish neighbors for keeping the law of Yahweh in a pagan land; Sarah is mocked by the demon Asmodeus, who has slain seven of her husbands before they could come together “as man and wife.” They both pray in words like these: “Blessed are you, God of Israel. You are righteous, and all your ways just. But now: command my life breath to be taken from me, that I be released from such anguish; let me go to my everlasting abode, for it is better for me to die than to endure so much misery in life.”
Seven times had Sarah found a husband, and seven times the demon had taken him away. I spoke with a woman recently who had been “ghosted” by a man. To “ghost” a woman (and it happens far more often to women than men) is to immediately end the relationship. Without notice a man will cut all communication with her: block his cell number, unfriend her from Facebook and Twitter, notify the post office to “return to sender” her letters. Another ghosted woman said she thought her fiancé had died, so she hired a private investigator. He reported that the man was alive and well in his apartment, having “moved on” with his life.
The sadness and despair of these women is heartbreaking. In the Bible, Sarah goes to the attic to hang herself, but for love of her aged father decides against it. Lacking a loving father, many women today go ahead with the suicide. The demon Asmodeus, “the worst of demons,” attacks men. He tells them that they cannot be men, to prefer pornography and masturbation in their rooms to starting a family, that wimping and complaining is better than sacrifice. Asmodeus destroys men by emasculating them. The men suffer, but the women God has chosen for them suffer more. How do Tobias and Sarah defeat the demon? They pray the rosary! They kneel beside their bed before consummating their marriage, and the demon flees. So I will pray the rosary today, at 5pm, with and for my parish, to expel the demon, and to usher in the breezy time of day.