Peggy Bowes: The serpent in my path
It was a perfect late summer day for a bike ride. As I swung a leg over the top tube and settled down into the saddle, I was in for an unpleasant surprise. My knees nearly knocked into my chin because my husband had lowered the seat so my son could ride the bike last weekend. Unfortunately, neither of the men in my life had thought to return the saddle to its original position.
I hopped off the bike and twisted, pulled, yanked and tugged for 15 minutes without avail. The seat wouldn't budge, and I was hopping mad. Then I did something stupid. I called my husband to chew him out. He patiently listened as I explained my dilemma, my voice rising with every sentence. He apologized and offered to fix the bike when he got home. Still not content, I continued to berate him until he wisely ended the conversation. Like a toddler with a temper tantrum, I kicked a nearby tree. Instantly, the anger left me as I realized how foolish I was to get upset at something so trivial. I called my husband back to apologize, but got his voice mail. I left a contrite message and decided to go for a run.
I settled into a moderate pace, soothed by the rhythm of the familiar rosary prayers on my iPod. I rounded a curve on the trail and was startled to see a long black snake slither across my path. Mesmerized, I slowed to a jog and watched it disappear into the tall grass. I recalled the scene from "The Passion of The Christ" where Jesus encounters a snake in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Realization suddenly struck me as it must have struck St. Peter when the rooster crowed. Satan was mocking me, knowing that I had yet again succumbed to my Irish temper. Even worse, it had been a mere two days since my soul had been wiped clean in the confessional. My shoulders sagged, my spirits sank.
The repeated Hail Marys in my earbuds brought me out of my reverie. Of course! I recalled the words of Pope Pius XI, "The rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin..." In fact, I had offered the rosary I was currently praying for help in keeping my temper in check. I stood up taller and picked up my pace with renewed determination.
Satan would not win the battle for my soul as long as I continued my devotion to the rosary. Mary is the archenemy of the devil. She is a powerful ally in my struggle against evil. She is the woman of Genesis 3:15 who crushes the head of the serpent.
I know that the tempter will return, again and again. As a fallen daughter of Adam and Eve, I must do daily battle with the enemy. Fortunately, I am armed with a simple string of beads, a heavenly chain to pull down graces from above at any time I should need them.
Peggy Bowes is a member of Holy Angels Church in Mount Airy and author of "The Rosary Workout" (www.rosaryworkout.com).
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy