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Deliver Us From Evil

Deliver Us From Evil

By David G. Duggan ©
Special to Virtueonline
May 9, 2022

Some 50 years ago I saw the movie "Deliverance" at a shopping mall cineplex outside Washington DC. The story of a quartet of adventurers canoeing a whitewater river in the Georgia backwoods, the movie explores the theme of evil in a primordial wilderness. I left the theater literally shaking in my boots.

Our Lord asked that we pray that we be delivered from evil, but what does that mean? Removed from, relieved of, sustained during? At least as importantly: what is the evil we ask to be delivered from? Poverty, injustice, oppression? Famine, war, pestilence? The list is endless.

In the movie one of the adventurers kills a backwoodsman sodomizing one of his friends. Evil battling evil has been one of the themes since the Bible. Joseph's brothers selling him into slavery as recompense for Joseph's lording it over them. Elijah killing the prophets of Baal after they failed to implore their god to ignite a pyre. Judith beheading Holofernes rather than have him decimate her town. As old as this theme is, there is no exit. Evil will always raise its ugly head.

Mothers are deliverers. The nine months of gestation over, they deliver us from the insulation of the womb. That insulation is also removed from the evil of the world. No matter the war and the poverty, the injustice and pestilence outside, we are protected from their effects until our passage down that channel.

Deliver us from evil are the last words of our Lord's prayer. Deliverance is the first word of our existence.

David Duggan is a retired attorney living in Chicago. He is a frequent contributor to VOL. He is also a trained journalist

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