C.S. Lewis in his classic Screw tape Letters, presents Satan in a meeting with three of the chief devils. The purpose of this meeting is to discover the best tactic to win over souls to hell.

One devil suggests to  convince the people that Heaven does not exist. Satan shoots down this proposal as unrealistic. People are awarded in this life; surely they will be awarded in the next for good conduct. Another chief devil suggests that they convince people that hell does not exist. Once again Satan frowns on this suggestion. Bad conduct results in jail-terms. Immoral conduct must be meted out with an eternal chastisement that we call hell!

Finally, the last devil comes forth and suggests that people be convinced to put off their conversion until TOMORROW! BINGO!!! Satan rejoices in this suggestion: get people to delay their conversion from sin until tomorrow. Simply to convince people that they can live in sin, that they have a long life and a long time to delay their conversion from sin—this is excellent, according to Satan! In other words, live in sin and be in no hurry to exit from it. Rely on God’s everlasting and unending mercy!

How true this short but cutting chapter from Screw tape Letters  is on the strategy and tactics of the devils. If Satan and company can convince the vast multitudes of people that life is long, life is here to enjoy, pleasure is paramount, and that conversion can be held off to a later date, this is a most efficacious trick.

Look around you right now and see how few people have their minds fixed on God and their eternal destiny and how many are living only for the moment to enjoy life, pleasure, sin and false happiness!!! But how many sudden and unprepared deaths are there? Just check out the news every day!

What are some of the areas where the devil convinces us to wait until tomorrow, procrastinate, and rationalize our spiritual inertia? There are countless areas and circumstances, but we will offer just five for your reflection!

  1. CONFESSION. How easy it is for the devil of “Tomorrow” to convince us that we do not need to go to confession now, but rather to go later. This might be the case even though we might be in the state of Mortal Sin! How many of us, if our home were burning at 1:00 a.m., would wait until the morning to call the firemen! Our soul prevails over our physical home!
  1. COHABITATION. This is really becoming a plague! So many young people decide to live together and for many specious and false reasons. They say: “We have to see if we are compatible…” or “we must have the right chemistry…” or “let us save up…” finally,  “We do not have enough saved for the party after the wedding.”  With these justifications the devil of tomorrow has a real field day!
  1. RESENTMENT. Many today live angry, bitter, resentful and depressed. One of the reasons is that there has been a ruptured relationship with some friend and relative that has not been reconciled. Consequently bitterness has built up to the point of overflowing in the soul. Jesus beckons and knocks at the door. Jesus tells us clearly to leave the gift at the altar to be reconciled, but once again the devil of tomorrow sticks his ugly tail of pride in and wins another victory.
  1. VICES/ADDICTIONS. The devil of tomorrow wins countless victories by convincing addicts—drug, drinkers, sex, gamblers, etc.—that they really do not have a problem. On the contrary, the devil of tomorrow convinces them that they really can overcome and conquer the problem, but better to work on it tomorrow! If the blind, the sick, the deaf and the infirm does not admit his sickness, then how on earth can the Physician heal him???
 FAMILY ROSARY. Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 appeared to three little shepherd children—Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia with many important messages. The last Apparition Our Lady promised a miracle and it was the miracle of the sun spinning like a Ferris wheel in the sky and looked as if it would crash to the ground. Our Lady appeared six times to the children and every time she appeared she insisted on the daily recitation of the most Holy Rosary. Saint John Paul II insisted on the family Rosary on a daily basis and for two very important reasons: 1) For world peace, 2) for the sake of the family.  “The family that prays together stays together.” And “A world at prayer is a world at peace.” How often has the devil of tomorrow convinced both Mom and Dad to skip over the praying of the family Rosary for many false reasons! Once again the devil of tomorrow wins a major victory!

In conclusion, God has given us only one life to live and we should live it to the fullest extent possible. The Psalmist teaches us: “Our life is like the flower of the field. It rises with the morning sun, but withers and dies at sunset.” Once a day passes, it is like the water underneath the bridge, it never returns again. 

Now and only now is the time to give ourselves totally God and calling to mind the words of the great Apostle Saint Paul: “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling.”  Saint Albert Hurtado, S.J., a recently canonized Chilean Jesuit priest put it succinctly:  “There are two places to rest: the cemetery and heaven.” In the meantime it is time to work hard. Once the great Jesuit Doctor of the Church, Saint Peter Canisius was admonished not to work so hard, but to rest.  The response of this great saint was the same idea as Saint Alberto:  “Now it is the time to work. We will have all eternity in heaven to rest! Work now and rest in the loving embrace of God for all eternity!

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