It is precisely these who grasp what is at stake, who recognize the struggle in which they are engaged against the powers and the principalities. Commenting on some verses in chapter thirteen of Revelation, Mangina helps us to see the absolute dependence of God's children on God. In verse seven of chapter thirteen, we read that the beast, who is the spawn of the dragon, "was also allowed to wage war against the holy ones and conquer them." According to this, it seems that the saints are beaten. Mangina sagely observes that this result will only seem disappointing to those who "embrace the beast's criteria for what constitutes success." To wit: "The church that imagines it has a successful strategy for confronting the principalities and powers on their own terms had better think again. It is not only that the church, by submitting to the court of human judgment rather than to the decrees of the just judge, will lose its own soul; ironically, it will not even gain the world" (Mangina 162).
In these trying times, when everyone it seems is some sort of an economic determinist, it is useful to be reminded,as Mangina reminds us, "The realm of economics is preeminently a realm dominated by the principalities." It is "because Christ speaks the truth," Mangina continues, "the Christian, too, is summoned to a vocation of courageous truth-teller." So, any time "the Christian refuses to go along with the devil's lies, she confirms her love both of the true witness and of the neighbor who suffers the burden of the false witness."
Next week I hope to post a few words about ideology.