Richard Rohr Meditation: The Inevitable Spiral of Violence

. If “the world” is hidden structural violence, then “the devil” is sanctified, romanticized, and legitimated violence—violence that is deemed culturally necessary to control the angry flesh and the world run amuck. Any institution thought of as “too big to fail” or somehow above criticism has a strong possibility of diabolical misuse. Think of the military industrial complex, the penal system, banks, multinational corporations subject to no law, tax codes benefiting the wealthy, or even organized religion itself. We need and admire these institutions all too much. As a result, they can “get away with murder.” Paul called this level of violence “powers, principalities, thrones, and dominions” (Colossians 1:16).

.. If we do not recognize the roots of violence at the first and disguised structural level (“the world”), we will waste time focusing exclusively on the second and individual level (“the flesh”), and we will seldom see our real devils who are always disguised as angels of light (“the devil”).