In 1962, a movie was released titled “Satan Never Sleeps.” It was the story of two priests in China after the victory of the communists in 1949. The movie’s title displayed a painful truth: Satan never sleeps, and he, his dark angels and his human followers are constantly promoting evil.

In writing these words, I am well aware that in modern America, the idea of Satan is dismissed by most of the educated elite, and this fact greatly worries me. The great Christian writer C.S. Lewis used to say that Satan can only triumph if people cease to believe in him.

In Las Vegas on Oct. 1, Americans again witnessed a Satanic attack on our people. I realize that the gunman’s motives are still being investigated and it is not yet known whether he had any political or religious motive for what he did. It is most important to allow the investigation to continue and for citizens not to jump to any conclusions as to why the gunman did what he did.

But as this necessary investigation proceeds, it is important not to lose sight of the broader picture. On May 13, 1981, a gunman tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II. It has never been definitively established one way or the other whether the gunman acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy. However, the Holy Father never gave such concerns any time. When asked who was responsible for the attempt on his life, he simply answered “Satan.”

The same can be said for the gunman in Las Vegas. Whatever political, religious or personal motives he may have had for his actions, Satan was the one ultimately responsible for this terrible incident.

As I said in an op-ed published in this paper on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, at times like this, it is important for all of us to remember that whenever the face of Satan appears, so also appears the face of Christ. On Oct. 1, we saw the face of Christ in the ordinary people who stopped to help wounded people while bullets were still raining down on them. We saw the face of Christ in the young Marine who seized a pickup truck, loaded it up with injured people and drove the wounded to a hospital. We saw Christ’s face in the police officers and EMTs who ran toward the gunfire to help those in need.

Yes, it is true that Satan never sleeps, but neither does Christ, who will be with us in times of tragedy.

Ernest Evans is a Leavenworth Times columnist.