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THE DEVIL


 

 

DEMONS

No other topic unleashes such a storm of indignation among secularized society as that of the devil or demons. Eyebrows were raised when Pope Paul VI in November 15, 1972, said, "I have the feeling that the smoke of Satan has penetrated the Temple of God through some crack." Of course, the true children of the Church cannot be penetrated by the devil; it is the marginal or peripheral members of the Church, which makes up the majority, that has been penetrated. . .well, even long before the council.

The devil is someone supernatural that has come into the world to destroy the Church ( of course, he does not know that is impossible) by sowing doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest and discontent.

The devil is a dark and hostile agent, a living, spiritual, corrupt and corrupting being--a  terrible reality, mysterious and frightening, that man today would rather refuse to acknowledge his existence.

Pope Paul VI reiterated that the devil is enemy number one. This destructive being really exists and is very active; he is the sophisticated perverter of man's morals, the malicious seducer who knows how to penetrate the senses, the imagination and desires in order to destroy. And his greatest weapon is man's ignorance of his existence and wiles.

It is regrettable that modern theology is almost totally mum about the devil, his ways and strategies when "the whole world is under the power of the evil one." That is why he is called 'the prince of this world.'

The devil is a powerful reality that continuously pits man with his human freedom against God's freedom. Catholic spirituality consists in the fact that man, alone, cannot oppose the devil; he needs Christ's help which comes only when man obeys His commands. He who disobeys Christ's commands is not really shouting for help.

Satanic cults are sprouting from California to Northern Europe; but this should not bother us. What should bother us are those who do Satan's job--Catholics who harass and lay obstacles on those who are truly and quietly seeking God's kingdom of holiness. The latter is more dangerous because they present Satan's poison in the guise of piety.

Most literature about the devil are reprints from old publications rather than the product of new insights or research. The Fathers of the Church had written so much about the ways and wiles of the devil; they had left nothing to chance in describing how to overcome him. But no one has collated these information into a book or pamphlet (since it is really miniscule) for our information.

The devil is really a disturbing thought; and modern man tends to merely set aside disturbing thoughts in the hope that they will quietly go away. Well, this is not the case with the devil; the more you deny his existence the more you fall into his enslaving embrace. The more you fall into his embrace, the more you deny the need for salvation and help, and, therefore, of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

(12-22-02)

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                                                                             - Teresa of Avila

 


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