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Understanding Evil. Is the devil real? How much time do we have to change?

  • 19 Apr 2021 8:16 PM
    Message # 10329823

    Excerpted from the April 2021 issue of Quid Verum

    Jesus was having a normal day healing people and battling the Pharisees. The episode in Matthew 12:1–30 shows conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees about eating and healing on the Sabbath. After addressing complaints from the Pharisees about eating and healing on the Sabbath, Jesus summarizes the discussion by saying, “Every kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate: And every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself: How then shall his kingdom stand? Or how can anyone enter into the house of the strong man [i.e.,

    Satan] and rifle his goods unless he first bind the strong man? And then he will rifle his house.

     Jesus is pointing out that Satan and his demons are more united than His own believers. There are two remarkable things about this.

    First, Satan and demons exist. This is Jesus, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, the Savior of the World, stating that Satan exists! Perhaps you believe this already. However, many do not (and, by the way, there are far too few reminders about this from the episcopacy, our Catholic bishops). But how Satan and his demons conduct their mission is something that requires better understanding.

    Fr. Chad Ripperger, a former exorcist for the diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma, says demons want to control what people think. This is about the everyday process of temptation and how demons under Satan’s authority operate.

    Isn’t it true that the big battle we fight every day happens in our heads? Our actions are born out of our thoughts and perceptions. Satan, through his demons, attacks our thoughts and perceptions, which evoke our emotions, which cause us to act unless we “put on the armor of God.” In other words, we must build and invoke our intellects, conforming them to the will of God.

    “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Ephesians 6:10).

    Second, in this battle, we must be united because Satan and his demons are more united than we are as followers of Christ. Jesus compares the battle with Satan to “entering the house of a strong man.” Satan must be subdued in order to defeat him. We cannot subdue him unless we are stronger than he is (by being united against him). In fact, of this battle, Jesus says, “He that is not with me, is against me: And he that gathereth not with me, scattereth,”

    It has been said, “There is no medium. We must either be with Christ, or against Christ: If we are not of Christ, whose then must we be, when nothing but sin can separate us from Christ and God? Oh, where will the generality of Christians, who [show] themselves so indifferent with regard to salvation, find themselves at the last day? Can they say they are with Christ?"2

    Are you in this fight? You need to be in this fight for your salvation and for the salvation of those you love. For your children, you need to be in this fight. For your work or businesses, you need to be in this fight. For your hopes and dreams, you need to be in this fight. Satan is attacking you on all fronts. Get in the battle!

    You must be aware though that God “has ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight" (Wisdom 11: 21). Per St. Alphonsus Liguori, He has “fixed for each person the number of the days of his life, and the degrees of health and talent which He will give him.” We know this. But did you know that, according to St. Alphonsus, “He has also determined for each the number of sins which He will pardon; and when this number is completed, He will pardon no more”?

    That’s right: We are all running out of time to repent.chael the Archangel, defen

    You must seek God’s forgiveness through the sacrament of penance before He decides to withdraw His graces from you. Without practicing the four keys of salvation, Satan attacks our imagination and tries to limit our knowledge. Put differently, sin makes us stupid; it dulls our intellects. We are punished for the sin of pride, believing that we have no dependence on God and that we have no need to honor Him. St. Alphonsus teaches, “The sinner who abandons himself to sin without striving to resist temptations ... and hopes that the Lord will one day draw him from the precipice, tempts God to work miracles, or rather to show to him an extraordinary mercy not extended to the generality of Christians.”

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