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ON THE DEVIL- Pope John Paul II   Leave a comment

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...
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In his discourse at the general audience of August 13, 1986, the Holy Father commented at great length on the fall of the angels. This was an eminently pastoral allocution:

Satan wishes to destroy life lived in accordance with the truth, life in the fullness of good, the supernatural life of grace and love. . . .

“As the result of the sin of our first parents, this fallen angel has acquired dominion over man to a certain extent. This is the doctrine that has been constantly professed and proclaimed by the Church, and which the Council of Trent confirmed in its treatise on original sin (cf. DS, 1511).

“In Sacred Scripture we find various indications of this influence on man and on the dispositions of his spirit (and of his body). In the Bible, Satan is called the `prince of this world’ (cf. Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and even the `god of this world’ (2 Cor. 4:4). . . .

“According to Sacred Scripture, and especially the New Testament, the dominion and the influence of Satan and of the other evil spirits embraces all the world. . . . The action of Satan consists primarily in tempting men to evil, by influencing their imaginations and higher faculties, to turn them away from the law of God. . . . It is possible that in certain cases the evil spirit goes so far as to exercise his influence not only on material things, but even on man’s body, so that one can speak of ‘diabolical possession’ (cf. Mk. 5:2-9). It is not always easy to discern the preternatural factor operative in these cases, and the Church does not lightly support the tendency to attribute many things to the direct action of the devil; but in principle it cannot be denied that Satan can go to this extreme manifestation of his superiority in his will to harm and to lead to evil.

“To conclude, we must add that the impressive words of the Apostle John—‘The whole world lies under the power of the evil one’ (1 Jn. 5:19)— allude also to the presence of Satan in the history of humanity, a presence which becomes all the more acute when man and society depart from God.


Posted January 17, 2011 by dmacc502 in History, religion

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