Did Jesus own slaves




How to beat the devil's strategy

Friday, October 11, 2013

from: L'Osservatore Romano, weekly edition in German, No. 43, October 25th 2013

"Please, let's not do business with the devil," and let's take seriously the dangers that arise from his presence in the world. This is what Pope Francis recommended in the sermon of the mass that he preached in Santa Marta on the morning of October 11th. "The devil is present on the first pages of the Bible and the Bible also ends with the presence of the devil, with God's victory over the devil." But the latter always returns with his temptations. It is up to us not to be "naive," said the Pope, who wrote a passage from the Gospel of Luke (11.15-26) commented. The evangelist reports there how Jesus cast out demons, and also gives the comments of the amazed attendees who accuse Jesus of magic or at most acknowledge that he can heal people afflicted with epilepsy. The Pope noted that even today "there are priests who, when they read this and other passages of the Gospel, say: Jesus healed a person from a mental illness". Sure, one could have confused epilepsy with obsession with the devil "at that time," but it is also true that the devil was there. “And we don't have the right to simplify things like that” by liquidating them as if they were mentally ill and not obsessed.

Referring again to the Gospel, the Pope noted that Jesus offered us some criteria for recognizing and responding to this presence of the devil. “How should we go our way as Christians when there are temptations? What if the devil comes to disturb us? ”He wondered. The first criterion suggested by the Gospel text is that "one cannot attain half of Jesus' victory over evil, over the devil". To explain this, the Holy Father referred to the words of Jesus handed down in Luke: “Either you are for me or you are against me; whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. "And regarding Jesus' dealings with those possessed by the devil, he said that this was only a small part of" what he was come to do for all humanity ": to destroy the work of the devil to bring us out of his slavery to free.

One cannot continue to believe that this is an exaggeration: “Either you are for Jesus or you are against Jesus. And there are no nuances. There is a struggle, a struggle in which the eternal salvation of all of us is at stake. "There are no alternatives, even if we sometimes heard" pastoral offers "that seemed more accommodating. "No! You are either for Jesus or against it. That's so. That is one of the criteria, ”repeated the Bishop of Rome.

Another criterion is that of vigilance. "We must always be vigilant, vigilant against deceit, the seduction of evil," admonished the Pope. Again he referred to the gospel: “As long as a strong armed man watches over his court, his property is safe. And we can ask ourselves the question: Am I watching over myself? Over my heart About my feelings? About my thoughts? Do I guard the treasure of grace? Do I guard the presence of the Holy Spirit in me? "If one is not vigilant, then - he said again in the words of the Gospel - a stronger man will attack and defeat him, he will take away all the weapons he uses left and distributed the spoil «.

So these are the criteria for responding to the challenges that the presence of the devil poses in the world: the certainty that "Jesus is fighting the devil"; "Whoever is not for Jesus is against Jesus" and "vigilance".

One must also be aware that "the devil is clever," added the Pope. "He is never expelled forever, he will only be on the last day." Because, here too, the Pope quoted the Gospel again, when "the unclean spirit has forsaken man, he wanders through the desert looking for a place where." he can stay. If he doesn't find one, he says: I want to go back to the house I left. And if on his return he finds it clean and adorned, then he goes and fetches seven other ghosts who are even worse than himself. They move in there and settle down. So in the end it will be worse for this person than before. "

That is why vigilance is necessary. The Pope warned: “His strategy is this: you have become a Christian, go ahead on the path of faith, and I leave you, I leave you alone. But then, when you have got used to it, are no longer very vigilant and feel safe, then I'll come back. Today's gospel begins with the casting out of demons and ends with the return of the unclean spirit. St. Peter said it: The devil walks around like a roaring lion. "And these are not lies," this is the word of the Lord.

The Holy Father concluded by saying, “Let us ask the Lord for the grace to take these things seriously. He came to fight for our salvation. He has defeated the devil. "