HELL EXISTS AND SO DOES THE DEVIL

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,
be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray,
and do thou, O heavenly hosts,
by the power of God, thrust into hell satan
and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls.
Amen.

After the Fall, our first parents passed on the effects of Original Sin that I addressed in a September post. Our human nature was weakened by the effect of Concupiscence, a tendency towards sinning. Man’s passions are no longer ruled by right reason. Because of concupiscence we are inclined towards anything our imagination paints as pleasurable without regards for what is good for us by God’s design.

God gave us free will but that does not mean we are free to sin. Let me explain. While human freedom is a good, human freedom is not in itself an absolute. We are not free to do “evil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to “the slavery of sin.” (CCC 1733)

We become enslaved to the Ruler of this world, Satan. As Satan tempted our first parents in the garden he continues to prompt us to see evil as good and darkness as light. The devil exists and is lonely as he roams this world for company.

Ever since my post on Fatima warnings, I have been thinking about the devil and how many succumb as the Blessed Mother warned at Fatima. In my reflections I remembered the classic, “Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis. In this novel, senior devil, Screwtape, mentors a beginner, Wormwood, an enthusiastic little devil but Screwtape cautions him to be subtle and not call any attention to himself.

The devil loves denial of his existence. Screwtape advises Wormwood, “Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping your “Patient” from the Church. Don’t waste time trying to make him think that materialism is true! Make him think it is strong and courageous—that it is the philosophy of the future”

THE DEVIL EXISTS IN SCRIPTURE
Satan’s downfall was promised in Genesis 3:15. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel” Satan is defeated through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the preaching of the gospel and personal faith in Christ, we as Paul says in Ephesians are being delivered from Satan’s grasp and granted eternal life, “You were dead in your transgressions and sins But God, who is rich in mercy, and the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God… (Ephesians 2:1-10)

In the Book of Job,” The LORD asks Satan if he has noticed his servant Job “There is no one on earth like him, blameless and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil”. But Satan accuses God that’s what Satan means, accuser, of protecting Job of being generous with His gifts to Job. Take them away and see what happens. God says okay as you will, God replies,“Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on him.”

Satan is neither humble nor submissive to God. He challenges God, thinking that afflicting Job will result in Job’s desertion from the ranks of those who worship God. Unwittingly, Satan serves God’s purpose. Satan’s efforts produced the opposite of what he hoped to achieve resulting only in deepening Job’s faith and brought greater blessings to Job. Job’s final condition is far better than his first. In the end, Satan learns nothing and only continues in his fruitless rebellion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ made frequent references to the activity and influence of Satan throughout His ministry, Jesus, himself, underwent the temptations and wiles of the devil in the desert after His Baptism in the Jordon. The Evil one accuses Jesus of failing to act like God’s Son by not using his divine power to give Himself bread to eat and trust in the Father to save Him from a fall from a high precipice.(Luke 4:1-13)
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #391-395
The power of Satan is not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature…Satan’s action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery but “we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him.”
CONSEQUENCES TO OUR FAITH
A lack of a belief in the Devil, sin, or hell makes it very awkward for us at the Easter Liturgy when asked by the priest in renewing our baptismal vows, Do you reject Satan and all his works…some may shake their heads and ask who is that ? we don’t believe in that anymore…Deny the Devil and Hell at your own risk!

As St. Peter the first Pope said in his first letter,“Stay sober and alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith.”

Denial of the devil, sin, and hell is also a denial of our Savior. Why would we need a Savior? We rob the cross from any meaning and Jesus is a fool who died on the cross for no good reason. No, there is a devil and Jesus told us so on many occasions and Jesus doesn’t lie. In the Last Judgment discourse, Jesus says, “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25)

The vast majority of Catholics in America over 80% reject the Church teaching on the devil and hell. This is just fine with the devil! If he is rejected then it is easy to reject Jesus as well and His Father.too!

If you feel that things are spinning out of control in our world and in our Church today, you’re right. Be assured, we have not arrived at this place in history by accident. There is an intelligent evil being behind all of this work, bent on our destruction and the destruction of our Lord’s Catholic Church. There is truly an active evil person (Satan) working every day to destroy us.

This evil has gone unchecked by Faithful Catholics as well as the Church’s hierarchy for too long. Tell me, when was the last time you heard a homily on Satan? Why have most parishes dropped the prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass as we prayed in the 50s and 60s? Are we not in danger anymore or has Satan done such a complete job of pulling the wool over our eyes!

We must stand up for the Doctrine the Church has wonderfully taught for over 2,000 years and practice it wholeheartedly. Knowledge of the Faith is absolutely crucial for any spiritual growth; we can’t witness what we don’t know. We need to get back on our knees and beg God to deliver us from the sinful evil of this current generation, and protect the Church Jesus founded, from infiltration of the world, the flesh, and the devil!
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