The Devil: Catholic Teachings part IPresentation Transcript
The Devil “Perverted and Perverting” Catholic Teachings part I Mr. Pablo Cuadra Religion Class
Pope Paul VI
“ Evil is not merely a lack of something, but an effective agent, a living spiritual being, perverted and perverting. A terrible reality.”
L’ Obsservatore Romano, November 23, 1972
St. Paul the Apostle
“ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Who is the Devil?
The devil is a fallen angel.
His nature is angelic although irreversibly corrupted and evil by rebellion.
Catechism of the Catholic Church # 414
“ Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive”
Catechism of the Catholic Church # 391
“ Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil". The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing.“
Pope John Paul II
“ Thus the evil spirit tries to transplant into man the attitude of rivalry, insubordination and opposition to God which has become, as it were, the motivation of his entire existence”
L’Obsservatore Romano, August 18, 1986
What is the meaning of the words Satan and Devil?
The word Satan comes from the Hebrew and it means adversary, persecutor, accuser or slanderer.
The word devil comes from the Greek verb meaning to separate or divide.
The devil is the entity that tries to separates us from God and our eternal destiny.
Did you know?
The devil is called in the scriptures “evil spirit” 76 times.
The word demon is used 63 times
Satan and Devil both are found 36 times
The devil is mentioned 211 times in the New Testament .
What is the difference between The devil and demons?
“ The precise distinction between the two terms in ecclesiastical usage may be seen in the phrase used in the decree of the Fourth Lateran Council: "Diabolus enim et alii daemones" (The devil and the other demons), i.e. all are demons, and the chief of the demons is called the devil.”
New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia
Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter “Parati Semper”
“ There is no need to be afraid to call the first agent of evil by his name: The Evil One. The strategy which he used and continues to use is that of not revealing himself, so that the evil implanted by him from the beginning may receive its development from man himself, from systems and from relationships between individuals, from classes and nations--- so as also to become ever more ‘structural’ sin, ever less identifiable as ‘personal’ sin. In other words, so that man may truly feel in a certain sense ‘freed’ from sin but at the same time ever more deeply immersed in it.”
Pope Paul VI On the Existence of the Devil
“ It is contrary to the teaching of the Bible and the Church to refuse to recognize the existence of such a reality the devil…or to explain it as pseudo-reality, a conceptual and fanciful personification of the unknown causes of our misfortune”
L’Obsservatore Romano November 23, 1972
The Testimony of the Scriptures The Fathers of the Church interpreted this passage of Isaiah referring to the King of Babylon as having a double meaning. In their view this passage referred to Satan Isaiah 14: 12-16 The devil is a fallen angel 1 John 3: 8 Jesus came to destroy the Works of the devil Revelation 12:9 The devil’s expulsion from the presence of God Genesis 3:14-16 The devil a being cursed by God Wisdom 2:23-24 The devil as a facilitator of Evil and death Zechariah 3:1-5 The devil as an Adversary of God and his plan Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7 The devil as an Enemy of mankind
The Fallen Angels
Jesus says, “ I watched Satan fall from the Sky like lightning”
“ Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. Although the dragon and his angels fought back, they were overpowered and lost their place in heaven”
What was the caused of the fall of the angels?
Although the fall of the angels is certain, it is not certain what was the cause of their fall.
The Church has never made any official pronouncement on that.
The most common hypothesis regarding the fall of the angels are based on the thought of the Fathers of the Church and the scholastics.
There are three basic arguments as to what caused the angels to sin:
B. Jealousy and envy towards mankind.
C. Jealousy of humanity due to the incarnation of the Son of God
St. Thomas Aquinas On The Sin of Pride
St. Thomas Aquinas explains, they desired to be liked God in the sense that they wanted to attain their final end and perfect happiness through their own powers. And this is what constitutes pride: not to submit to one’s superior when submission is due (cf. ST,I, 63,3 ).
In other words, rejecting God’s dominion, they turned in on themselves in a sin of self-idolatry.
“ Pride is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice”
The sin of pride hypothesis was also held by Origen.
John Paul II states, “Instead of accepting a God full of love, they rejected him, inspired by a false sense of self-sufficiency, of aversion, and even hatred that is changed into rebellion”
L’Obsservtore Romano, July 28, 1986
The Fathers of the Church On the Jealousy and Envy of the Fallen angels
St. Justin, Tertullian, St. Cyprian, St. Irenaeus, Lactantius and St. Gregory of Nissa espoused the view that the fallen angels were jealous and envious of humanity.
Fallen angels could not accept the fact that human beings who were created after the angels, should be created in the image of God and in charge over all creatures of the earth.
A Third hypothesis Jealousy and envy of mankind due to the Incarnation of the Son of God
Dominican priest Ambrose Catarino and Jesuit priest Francis Suarez in the 16 th century advocated the view that the fall of the angels was due to jealousy of the Incarnation of the Son of God.
They knew by an antecedent revelation that they would be expected to adore Christ, the God-man, something they refused to do.
What is the meaning of the word Lucifer?
The word Lucifer is taking from the Latin Vulgate version of Isaiah 14: 12. Where Satan is called morning star. The word itself means light-bearer.
Lucifer was a great angel, probably an archangel before his fall.
In Christian tradition Lucifer is the first of the fallen angels and their leader.
“ How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.”
Isaiah 14: 12-14
Immediately, after their sin the fallen angels were condemned to “the eternal fire prepared for devil and his angels.” Matthew 25: 46
“ Their torture will not stop, day or night, forever and ever” Revelation 20:10
The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
The teaching of the eternity of hell was issued by the Ecumenical Lateran council in 1215. The Second Vatican Council also referred to the eternal fire of hell in the constitution Lumen Gentium 7. 48.
St. Thomas Aquinas On the Eternal Damnation of the fallen angels
Before their fall the angels had full freedom of choice, but not afterward. In this respect they differ from human beings who, because they are less perfect creatures, can change even after they have made a choice.
John Paul II
The influence of the evil one can conceal itself in a more profound and effective way: it is in his interests to make himself “unknown.” Satan has the skill in the world to induce people to deny his existence in the name of rationalism and of every other system of thought which seeks all possible means to avoid recognizing his activity. L’ Obsservatore Romano, August 20, 1986
The Devil The one who separates and divides
Attitudes against Faith and God:
Atheism : the position that holds that God does not exit.
Agnosticism : the position that claims that no one can know for sure whether there is a God or not.
Practical atheism : Living life as if there is no God.
Example: Having time to go to the mall on Sunday, but no time to go to Church.
Hedonism : The position that holds that all that
is important in life is pleasure, power
and material things.
Secular Humanism : The position that considers human
achievement the only purpose of life.
Religion and God are considered
John Paul II: “O Lord; let us not fall into the infidelity to which we were seduced by the one who has been unfaithful from the beginning.”
The power of Devil
As a fallen angelic creature the devil is superior in nature to human beings.
The devil has preternatural powers and potentialities that are difficult for us to imagine.
A. he is not condition by space and time.
B. he is not restricted by matter, weight, color, sound, etc.
C. He is not subject to fatigue, sleep, nourishment, sickness or death.
D. He can act in any given place, even within a human body.
In this sense the devil shares the powers that are exclusive to spiritual being such as: good angels.
The Devil has limited power
The devil is by nature superior to humans but still a finite creature with limited power and subjected to the will of God.
The first limitation of the devil is that he cannot transcend created nature.
He cannot, for instance, perform miracles. For miracles require supernatural power, the power of the devil is only preternatural. Only God can perform miracles.
The word preternatural refer to the condition that is not proper to human nature but still below the supernatural or divine. Man due to sin lost his preternatural gifts. An example of preternatural gift is immortality.
The second limitation of the power of the Devil comes from divine intervention. “God protects and governs by his providence all things which he created, ‘reaching from end to end mightily and ordering all things sweetly’ (wisdom 8:1)” (Dei Filius, First Vatican Council)
St. Paul says: “God keeps his promise. He will not let you be tested beyond your strength. Along with the test he will give you a way out of it so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Cor 10:13
St. Bonaventure says “The cruelty of the devil is such that he would devour us at any moment if the divine power did not protect us.” (Diaeta Salutis).
St. Augustine said: “If the devil could do everything he wanted, there would not remain a single living human being on earth.”
Catechism # 2847
“ The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man, and temptation, which leads to sin and death.
We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a "delight to the eyes" and desirable, when in reality its fruit is death.
God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings. . . . There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us.
St John Chrysostom
“ The devil in spite of himself, becomes, as it were, an instrument and coefficient of holiness.”
Now, however, "we walk by faith, not by sight"; we perceive God as "in a mirror, dimly" and only "in part". Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test.
The world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it.
Monsiginor Corrado Balducci a leading expert in demonology classifies the activity of the devil into two categories.
The devil either induces individuals to evil or he himself does evil.
According to Balducci: There are two types of diabolical activity: ordinary diabolical activity and extra-ordinary diabolical activity.
Ordinary activity is more common, although not visible.
Extra-ordinary activity is very rare, but the intervention is visible.
Ordinary Diabolical Activity
This type of activity occurs by way of temptation, the evil one wants to divert human beings from the good and lead them into evil doing.
Not all temptation comes from the devil he is only one source.
Temptations proceed above all from our fallen nature, our own proclivity to sin, our surroundings, our formation. Temptation comes from within and the world in which we live.
Diabolical temptation on the other hand is more insistent, stronger, deviant than the temptation that comes from within.
Discernment of Spirits
“ The thoughts and impulses that come from our own ego are experienced as our own; we recognize ourselves in them; we meet our own vices and evil inclinations. On the other hand, thoughts suggested by the devil are experienced as coming from another ‘ego’ different from ours; that is, from another personality that on its own initiative speaks to us and proposes ideas or projects that we experience as new and foreign to our customary habits and inclinations” G. Cavalcoli
Ordinary Diabolical Activity
Msgr. Corrado Balducci in reference to diabolican temptatiion says:
“ The goal of diabolical temptation is to separate the individual from God and to keep him or her in that state until he has destroyed the fundamental values and sentiments of justice and love that the Creator has implanted in the human heart. Then soul that was meant to be the temple of the Trinity ends up as the dwelling place of the devil. After that, the individual can eventually become a child of Satan, a bearer of evil, a devil incarnate.”
Did you know?
The devil cannot do violence to our human freedom; he cannot force our will. The most he can do is try to influence us by suggestion or enticement.
St. Augustine says: “The devil can bark, but he cannot bite, unless a person lets himself be bitten”
Extra-Ordinary Diabolical Activity
This type of activity manifest itself in three ways:
A. Local infestation
B. Personal infestation
C. Diabolical possession
Is a mysterious phenomenon that occurs over a period of time in a specific place or locality, whether inhabited or uninhabited.
It can be recognized by the strange and sometimes frightening manifestations that indicate a diabolical presence:
A. Sound and noises whose origin and nature cannot be explained
B. The sound of footsteps; groans or screams; bursts of laughter
C. Sudden movement of objects
D. Pleasant or unpleasant odors
E. Gust of cold air when there is no wind
F. The appearance of ghostly figures
This type of phenomenon is characterized by an extrinsic, violent and prolonged temptation manifested by frightening phenomena such as:
A. Phantasms in the imagination that are persistent in spite of every effort to banish them.
B. Unexplainable seizures of anger
C. Despair, depression that is not of a psychological nature
D. Strange noises, words, or song –often blasphemous or obscene
E. The sensation of provocative embraces
F. Apparitions that are alluring, seductive or frightening.
G. Physical assault, slaps, punches or scratches
H. Levitation, unexplained movement.
Did you know?
Victims of personal infestation or diabolical possession are usually people who have lead holy lives for instance:
St. Anthony of the dessert
St. Teresa of Avila
St. John Bosco
St. John Vianney
St. Catherine of Siena
St. Francis Xavier
St. Rose of Lima
The purpose of the diabolical activity is to attack by every means possible their goodness, fidelity and love of God
This is the most serious of all three types of extra-ordinary diabolical activity.
It consists in the presence of the devil within the human body, over which the devil has total and despotic control.
The victim of possession is not responsible for his or her actions, however, outrageous, wicked or perverse.
The devil cannot alter or destroy the free will of a possessed person. The person although physically possessed still enjoys free will and faith.
Why does the devil possesses a person?
A. The devil possesses in order to attain satisfaction from molesting and using human beings in order to express his hatred for God and the sacred.
B. The devil also uses possession in order to manifest his power and personality.
Why does God allow possessions?
God allows possession in order to:
A. To show God’s divine providence, which controls and restricts the devils activity.
B. To show forth his omnipotence, devil tremble at the name of Jesus.
C. To manifest divine wisdom: which can bring good out of evil.
D. To dispense divine justice: which allows sinners to get what their evil deeds seem to be asking for.
E. To show forth his divine goodness: Jesus gave his ministers and Church power over the evil spirits.
F. To prove the truth of the Christian religion.
G. As an opportunity for conversion for those who witness the great power of God or those who deny the existence of God and spiritual realities.
Characteristic of Possessions
A. Strong, violent aversion for the sacred
B. Unexplained transformation of a person’s physical features
C. Expressions of rage
D. Convulsive movements of the body
E. To speak and to understand a previously unknown language (s)
F. To identify objects hidden from view
G. Strength far beyond the age or condition of the individual.
The Life of Grace
The sacramental life or the life of grace is the only antidote to the action of the evil one.
As Pope Paul VI states:
“ Everything that defends us from sin, shelter us for that very reason from the invisible enemy. Grace is the decisive defense. The Christian must be militant; he must be strong and vigilant.”
L’ Obsservatore Romano, November 15, 1972
In order to live in the presence of God one must develop:
A. A life of prayer, prayer is the spiritual oxygen of every Christian. Prayer is a conversation from the heart with the Lord.
B. One must develop a sacramental life, that includes the practice of sacramental confession and the reception of Holy Communion.
C. One must avoid alienating attitudes toward God, like practical atheism; living everyday life as if there is no God, this lifestyle empties the soul from his presence.
D. Make use of sacramentals such as: crosses, blessings, icons, in your daily piety.
E. Read the scriptures, St. Jerome says: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
F. Practice penance, and fasting. Penance means: making amends for the wrongs we commit knowingly or through ignorance.
G. Become more committed and involved in your community of faith
H. Seek spiritual direction from your priest in areas or questions of faith.
I. Pray to your guardian angel
J. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus! The devil is afraid of Christ’s power.
L. Live a life worthy of the Gospel: Love.
Did you know?
Ecclesiastical law has clear directives for exorcisms.
The Church is very cautious and prudent in its evaluation of diabolical activity and possession.
According to ecclesiastical law or Canon law:
Can. 1172 §1. No one can perform exorcisms legitimately upon the possessed unless he has obtained special and express permission from the local ordinary.
§2. The local ordinary is to give this permission only to a presbyter who has piety, knowledge, prudence, and integrity of life.
Exorcisms and the Catechism #1673
#1673 “When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism.
Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing. In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism.
The solemn exorcism, called "a major exorcism," can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church.
Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church. Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.”
What to do?
If you or any family member suspects extra-ordinary diabolical activity contact your parish priest and request an appointment.
Make sure to explain in detail the purpose of your visit an the circumstances surrounding your particular situation.
You may also contact your local diocese for more guidance or information.
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
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