Francis: The devil is no myth, he exists and we must fight against him – Vatican Insider.
(©Ansa) The Pope warns Christians to beware of the devil
At today’s Mass in St. Martha’s House Francis spoke about the battle waged against Satan: “He doesn’t throw flowers at us but burning arrows”; Christian life is a continuous and beautiful battle against temptation and truth is the best weapon
Domenico Agasso jr
In today’s homily for the Mass in St. Martha’s House Francis asked Christians again to steer clear of evil and underlined that Christian life is a battle that is fought daily. The Pope’s reflections were based on the words of St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians.
“In this generation, like so many others, people have been led to believe that the devil is a myth, a figure, an idea, the idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him,” the Pope said.
“But we’re not all convinced of this,” Francis said, urging Christians to wear “God’s armour, the truth”.
“Life is a military endeavour. Christian life is a battle, a beautiful battle, because when God emerges victorious in every step of our life, this gives us joy, a great happiness: the joy that the Lord is the victor within us, with his free gift of salvation. But we’re all a bit lazy, aren’t we, in this battle and we allow ourselves to get carried away by our passions, by various temptations. That’s because we’re sinners, all of us! But don’t get discouraged. Have courage and strength because the Lord is with us.”
Christians life is a “continous battle” against temptation, the devil, the world and the passions of the flesh. The devil exists and he must be defeated: “Paul tells us this, it’s not me saying it!” “A Christian life, he said, has to be defended and it requires both strength and courage” to “resist and proclaim”. To advance one’s spiritual life, one has to fight. It’s a continuous battle against the three main enemies of Christian life which are the devil, the world and the passions of the flesh. These are the wounds caused by original sin.”
Of course, the Pope observed, the gift of salvation the Lord gives us is free, but we are called to defend it. “From whom do I have to defend myself? What must I do? Pauls tells us to put on God’s full armour, meaning that God acts as a defence, helping us to resist Satan’s temptations. Is this clear? No spiritual life, no Christian life is possible without resisting temptations, without putting on God’s armour which gives us strength and protects us.”
We need faith as a shield because the devil “doesn’t throw flowers at us but instead burning arrows” that aim to kill. Francis urged Christians to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” and invited them to pray constantly.