By Father John Catoir, Spirituality for Today
To some, the devil is nothing more than a silly Halloween costume. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The Las Vegas massacre cannot be explained as a mental health issue. It was pure evil that manifested itself as demonic madness. Those who deny the existence of Satanic malice have a lot to learn.
The Vatican has for centuries maintained archival records of diabolical possessions. A special school exists in the Holy See to train priests to be exorcists. To regard demonic behavior merely as a person’s disconnection from reality is spiritual blindness. Those who deny the existence of the devil need to realize that if you cut out all the sections of the Bible that mention the activity of Satan and the forces of darkness, the book would be left in shreds.
“The serpent is a liar, more crafty than any of the wild animals. God said, ‘You must not eat fruit from this tree or you will die.’ Later, Satan said, ‘You will certainly not die’” (Gen 3:1-5).
“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor 11:3).
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8). And, “I came that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
Before local leaders picked up stones to throw at Jesus, he said to them, “You belong to the devil; he is your father, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth. When Satan lies, he speaks his native tongue, for he is a liar and the father of lies … then Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple” (John 8:44, 59).
“Submit yourself to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8).
“Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?” (Acts 5:3).
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:11-16).
Jesus said, “Fear is useless what you need is trust” (Luke 8:50).
It is because I care that I present these truths to you. A good father wants to protect his children from all danger, visible and invisible. Yes, it’s scary; but it is the truth.
I worry about all the high school kids who were taught by their science teacher never to believe anything you can’t prove scientifically. To that I say, just look at the slaughters that took place in Las Vegas.
There is evidence from all over the world, where Muslim Jihadist terrorists have mercilessly massacred thousands, even while they are at worship. Is that evidence enough for you? Tell it like it is.
May the Lord be your strength and your joy.
Father John Catoir is a St. Francis de Sales award recipient for his lifetime service to the Catholic Press Association.