THE NATURE OF THE DEVIL & THE CHURCH'S WAR AGAINST HIM

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					stowed, that moved her contemporaries to testify to her        the Swedish visionary spiritualized the many trials of her
sanctity. For she had the gift, rare even among mystics, of    life, from the loss of her husband to the resistance that
reading human hearts, and in so doing, turned herself          her words so often encountered from an obstinate and
into an instrument of God’s mercy and loving kindness.         entrenched officialdom.
This is the ministry of St. Birgitta that lives on in her              This then is the image of perfection that emerges
inspired writing, and in the shining example of her life.      from the record of Birgitta’s spiritual quest. She lays be-
      The wonderful quality of receptivity to the Divine       fore her fellow Christians what God has shown her: the
Presence in St. Birgitta's Revelations makes her record of     means by which their quarrelsome, sorely bedimmed lives
the interior journey one of the most beautiful of mystical     could be sanctified. And, in the wake of that renewal of
treatises. When the Virgin Mary tells the saint that “one      individual souls, there would surely come a more just,
who craves sweetness must not flee away from things            less frenzied human society with new visions and goals
that are bitter,” it is possible to see the process by which   that it had not heretofore imagined.                      n


                                                               person he possesses, and that there is nothing he can do
                                                               about it but resist as far as his strength will last. Then,
Líbera Nos a Malo                                              with a word of command and the Church’s unmatched
                                                               spiritual power, he is sent to the place he most fears: Cal-
                                                               vary, the place where all evil was judged by Christ.
                                                                     It is the constant teaching of the Church that the
                                                               devil and his angels were created good but chose of their
By Thomas J. Euteneuer                                         own free will to reject God. It is almost unimaginable that
                                                               these beings, so close to God and with so much insight
                                                               into His goodness, could reject Him. But I learned the
                                                               truth behind this teaching firsthand in an exorcism I per-
                                                               formed some years ago. When I commanded the demon to
The Nature of the Devil &                                      look at the crucifix and to bow down before the One the
The Church’s War Against Him                                   image represented, the demon answered me with a steely,
                                                               bone-chilling malice that is impossible to duplicate. He
                                                               simply uttered one word, Never. That “never” of a demon
I cast thee out, thou unclean spirit, along with the least     is his eternal and irrevocable choice to reject God, and
encroachment of the wicked enemy, and every phan-              unfortunately for us, he is adamant that we join him in
tom and diabolical legion. In the name of our Lord Jesus       that great apostasy.
= Christ, depart and vanish from this creature of God. =             The Book of Revelation tells us that when the devil
For it is He Who commands thee, He Who ordered thee            was cast down by the valiant archangel Michael, “his tail
cast down from the heights of heaven into the nether-          swept a third of the stars from the sky” (12:4). This has
most pit of the earth. He it is Who commands thee, Who         been commonly interpreted in Church history as the re-
once ordered the sea and the wind and the storm to             bellion of a third of God’s other angels, who joined Lucifer
obey…. Him thou shalt fear!                      
				
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