Is the Devil Real?
Isn't the Devil just a projection of our evil inclinations?
"Evil is not only a deficiency [or the absence of good],", explains Pope Paul VI, "but... a living [spiritual] being, who [is both] perverted and a perverter. A terrible reality. Mysterious and terrifying. He is enemy number one, tempter par excellence. We know that this obscure and frightening being really exists and that he is still acting with a betraying astuteness; he is the occult enemy who seeds error and misfortune throughout history" and his supreme astuteness is to make people believe that he does not exist.
The devil is a creature of God. Initially created good and free, he rebelled against God. Now his plan is to ransack the work of God, to disfigure and annihalate creation. The sin of human beings is not linked only to our weakness; it finds its origin in the one who is the source of death and wants to cut human beings off from their relationship with God.
But Jesus by the power of his cross, vanquished evil. He is the Saviour of all humanity and his resurrection is the sign of the definitive victory of God over the powers of darkness, a victory that will be fully seen at the end of history.
The devil tries incessantly to lead us into sin taking advantage of our personal weaknesses as well as the diverse influences of society.
Of course, evil inclinations exist in each of us. They are not only negative tendencies but more deeply, their cause lies in original sin. (see Q.31) Thus, disordered sexuality, drug abuse, exacerbated violence, pornography relflect attitudes and dispositions that wound human beings, creation and God himself. They reflect a profound despair. They show what kind of hell and alienation human beings can lock themselves into here on earth by their own freedom when they don't know - or no longer know - that they are created by God, in His image and likeness, out of love and for love.
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