Christian-life requires a constant battle with the devil, says Pope Francis




The devil ‘wages war’ when he sees Christians drawn towards Jesus, the Pope said at morning Mass

Moving closer to Christ means facing daily struggles against temptation and battling against evil, Pope Francis has said.

When Jesus approaches the people who have come to hear him and be healed, “the unclean spirits try to stop him, they wage war,” which is why those who seek to follow the Lord will face obstacles, too, the Pope said during his early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Looking at the day’s Gospel reading from Mark (3:7-12), the Pope said it was “curious” how the passage ended with the unclean spirits shouting at Jesus, “You are the son of God,” after describing the enthusiasm and large number of people who came to see, hear and be healed by Jesus.

“This is the truth. This is the reality that each one of us feels when Jesus approaches,” he said, referring to the presence and persistence of evil.

People who say they never experience temptation, he said, are “not Christian; they are ideological, gnostic.” Gnosticism reflects an idea that a select elite can develop special powers and gifts through specialised knowledge that is hidden from most people.

When God draws people toward Jesus, there is someone else – the devil – who pulls them the other way “and he wages a war within you,” the Pope said. “This is why Paul talks about Christian life as a battle, a daily battle.”

Jesus came to win this battle, “to destroy Satan, to destroy his influence on our hearts,” the Pope said.

People must choose: do they want a comfortable, easy and quiet life, the Pope asked, or will they let their heart “feel the battle” and help Jesus be victorious?

“Let us think about how our heart is. Do I feel this battle in my heart” and the desire to serve, pray, praise the Father and do what is good, the Pope said, or is there “something that stops me” and distracts with temptations of comfort or entertainment?





wpsd_autopost:
1

1 comment

  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    This is confusing. The closer I get to Jesus, the more the devil will tempt me? If I don’t want to be tempted, it therefore seems best to avoid Jesus.

    The Pope said: “When God draws people toward Jesus, there is someone else – the devil – who pulls them the other way “and he wages a war within you,” the Pope said. “This is why Paul talks about Christian life as a battle, a daily battle.” Jesus came to win this battle, “to destroy Satan, to destroy his influence on our hearts,” the Pope said.

    This would seem to imply that while Jesus came to win this battle, he in fact failed to do so, otherwise why are we still dealing with this battle? He apparently didn’t destroy Satan, and didn’t destroy his influence on our hearts, in fact the closer we get to Jesus, the more powerful Satan gets. Jesus appears to have been counter-productive, and in any event our situation did not improve given that the concept of eternal punishment was not part of the religion until the “good news” of Jesus. What Jesus accomplished was to give us an opportunity to go to eternal torment, rather than just be unconscious in Sheol and simply destroyed at the end of time if we failed to measure up. Jesus did not improve our condition, and if I am understanding this article, as the Pope points out, the closer we get to Jesus, the stronger Satan gets.

    He goes on to say, “People must choose: do they want a comfortable, easy and quiet life, the Pope asked, or will they let their heart “feel the battle” and help Jesus be victorious?” The fact that an all-powerful being needs our help, is an odd admission. It also seems that by taking the comfortable, easy and quiet life (which in no way implies an evil or bad life), one can resist the temptation of the devil, by avoiding Jesus. The way this is framed, that sounds like the smart move to me!

    ““Let us think about how our heart is. Do I feel this battle in my heart” and the desire to serve, pray, praise the Father and do what is good, the Pope said, or is there “something that stops me” and distracts with temptations of comfort or entertainment?”

    First tell me why an all-powerful god has the need to be served, prayed to and praised? That all sounds rather trite and petty – sort of a Donald Trump god, one might say. Next, it is rather hypocritical for one of the wealthiest organizations on the planet whose robed, celibate virgins live rather well at the upper ranks, to demonize comfort or entertainment. They must really be tempted by Satan – oh, and looking at the sex scandal, perhaps that is the explanation. In pursuing Jesus, did they empower Satan to tempt them to rape kids? Is that the explanation for their evil behavior? They tried to love Jesus, so Satan made them rape kids? That seems to be the logical conclusion of the Pope’s comments, if they are properly represented here.

Leave a Reply