It would be easy if Satan came as he is often portrayed, with horns and a pitchfork. We would naturally flee this ugliness.

Alas, he often comes cloaked in beauty, in sheep’s clothing:

  • He claims to offer us freedom and autonomy from an unreasonable God and Church, liberation from rules and being “told what to do.”
  • He cloaks himself in the false righteousness of being “tolerant” and “not judging others.”
  • He exalts us by telling us we have finally come of age and can disregard the “hang-ups” and “repression” our ancestors had of sex and pleasure.
  • He flatters us by extolling our scientific knowledge and inflates us by equating it with wisdom and moral superiority over our “primitive” fore-bearers.
  • He reassures us by insisting we are merely the victims here, victims of biological urges, bad parenting, economic injustice, that we are not depraved, just deprived.
  • He humors us by making us laugh at sin, making light of it in comedian’s routines, sitcoms, music and otherwise turning sin into a form of entertainment.
  • He anesthetizes the pain of guilt and sin by sending us teachers who tickle our ears and assure us that what we know deep down to be wrong is actually fine, even virtuous.
  • He affirms us by insisting that whenever shortcomings in us have been called to our attention it is simply unfair since other people are surely worse, that self esteem is something owed to us and others who lessen it are unkind.
  • He sings to us the lullaby of presumption assuring us that consequences and judgment will not be our lot and, with this lullaby, we drift off into a moral sleep of indifference and false confidence.

But in the end, there is a wolf under the sheepskin. Satan is ugly. He enslaves, condemns, ridicules and ensnares. His “reassurances” bring pain and grief as the awful effects of sin unwind: hatred, fear, resentments, revenge, suffering, disease, addiction, bondage, strife, divorce, estrangement, war, insurrection, disloyalty, scorn, bitterness, depression, anxiety, depletion, poverty, loss and deep, deep sorrow.

Beware, Satan has many disguises and he seldom presents as he really is. The movie The Passion of the Christ brilliantly presented Satan in the Garden. At first there was almost a strange beauty. But a closer look revealed increasingly hideous details: cold, fixed eyes, sharp and discolored nails, sickly pale skin, suddenly androgynous qualities, and a disgusting maggot crawling in and out of the nose. An audible moan came from the audience in the theater where I first saw it. Would that, beyond the movie, we could sense this revulsion and clarity as to the evil of Satan and his truest reality.

Here is a very powerful video on the disguises of sin:

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70 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Thank you for this.

  2. Steve M says:

    I don’t want to sound paranoid but it seems like we also need to be on guard for Satan using others to accomplish his goals. It is one level of difficulty to spot Satan when we are approached with a thought or whisper but another level of difficulty when it comes from a friend or family member unitentionally speaking for satan. I think everyone should study the Screwtape Letters in great detail. The image from The Passion of the Christ has stuck with me as the real picture of satan but the indirect attacks come in so many different forms that if one does not study and prepare for the battle we can so easliy be tripped up. If I could design a Confirmation Class it would almost completely be a long study of the Screwtape Letters and then the teachings of the Church of the counter and correct example.

    Satan knows all too well that th eless we see of him the less we will believe him to be a real being and his battle is half won.

    • Sarah Klecka says:

      I don’t know if you have ever read any of Peter Kreeft’s books, but he has written one titled “The Snakebite Letters”. It’s a modern-day screwtape letters. He (Peter Kreeft) loves C.S. Lewis and quotes him often. I’ve never bought a book by Peter Kreeft that has disappointed! He is a wonderful Catholic! You can even find his talks on i-tunes.
      Sarah Klecka

    • Annmari says:

      To Steve M: This video is saying exactly that, “using others to accomplish his [Satan's] goals.” Did you get that message? That is why there were so many different people [faces], [lips], etc. making the commercial message. It is exactly like the picture above from the Passion of the Christ. Satan appears androgenous. You cannot tell if he is male or female, yet he wreaks havoc.

  3. TaylorKH says:

    If more people understood this, I think we would be more responsible about who we vote into government office. The Lord comes to knock Satan off his mountain top perch.

    • A. Gabriel says:

      My sentiments exactly . . .obama is, I believe, a messenger of Satan. . .and has duped lefties completely.
      They are now so blinded that even when facts are put in front of them, they remain rigid in their wrong thinking.

      • Hegelian Dialectic says:

        If only it were just Obama and the “lefties” we needed to convert. This onion has thousands of layers to it….

      • napiliko says:

        We will need to pray harder that Almighty God open the eyes of the American people in this election year, to realize before it’s too late that Barack Obama is a great deceiver, cunning with words and out to dismantle and destroy this country. It wouldn’t be surprising if he uses the military to advance his agenda. He is the PRESIDENT.

  4. Greg says:

    Is it a serious temptation for a priest to live a swinging, bachelor-type life? I am wondering since I live in the Diocese of Arlington where there is a lot of wealth and parishoners want to do nice things for their priests whether it be taking them out to dinner or ball games. It would seem that could really snowball into a life of luxury if a priest is not very, very careful.

  5. RichardC says:

    “Seeing, then, that our Lord is so powerful, — as I see and know He is, — and that the evil spirits are His slaves, of which there can be no doubt, because it is of faith, — and I a servant of this our Lord and King, — what harm can Satan do unto me? Why have I not strength enough to fight against all hell? I took up the cross in my hand, — I was changed in a moment into another person, and it seemed as if God had really given me courage enough not to be afraid of encountering all the evil spirits.”
    –St. Teresa of Ávila
    from The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus (c.1565)
    Ch. XXV. “Divine Locutions. Discussions on That Subject” ¶ 24

    • Hegelian Dialectic says:

      Most of us are nowhere near as tough as St. Teres of Avila.

      • Mauri says:

        ! Perhaps because I was born dunrig WW II, or because when I was a kid it was Cold War time, and we said the St. Michael prayer after every Mass — I have almost always seen life in terms of warfare. I think that puts me at an advantage in looking at and assessing modern culture. Thanks be to God, my parents, my priests and teachers!

  6. Hieronymus says:

    Thank you, Monsignor. With your kind permission, I am going to use this text in my Confirmation class. Unfortunately, Satan has almost succeeded in convincing us that he doesn’t exist but the Old Scratch is alive and kicking – time to kick back! By the way, we must also remember that he has the best songs and can quote the Scripture. There is an old Polish saying to the effect that “the devil has put on a surplice and rings for the Mass with his tail”. The Church is not immune to his infiltration.

    • Hegelian Dialectic says:

      Immune?? Read “Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement” Father E. Cahil, S.J.; also, Pope Leo XIII Humanum Genus (1884 encyclical); “Grant Orient Freemasonry Unmasked”, Msgr. Dillon. It was infiltrated a long, long time ago.

  7. Marti says:

    Thank you, Msgr. you once again “hit the nail on the head”.
    I thoroughly agree with Steve M that the Screwtape Letters need to be studied. This book by C. S. Lewis is the best description of how Satan operates. Because I want to make my grandchildren aware of his devious ways, I give the Screwtape Letters to each Grand when they become 16.
    Having read this book when I was a teen, I reread it recently and was surprised (I shouldn’t have been!) at how accurate Lewis was in predicting the problems we are facing now. This is part of Satan operates. But God will prevail.

  8. Steve C says:

    Satan achieved a major victory by keeping the Church from establsihing devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary throughout the world. Of course you can embrace this devotion in your own life and reap all of the benefits individually. Probably the most important sentence spoken by Our Lady at Fatima was, “My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the sure guide that will lead you to Heaven.”

    • Tim Wallace says:

      The 33 day Total Consecration prep begins today!

    • Carla M says:

      The most important sentences spoken by our Blessed Mother Mary were, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” and “Do whatever he tells you.” (Luke 1:38 and John 2:5, respectively.)

      It would go well with us all if we should live by our Mother Mary’s words and example, beginning each day by choosing to take to heart and keep in mind that we are the servants and handmaids of the Lord and we are to do whatever He tells us.

      Vivat Christus Rex!

  9. Kathy says:

    It’s kind of frightening. Every day, I say the prayer to St. Michael. When I was growing up, we used to say that prayer at the end of every Mass. I wonder why it’s not done anymore?

    • John says:

      It can be and is done after “Extraordinary Form” of the Mass (the low Mass only), the Tridentine or Latin Mass, which is more widely available now since 2007. You may consider finding one in your area, or asking for one! St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle! And yes, you are right to wonder why it is not done anymore! heh, heh.

      • parishioner man says:

        The prayer to St. Michael is said in our parish at the end of every Mass. And we don’t have a Latin Mass either. Our pastor senses that we need it… and I agree. 95% of the parishioners love that we say this prayer now!

      • Famijoly says:

        Since the First Sunday of Advent 2008, we have recited the St. Michael prayer at the end of every Sunday, holy day, and weekday Mass at our parish. We only celebrate the Novus Ordo Mass. I’ve long prayed it privately, and then my parishioners starting requesting we pray as a parish community at the end of Mass, as Pope Leo XIII commended. So we had cards printed up and began the practice (or should I say, resumed the practice) on November 30, 2008.

    • Rose says:

      While our parish does not recite the St. Michael Prayer, a couple of our priests do lead us in prayer to Our Blessed Mother with Hail Mary at the end of Mass. While St. Michael will lead us in battle, Our Blessed Mother is our greatest intercessor as Mother of Our Creator!

  10. Janelle says:

    He truly comes to us as an angel of light but only brings darkness and depression. The cries to Jesus do not go unheard. Thanks be to God for His loving kindness.

  11. Annette Strachan says:

    In April 2011 I picked up the second last note from a table in a Cathedral. “A letter from Jesus”, it concludes with “Today, choose to rejoice! Not because you have adversity, not because of your difficulties, but because I am so much bigger and stronger than anything that could come against you!

  12. ThirstforTruth says:

    I think among the ways in which Satan reigns today as Prince of this World is how frightened most pastors
    are about speaking directly about him from the pulpit. I have not heard his name mentioned in the last
    40 yrs or more…except when a Gospel reading is proclaimed. No wonder people do not believe in his
    presence in their lives….he is never, ever mentioned. Like heaven or hell….people may believe ih the first but they act as if hell were fictitious. A shame…worse, a tragedy.

  13. Annette Strachan says:

    Thank you for protecting me, can we all pray for the intercession of Blessed Michael The Archangel.

  14. Susan says:

    Discernment, every christian needs, when the devil speaks. When I see myself in a battlefield with suggestions seemingly so true and enticements many times irresistible, I can only call on Jesus and Mary to save me, as he is so devious and brilliant. But in the name of Jesus, he flees.

  15. Mary says:

    Excellent article Monsignor, quite enlightening to say the least. In this period of time when we hardly ever hear the word sin and the idea of the devil is ridiculed you needed to be commended for your courage. I was so emotionally moved and quite frankly shaken by your words( and the attached video) I passed it on to people on my e-mail list. More importantly I sent it to my young adult children as a reminder of the spiritual battle we face everyday in a world not open to God and his word. God Bless You Monsignor, the Church is better off because of your vocation.Thank you for answering our Lord’s call!

  16. Robertlifelongcatholic says:

    The video reminds me of a democratic campaign commercial.

    • Edward says:

      Yeah right, the republicans are so angelic. Tell it like it is. We are surrounded by the corrupt and devious, regardless of party affiliation.

  17. RXavier says:

    Thank you for this brilliant post monsignor….

  18. John says:

    Excellent post! St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

    I noted your use of “depraved” which is awfully close to Luther and Calvin’s notion of “total depravity” which we Catholics reject in favor of recognizing a “wounded nature” which can really and truly cooperate with God’s grace when it comes.

  19. David says:

    Mary Immaculate Queen of the Universe, please protect all our families and friends from the

    wiles and deceits of Satan. Thank you Jesus for the protection of your mother and ours.

    St. Padre Pio, pray for us.

  20. Eva says:

    May God Bless you Monsignor for showing the reality ot the devil , and for people will know the truth

  21. Scott says:

    Very poignant and timely post, Monsignor. Let us recall from the first letter of Saint Peter, “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

    Saint Peter is warning us to be on guard against the devil and sin. We must take seriously both the reality and the power of the devil. He seeks to distract us from the greatest commandment – to love God with our whole heart and whole soul and our neighbors as ourselves. Rather, the devil seeks to tempt us to sin… And, at the root of all sin is the deadliest sin of pride – the love of self over God and others.

    Note – Saint Peter instructs us to resist this temptation to sin by being firm in our faith. Our faith in God will set us free (cf. John 8:32) from the power and temptation of sin for all things are possible with God.

    Yes – the power of evil is very much real and at work today as it has been since the first fall as your post alludes to. And, through the new evangelization and upcoming year of faith, it is our duty as Catholics to help our fellow lapsed Christians to rediscover the faith and come home to God.

    I place my hope in God and the saints and all of you that I may be strong enough to resist the temptation to sin that I face in my daily life. Not for myself but so that I may serve as a positive example of what it means to live as a Catholic Man. I struggle nearly every minute of every day – some days are better than others but by the grace of God I keep trying despite my failures. My recourse is daily Mass, frequent prayer, and frequent reception of the sacraments.

    Thank you, Monsignor, for this post. It gave me some thoughts to take to prayer.

  22. Laurens says:

    We forget that.
    Divine Justice rules:
    It means that if God does something good to you, then Satan can and will claim the opportunity to do something bad.
    If Satan does something bad to you, then God could claim to do something good. God will claim if you resisted the former also because of Divine Justice, and if you did not resist, then God may claim, depending on His Divine Mercy, because in this latter case there is nothing God will claim to do for you depending on Divine Justice.
    This all because without love there is nothing.

  23. Ben says:

    These are good reasons to have a saint benedict medal. Their special blessing includes prayers for satan to stay away.

  24. Cynthia BC says:

    After a lifetime of being told that God Loves Us the Way We Are, and that There Is a Rational Explanation for Everything, we are wholly ignorant (or have wholly forgotten) that Satan is a real, active, enemy. Those who suggest that Satan is out and about, rather than merely exists in the imaginings of an earlier era or as a character in a scary movie, often are ridiculed as nut jobs. I can’t think of any hymns sung at Mass that mention Satan even in passing. I am amused to note that Martin Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress” was included in the missalette, but for some reason my parish has never used it. :? [Lutheran parishioners, on the other hand, sing it the last Sunday in October each year.]

    Below is the text of A Mighty Fortress, as published in a 1941 Lutheran hymnal. The earth is the realm of the Devil, who is out to destroy us. We cannot on our own strength resist this enemy. Even if the Devil takes away all we hold dear on earth, he can never destroy God’s Kingdom.

    A mighty fortress is our God; A trusty shield and weapon;
    He helps us free from every need that hath us now o’ertaken;
    The old evil Foe now means deadly woe
    Deep guile and great might
    Are his dread arms in fight
    On earth is not his equal.

    With might of ours can naught be done; Soon were our loss effected;
    But for us fights the Valiant One, Whom God Himself elected.
    As ye, who is this? Jesus Christ he is
    Of Sabaoth Lord
    And there’s none other God
    He holds the field forever.

    Tho’ devils all the world shall fill, All eager to devour us.
    We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us.
    This world’s prince may still
    Scowl fierce as he will
    He can harm us none; he’s judged, the deed is done;
    One little word can fell him.

    The Word they still shall let remain; nor any thanks have for it;
    He’s by our side upon the plan, with His good gifts and Spirit.
    And take they our life
    Good fame child or wife
    Let these all be gone, they yet have nothing won.
    The Kingdom ours remaineth.

    • Cynthia BC says:

      Here’s an arrangement of the hymn. Surely Msgr will wish he could see more of the organ than just some of the pipes:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7Z8rqyGL7c

    • Glenn says:

      Thank you for bringing up one of my favourite hymns. Luther wrote this hymn in 1530 after hearing of the defeat of the Muslim invaders at the gates of Vienna by the Catholic forces led by Emperor Charles V. It is based on Psalm 46 (God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble). Please don’t reject this because of its reputation as the Hymn of the Reformation. It is in fact one of the most ecumenical things that Luther ever did after he was goaded into his break with Rome in 1519. Perhaps the best translation in terms of accuracy and literary quality is the one in the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978). Here is a URL giving the text of the 1978 translation, the original German,and a MIDI file so you can sing all four verses : http://ingeb.org/spiritua/amightyf.html As a former Lutheran seminarian turned Catholic I rejoice to see this masterpiece taken up for its value in spiritual warefare :-)

      • Cynthia BC says:

        Unfortunately I think most would prefer to avoid the notion that we are spiritually at war. As a result most hymns that refer to the Devil and/or use militaristic language are spurned by the Catholic Church as a whole (by excluding them from missals/hymnals) or by music ministers who think that parishioners will be made uncomfortable by explicit references to evil. I believe that the hymns’ exclusion is a lost opportunity for catechesis.

        PS I prefer the original meter of A Mighty Fortress to the 4/4 version. The syncopated rhythms, not normally what one would expect in a tune addressing a weighty topic, are another form of defiance against the enemy.

  25. blizz says:

    end the federal reserve system… break the clutches of satans power

  26. GeekyGrandma says:

    Liberal theology, with its tenets of abortion, homosexuality and tolerance of personal irresponsibility is Satan’s religion in this day and age.

  27. Greg says:

    I was stationed on the DMZ in Korea, and their was a book called “Know your enemy” it told of how the North Koreans did battle. Years latter, I wondered if their was a book to know Satan. Yes, it’s called “The Bait of Satan” read it. You will see. And pray for Spiritual Wisdom. God will help you, just be prepare with what you receive. The Sin of this world and the Evil that people do. Don’t turn your back to God, you are either with him or not. Knock and you will recieve. Gods speed

  28. Stan says:

    Chapter IV from a book called ‘Body & Blood’ written by Catholic mystic Josyp Terelya
    who saw Lucifer giving a counsel to his demons and wrote down his diatribe in 1998.

    “As I entered the murky inner space of the strange abode, I fond myself in a large oversized hall with a man holding a black snake. The man’s posture seemed young but his face looking disproportionately old, almost ancient. His outer clothes were red with yellow-green trim. The rings on all his fingers were adorned with miniature cats of human skulls. From time to time, he caressed the black snake, kissed it, and spoke to it some indistinguishable words.

    The man did not notice me. And although I did not know who he was, some inner voice seemed to be saying: “Now you see what Satan looks like.” At the same time, I began perceiving within me an ever-increasing ability to follow his direction of thought, as if reading his mind.

    At the hand sign given by Satan, the fierce looking creatures, some more monstrous than others, showed up quickly in precision and ready to listen and obey. Instinctively I looked behind me and saw two angelic beings standing there ¬the Archangels, seraphim and cherubim. My fright, roused at the sight of this motley horde of demons, began abating, and at that instant, one of the angels handed me a lantern saying: “Now go closer to Satan’s throne. Watch and listen. We will be with you and Satan will not see us!”

    I took the lantern and walked around the throne. Satan’s eyes were glowing with an evil penetrating glow, and his hand was stroking the head of the black snake.

    After a while, Satan raised his hand and there was instant quiet. Satan then addressed the infernal assembly, speaking slowly and clearly: “Demonic warriors of the infernal kingdom, you are aware we have been subdued and humiliated by the Cross of the Crucified. You are fugitives from the villages and cities on earth, from the houses of ill repute, the temples of lewd behavior and diverse palaces of enticements of the flesh and carnal temptations. Listen to me and obey!”

    “The Cross of the Crucified overcame the world and finished its course around the earth. Mankind is on the threshold of the Kingdom of God which spreads with unceasing intensity to embrace multiple millions of human beings into His Kingdom, to our detriment, shame, and despair. And as you know, those who accepted Christ on earth are already aware of the blessings of His Kingdom and it is becoming increasingly difficult to tempt them into our traps by any means at our disposal. But do not despair, disheartened legions of hell! This is the time to renew our vigor, to use news means to gain our objectives and apply new approaches to battle the Kingdom of God on earth!”

    At this point Satan paused for a moment and then began anew, raising his voice: “I command you now, my legions, to attack with all your vicious intensity all the defensive foundation of the Church of Christ on earth. Attack persistently, at the very moment they least expect it, until their front defenses begin to crumble. When that occurs, mobilize your utmost reserve of deceit, perfidy and diabolical chicanery to confuse, pervert and battle the last remnants of Christ’s Church on earth until it scatters and dies never to rise again. And that day will be the glorious day of the final victory of our infernal kingdom! Understood?”

    Satan asked the assembly in a raised voice. “Understo-o-o-o-d!”, the demonic crowd cried out, and a reverberant echo resonated throughout the cavernous subterranean surroundings. Satan then continued his exhortation unabated. “But to be successful in battling and defeating the Church of Christ and His Christian cohorts on earth, we must build escape-proof traps for the Christian believers and act consistently with an unwavering intensity. Consistently entice humans into our nets to be extent that their escape will seem to be impossible. Use your power of persuasion; i.e., persuade them will all the cunning you can spare, that our side is the right side. Telegraph your thoughts into their minds, clearly persuading them that the thoughts and deeds you instigated in them are really the thoughts and deeds performed by themselves, and on nobody else’s initiative. Persuade the people that gold is the highest and noblest criterion in conventional relationships among the inhabitants of the earth and that licentiousness and loose morals are not only acceptable but also a desirable ‘in-thing’ to practice, for after all, they live only once.

    “And when all those things to come to pass – watch what will happen on earth. Human beings will become restless and reckless. Personal squabbles will proliferate and grow into fierce animosities, and wars between nations will break out. The weak will be exterminated in ruthless ‘cleansing’ actions and the rights of the strong will triumph. Never mind justice, friendship, and integrity. The traits of honesty, decency, morality, and virtue will be subject to ridicule as derelicts of the puritanical past. And when those things come to pass, we will grasp a firmer control of the state of affairs on earth. We will confuse the minds of men to the degree that they will join the black legions without fully understanding one another nor the realities around them. They will call darkness – light, and the light – darkness. And resurrected become our servants; then they will shout ‘hosanah’ to me, the great Lucifer, and to my infernal legions, and not to Him!”

    Satan halted for a moment, as if to assess the impression he made thus far. The legionaries took advantage of the opportunity and erupted in noisy applause and shouts of approval: “Hurrah! Long live Lucifer!”

    After the infernal throng had quieted down somewhat, Satan continued his instructive tirade: “In order to shake the faith of those humans who still hang on to the Redeemer, we must target the servants of His Church. We must twist the minds of the faithful into believing that the clergy and pastorate are liars, cheats, and moral deviates, rather than the salvation of the people. Persuade them to believe that Her servants are more intent on carnal pursuits and seductions than on tending to their obligations to save souls. Moreover, you must make people believe that the clergy, even though they profess poverty, chastity, and obedience, are really money hungry, wanton, and disobedient. I command the ‘legion of the black snake,’ one of my infernal detachment of special forces, to pay special attention to those people on earth who are highly skilled, educated and talented, as well as to those who dwell on the mysteries and secrets of nature, life, the universe and creation. Should those learned people and fully succeed in fathoming the profound greatness and glory of the Creator, they will inevitably become overwhelmed by the awe and veneration of the Almighty. As a result, they will be anchored by the Gospel of His Son and thus be forever lost for our cause, the cause of our infernal kingdom. Those learned wise men will draw the rest of humanity after them and, instead of our final hoped for victory over the Redeemer, we will suffer a cataclysmic defeat. Our fate will be sealed. We will be cast into the fiery abyss – Gehenna, and there forever.”

  29. Stan says:

    Excerpt of Chapter IV from a book called ‘Body & Blood’ written by Catholic mystic Josyp Terelya
    who saw Lucifer giving a counsel to his demons and wrote down his diatribe in 1998.

    “As I entered the murky inner space of the strange abode, I fond myself in a large oversized hall with a man holding a black snake. The man’s posture seemed young but his face looking disproportionately old, almost ancient. His outer clothes were red with yellow-green trim. The rings on all his fingers were adorned with miniature cats of human skulls. From time to time, he caressed the black snake, kissed it, and spoke to it some indistinguishable words.

    The man did not notice me. And although I did not know who he was, some inner voice seemed to be saying: “Now you see what Satan looks like.” At the same time, I began perceiving within me an ever-increasing ability to follow his direction of thought, as if reading his mind.

    At the hand sign given by Satan, the fierce looking creatures, some more monstrous than others, showed up quickly in precision and ready to listen and obey. Instinctively I looked behind me and saw two angelic beings standing there ¬the Archangels, seraphim and cherubim. My fright, roused at the sight of this motley horde of demons, began abating, and at that instant, one of the angels handed me a lantern saying: “Now go closer to Satan’s throne. Watch and listen. We will be with you and Satan will not see us!”

    I took the lantern and walked around the throne. Satan’s eyes were glowing with an evil penetrating glow, and his hand was stroking the head of the black snake.

    After a while, Satan raised his hand and there was instant quiet. Satan then addressed the infernal assembly, speaking slowly and clearly: “Demonic warriors of the infernal kingdom, you are aware we have been subdued and humiliated by the Cross of the Crucified. You are fugitives from the villages and cities on earth, from the houses of ill repute, the temples of lewd behavior and diverse palaces of enticements of the flesh and carnal temptations. Listen to me and obey!”

    “The Cross of the Crucified overcame the world and finished its course around the earth. Mankind is on the threshold of the Kingdom of God which spreads with unceasing intensity to embrace multiple millions of human beings into His Kingdom, to our detriment, shame, and despair. And as you know, those who accepted Christ on earth are already aware of the blessings of His Kingdom and it is becoming increasingly difficult to tempt them into our traps by any means at our disposal. But do not despair, disheartened legions of hell! This is the time to renew our vigor, to use news means to gain our objectives and apply new approaches to battle the Kingdom of God on earth!”

    At this point Satan paused for a moment and then began anew, raising his voice: “I command you now, my legions, to attack with all your vicious intensity all the defensive foundation of the Church of Christ on earth. Attack persistently, at the very moment they least expect it, until their front defenses begin to crumble. When that occurs, mobilize your utmost reserve of deceit, perfidy and diabolical chicanery to confuse, pervert and battle the last remnants of Christ’s Church on earth until it scatters and dies never to rise again. And that day will be the glorious day of the final victory of our infernal kingdom! Understood?”

    Satan asked the assembly in a raised voice. “Understo-o-o-o-d!”, the demonic crowd cried out, and a reverberant echo resonated throughout the cavernous subterranean surroundings. Satan then continued his exhortation unabated. “But to be successful in battling and defeating the Church of Christ and His Christian cohorts on earth, we must build escape-proof traps for the Christian believers and act consistently with an unwavering intensity. Consistently entice humans into our nets to be extent that their escape will seem to be impossible. Use your power of persuasion; i.e., persuade them will all the cunning you can spare, that our side is the right side. Telegraph your thoughts into their minds, clearly persuading them that the thoughts and deeds you instigated in them are really the thoughts and deeds performed by themselves, and on nobody else’s initiative. Persuade the people that gold is the highest and noblest criterion in conventional relationships among the inhabitants of the earth and that licentiousness and loose morals are not only acceptable but also a desirable ‘in-thing’ to practice, for after all, they live only once.

    “And when all those things to come to pass – watch what will happen on earth. Human beings will become restless and reckless. Personal squabbles will proliferate and grow into fierce animosities, and wars between nations will break out. The weak will be exterminated in ruthless ‘cleansing’ actions and the rights of the strong will triumph. Never mind justice, friendship, and integrity. The traits of honesty, decency, morality, and virtue will be subject to ridicule as derelicts of the puritanical past. And when those things come to pass, we will grasp a firmer control of the state of affairs on earth. We will confuse the minds of men to the degree that they will join the black legions without fully understanding one another nor the realities around them. They will call darkness – light, and the light – darkness. And resurrected become our servants; then they will shout ‘hosanah’ to me, the great Lucifer, and to my infernal legions, and not to Him!”

    Satan halted for a moment, as if to assess the impression he made thus far. The legionaries took advantage of the opportunity and erupted in noisy applause and shouts of approval: “Hurrah! Long live Lucifer!”

    After the infernal throng had quieted down somewhat, Satan continued his instructive tirade: “In order to shake the faith of those humans who still hang on to the Redeemer, we must target the servants of His Church. We must twist the minds of the faithful into believing that the clergy and pastorate are liars, cheats, and moral deviates, rather than the salvation of the people. Persuade them to believe that Her servants are more intent on carnal pursuits and seductions than on tending to their obligations to save souls. Moreover, you must make people believe that the clergy, even though they profess poverty, chastity, and obedience, are really money hungry, wanton, and disobedient. I command the ‘legion of the black snake,’ one of my infernal detachment of special forces, to pay special attention to those people on earth who are highly skilled, educated and talented, as well as to those who dwell on the mysteries and secrets of nature, life, the universe and creation. Should those learned people and fully succeed in fathoming the profound greatness and glory of the Creator, they will inevitably become overwhelmed by the awe and veneration of the Almighty. As a result, they will be anchored by the Gospel of His Son and thus be forever lost for our cause, the cause of our infernal kingdom. Those learned wise men will draw the rest of humanity after them and, instead of our final hoped for victory over the Redeemer, we will suffer a cataclysmic defeat. Our fate will be sealed. We will be cast into the fiery abyss – Gehenna, and there forever.” – there’s much more from this Chapter -

  30. Guitar Man says:

    Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8

  31. Diane says:

    The devil always tempts us to break the 10 Commandments and the Laws of the Church. Refuse to do it out of loving obedience to God and the Church. Obedience is a virtue that so pleases God that he will give you peace and then understanding later. Be close to the Blessed Mother and she will send every angel and saint in Heaven to assist you in remaining true to Jesus as she sees is necessary. Use Holy Water every day. Most of all don’t be afraid to be utterly dependent upon her, offering everything to God through her. She will lead you to Mass, the Rosary and the scapulars and medals she wants you to wear for protection. She, along with her spouse the Holy Spirit, will form you to be an instrument for God’s work on this earth. Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints, especially His blessed Mother.

    • Mary Ann says:

      I agree Dianne,our Lady is our Mother and a protective mother at that.Stay close to her through her Rosary,scapular and sacramentals. She will ALWAYS lead us to her Son . Let us also remember Eucharistic Adoration. An hour spent in Jesus’ presence sends the devil into fury. Please, please encourage everyone to spend an hour with the Lord. We need to revive this devotion in every Catholic Church. People often seek out miracles, the greatest miracle IS the Eucharistic.Our Lord pours out his greatest graces to those who adore him in the Blessed Sacrament. I have witnessed miracles occur (not the material although I am certain these occur) but the spiritual kind, the ones where lives are changed and people are converted. My son is entering seminary, I continually tell him do not let one day go by without attending Mass, praying the Rosary and spending a Holy Hour with the Lord. I believe his vocation is coming directly from the Holy Hours he spends with Jesus. We need to consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,then WE MUST TRUST the Lord. He will never disappoint.

  32. [...] This blog post by Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington is spot on, and it dovetails pretty nicely, I think, with the theme of my homily last week. [...]

  33. teresa says:

    remember Jesus is in all of us, we have human will,his is divine will, we have to do what jesus would want us to do,if we do our own way that is our human will,if we do good what jesus would want that is Divine Will. thy kingdom come thy Will be don e,sway this often.God bless.

  34. Tim Wallace says:

    Monsignor’s post also is corroborated by my soon to be published book, preview at http://tim-thesmokeofsataninthetempleofgod.blogspot.com/

  35. Tspsalm287 says:

    Although I no longer worship in the Catholic church I have great respect for it being where I met my God and Lord Savior!! All of the faithful should be vigilant to these disguises and we as people, here to live a surrendered life to Christ, should be more determined to bring all to a saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Extreme legalism is often interpreted as Jesus not being enough; but I say right and wrong, according to the Holy Scriptures, is where we must begin living a righteous life. Don’t allow human traditions and man made rules to cloud what holy spirit breathed scripture intended! We need to unite as Christ Followers and continue to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). God Bless you all :-)

    • Mary says:

      How sad that you no longer worship in the Catholic Church. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the faith. Oh to not receive Him, to me is worse than death. I cannot fathom how anyone no matter how many rude Catholics or bad priests can give up the Eucharist, the Body, Blood of Christ. It was Christ Himself who wished to feed us and it was Christ Himself who gave us the Eucharist. No matter how bad or evil some of the representatives may be, I could not imagine giving up the Eucharist.

      • Tspsalm287 says:

        I receive communion and the broken bread and blood – and gave nothing up. My decision to worship freely and with less man made rules and traditions had nothing to do with any bad experience. All denominations have gone through there troubles and I prayed for those who had fallen, but that occurred long after I left. I have great respect for the Catholic Church – it’s where I met God, but never grew unfortunately. I love God’s word and getting lost in His teachings that are scripture based. Regardless of our differences we can agree we have a Loving Savior who has taken on the battle for us. God Be with you :-)

  36. Mary Astorino says:

    “Jesus, I trust in You”. If we commit ourselves to Jesus, and not to any man or institution, we will recognize and choose good and not evil. We do not have to fear that Satan is in charge, because we know that God is in charge and that His Spirit is lavishing freedom and grace on us through sacraments and countless other ways.

  37. Mary says:

    Another way Satan deceives us is to minimize Mary’s role in redemption. He knows her power to protect. Mary at Guadelupe stated, “I am the one to crush the serpent’s head.” Mary is spoken in Genesis. I can personally say I was not able to overcome a serious sin until I made the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary always leads to her son and is not interested in any glory for her. Have you noticed an increase in impurity since Mary’s role was downplayed by many priests? I have never known a priest who was devoted to Mary who has floundered in their vocation but every priest who had a “problem” with Mary have left the priesthood. Today more than ever, there are viscious attacks on Mary. Guess who is behind it? Satan. I knew an excorcist priest who said, Satan fears Mary. Why? Her purity, her humility, her response to the Divine Will

    • Tspsalm287 says:

      I say this not as a response or disagreement, but what is truth according to God’s Word and no other…….God is a jealous God and scripture is clear that the ONLY way to God is through our Lord Jesus Christ. (“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”. (I Timothy 2:5-6) . I believe Mary, by many, is prayed to as a false god. Mary, the mother of our awesome Lord, I’m sure would not want any worship of any kind extended toward her because of her humility and love for God. She lived a humble life and put God’s will before her own, she stayed pure until the Birth of Jesus and then lived out her life as an example of a Godly wife to Joseph and mother to Jesus and his siblings. The downfall of any human being (priest, pastor, lay) is when we no longer surrender our will, desires and temptations to the will of God. God’s Divine Will is that we Love our Lord enough to follow his truth and no other. :-)

      • Mary says:

        Do you ask others to pray for you? Why? Most ask others to pray for them which is caused intercessory prayer. Since people ask others to pray for them, why can’t one ask the Mother of God, the First to receive the Holy Spirit to intercede for you? We do not worship Mary just as a person looking at a beautiful painting does not worship the art but ponders the beauty that the artist created. If God Himself decided He should be born of a woman, why is it that many denominations take Mary out at Christmas and put her away for the rest of the year. I do not believe that God does this. In addition, Mary had no other children. If she had, St John would not have had to be with her at the foot of the cross, when Christ said, behold your mother and to Mary He said behold your son. If Mary had other children, in Jewish custom, it would have been their rightful place to be with Mary at the foot of the cross. God Himself in Genesis after the fall of man, clearly states the role of Mary. “You will strike at her heal, while she strikes at your head.” Before the reformation, this was the original text but after the text was changed. You should read Martin Luther’s writings on Mary. Jeff Cavins an evangelical convert and Scott Hahn also a convert have many writings on the role of Mary. It would be worthwhile to read. One in particular, Mary Woman of the Son is a three volume work dealing with your arguments.

  38. Rose says:

    I encountered his ways just seconds ago with my daughter. She reads constantly but I am finding out they are the wrong kinds of books. When she disagreed with me about the movie she wanted to watch, i could see the image of the devil in her face as she ridiculed me and belittled me for refusing her movie requests (sci-fi….magical and evil themes). I feel the fight is on for her soul. Prayer and diligence is my only recourse. If I would have only have realized what she was reading……

  39. Greg says:

    Another GREAT book is “PEACE OF SOUL” by: archbishop Fulton Sheen. This book hits the nail on the head. If you read this book and can not see what is going on in this counrty, ask the Holy Spirit to stand by you and help you understand what you read. This is what happens when you turn your back on GOD. ABORTION, MURDER, SEXUAL SIN, yes satan knows you better then you know your self. As said above “KEEP YOUR FAITH IN JESUS, HE IS THIS COUNTRIES ANSWER. Yes, you have freedom of choice, but we will also answer for it soon.

    We have to endure the pain before we can get better. Thank you Mary.