Four Common Tactics of the Devil

072213One of the key elements in any contest is to understand the tactics of your opponent and to recognize the subtleties of the strategy or moves they may employ. In the spiritual battle of life we need to develop some sophistication in recognizing, naming, and understanding the subtleties of common tactics of the Devil.

A 2011 book by Fr. Louis Cameli, The Devil You Don’t Know is of great assistance in this matter. Having read it recently, I think it would be of value to reflect on four broad categories of the Devil’s tactics that Fr. Cameli analyzes.

While the four categories are Fr. Cameli’s, the reflections here are largely my own, but surely rooted in Fr. Cameli’s excellent work, so recently read by me. I recommend the work highly to you where these categories are aptly and fully described more than my brief reflection here can do.

And thus we examine four common tactics of the devil.

I. Deception – Jesus says The devil was a murderer from the beginning he does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks according to his own nature, he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44).

The devil deceives us with many false and empty promises. Most of these relate to the lie that we will be happier and more fulfilled if we sin, or deny aspects of the truth. Whatever passing pleasures come with sin, they are in fact passing. Great and accumulated suffering eventually comes with almost all sinful activity. Yet, despite this experience, we human beings remain very gullible, we seem to love empty promises and put all sorts of false hopes of them.

The devil also deceives us by suggesting all sorts of complexities, especially in our thinking. And thus he  seeks to confuse and  conceal the fundamental truth about our action. Our minds are very wily and love to indulge complexity as a way of avoiding the truth and making excuses. So we, conniving with the devil, entertain endless complications by asking “But what if this….and What about that….??!”  Along with the devil, we project all sorts of possible difficulties, exceptions, or potential sob stories, to avoid insisting that we or others behave well and live according to the truth.

The devil also seeks to deceive us with “wordsmithing.” And thus the dismemberment and murder of a child through abortion becomes “reproductive freedom” or “Choice.” Sodomy is called “gay” (a word which used to mean “happy”). Our luminous Faith and ancient wisdom is called “darkness” and “ignorance.”  Fornication is called “cohabitation.”  And the redefinition of marriage as it is been known for some 5000 years, is labeled “marriage freedom.”  And thus, through exaggerations and outright false labeling, the devil deceives us, and we too easily connive by calling good, or “no big deal,” what God calls sinful.

The devil also deceives us through the sheer volume of information. Information is not the same is truth, and data can be assembled very craftily to make deceitful points. Further, certain facts and figures can be emphasized, in exclusion to other, balancing truths. And thus even information or data which is true in itself  becomes a form of deception. The news media, and other sources of information, sometimes exercise their greatest power in what they do not report. And this too is a way that the devil brings deceptions upon us.

We do well to carefully assess the many ways Satan seeks to deceive us. Do not believe everything you think or hear. While we ought not be cynical, we ought to be sober, and seek to verify what we see and hear and square it with God’s revealed truth.

II. Division – One of Jesus’ final prayers for us was that we would be one (cf John 17:22). He prayed this, at the Last Supper just before he went out to suffer and die for us. As such, he highlights that a chief aspect of his work on the Cross is to overcome the divisions intensified by Satan. Some argue that the Greek root of the word “diabolical” (diabolein) means to cut, tear, or divide. Jesus prays and works to reunify what the devil divides.

The devil’s work of division starts within each one of us as we experience many contrary drives, some noble, creative, and edifying, others base, sinful, and destructive. So often, we struggle within and feel torn apart, much as Paul describes in Romans chapter 7:  The good that I want to do, I do not do…, and when I try to do good, evil is at hand. This is the work of the devil, to divide us within. And as St. Paul lays out in Romans 8, the chief work of the Lord is to establish within us the unity of soul and body, in accordance with the unity of His truth.

And of course the devil’s attack against our inner unity, spills out into many divisions among us externally. So many things help drive this division, and the devil surely taps into them all: anger, past hurts, resentments, fears, misunderstandings, greed, pride, and arrogance. There is also the impatience that we so easily develop regarding those we love, and the flawed notion that somehow, other more perfect and desirable people should be sought. And thus many abandon their marriages, family, churches and communities,  always in search of the elusive goal of finding better and more perfect people and situations.

Yes, the devil has a real field day tapping in to a whole plethora of sinful drives within us, but his goal is always to divide us within ourselves, and among ourselves. We do well to recognize that, whatever our struggles with others, we all share a common enemy who seeks to divide and destroy us. As St Paul writes, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12). Feuding Brothers reconcile when there is a maniac at the door. But step one is notice the maniac, and then set aside our lesser divisions.

III. Diversion – To be diverted is to be turned away from what is our primary goal or task. And for all of us, the most critical focus is God and the good things waiting for us in heaven. Our path is toward heaven, along the path of faith and obedience to the truth, love of God and love of neighbor.  And thus the devil does all that he can to divert, that is, turn us away from our one true goal.

Perhaps he will do this by way of making us to be absorbed in the passing things of the world. So many claim that they are so busy that they have no time to pray, or get the church, or seek other forms of spiritual nourishment. They become absorbed in worldly things which pass, and ignore lasting reality which looms.

Anxieties and fears also cause us many distractions. And by these, the devil causes us to fixate on fears about passing things, and thereby not to have a proper fear of the judgment which awaits us. Jesus says Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Matt 10:28). In other words, we should have a holy reverence and fear directed towards the Lord, and in this way, many of our other fears will be seen in better perspective, or will go away altogether. But in this matter of fear, the devil says just the opposite: we should fear 10,000 things that might afflict us on this passing earth, and not think at all of the one most significant thing that awaits us, our judgment.

At the heart of all diversion is that the devil wants us to focus on lesser things to avoid focusing on greater things, such as a moral decisions, and the overall direction of our life.

Once again, we must learn to focus on what matters most, and decisively refuse to be diverted to lesser things.

IV. Discouragement – As human beings, and certainly as Christians, we ought to have high aspirations. This is good. But as in all good things, Satan often seeks to poison that which is good. For having high aspirations, it is also true that we sometimes lack the humility that recognizes that we must make a journey to that which is good, and best. Too easily then, Satan temps us to impatience with our self or others. And,  in our aspirations, expected in unreasonably quick time, there comes a lack of charity toward our self or others. Some grow discouraged with themselves or others and give up on the pursuit of holiness. Others give up on the church because of the imperfections found there.

The devil also discourages us, because aspirations are generally open-ended. The fact is, there is always room for improvement, and we can always do more. But here the devil enters, for, when we can always do more, it is also possible to think we’ve never done enough. And thus the devil discourages us, sowing thoughts of unreasonable demands within us as to what we can or should do they day by day.

The devil also discourages us through simple things like fatigue, the personal failings that we all experience, setbacks, and other obstacles that are common to our human condition, and common to living in a fallen world with limited resources.

In all these ways to devil seeks to discourage us, to make us want, at some level, to give up. Only a properly developed sense of humility can  help to save us from these discouraging works of Satan. For the fact is, humility, which is reverence for the truth about ourselves, teaches us that we grow and develop slowly and in stages, and that we do in fact have setbacks, and live in a world that is hard, and far from perfect. Recognizing these things, and being humble, helps us to lean more on the Lord, and trust in his providential help, which grows in us incrementally.

Here then are four common tactics of the devil. Learn to recognize and name them. In this way we start to gain authority over them. Consider buying the book by Fr. Louis Cameli to learn more.

In this song I like to think that the “Mama [who] loves me” is Mother Church.

86 Replies to “Four Common Tactics of the Devil”

  1. To my grammatically minded readers: I do not capitalize “devil” purposefully. The devil is not a proper noun, he is an improper one and I will not honor him by capitalizing “devil”

    1. Amen! I feel the same way. I rarely use his name, and only if there is no other option. I usually use mere descriptions like, “the deceiver,” “the accuser” or “the adversary,” also purposefully not capitalized.

      1. I like to refer to old sulfur breath as bucket head.
        Some use the term hairy legs.

    2. “The devil also deceives us by suggesting all sorts of complexities..”

      I agree with you. I remember seeing the debate between Bush vs. John Kerry. When the issue of abortion was brought up during the debate, Kerry just said (paraphrasing), “… Well it’s complex…it’s a gray area…”. He was trying to JUSTIFY MURDER (child killing) with poverty, etc., etc.. Sometimes I wish that Jesus would just come already.
      I don’t know if Roe v. Wade will ever be overturned because there are too many people like John Kerry.
      Thousands of years later, we circle back to the land of the Canaanites.

    3. Love it,,,,just like God’s Sacred Name and ALL references to Him, should be Capitalized! And also the Catholic Mass should ALWAYS be capitalized.
      Great article, and agree Mother Church does love us like a rock.

      1. Thank you, Lois. That’s the first thing I thought of when Msgr mentioned that. I am so disappointed in Catholic publications who refuse to capitalize pronouns referencing our Lord AND Blessed Mother. Just like I’m disappointed in folks who dont reverently genuflect toward the Real Presence upon entering and leaving Mass…And altar servers who walk too fast and dont reverently bow toward the altar or tabernacle in a very reverent slow way. And churches where when you enter you have to play the game, “Where’s Jesus!!?”…and you find out His tabernacle is thrown into some nook in cranny on the side somewhere when it should be front and center in the sanctuary unless it’s a cathedral, basilica, etc. Lord have mercy upon us.

        1. I was picking up my older daughter from CCD one night. We were early-so I took my 4 year old into the Church to pray for a bit. She started running and playing and I said “You can’t do that here. Jesus is here. We have to be respectful.”. She looked around and said “Where are the people? Why aren’t they coming to see Him?”. I thought “Out of the mouths of babes”. Indeed. Where are all the people? His true Presence isn’t recognized-even by many Catholics.

    4. THANK YOU! I do the same. I could never “honor” him in even the smallest way.

  2. Yes, “diabolos” means “that who separates” while “simbolos” means “that who joins”. So, the Bread of Christ is such a powerful symbol of the union of Earth and Heaven, of Him with us.

    1. Pedro…I love your comment…yes that is a guide for us to see those forces in society who seek to separate us and divide us and those who help bring unity! God Bless you Pedro!

  3. I am extremely discouraged and depressed lately. What you have written here is precisely true. Thanks for sharing your wisdom

  4. “Right from the start of Christianity, bells were the symbol of harmony. People were convinced that evil was repelled by the sound waves. It was also a symbol of unity, of meeting.” Kurt Kramer, campanologist.

    1. thank you Pedro

      the bells, the bells at my son’s funeral at the CONSECRATION!


      Msgr, would you kindly consider writing about bells at the consecration and during the liturgy. They are so seldomly spoken of and thank you for the article.

      1. In my last year of nursing school (late 60’s)I had to write a dissertation for Philosophy. Since I’m Jewish via my mother (we are Catholic-Jews)I wrote about the facts leading to how we viewed and treated our Jewish pt’s in Antwerp. I interviewed rich and poor, thus a lot of different social levels. One of them was an MD working @ 1 of our hospitals. His father was 33-rd degree mason of the Bnei Brith (jewish freemasons). He was saying :”soon the church bells won’t be allowed to ring anymore. We atheists are offended by being woken up on Sunday mornings by the church bells they remind us of God and Jesus”. Sometime later : NOT A SINGLE CHURCH BELL WAS RINGING !! And it is still like that.

  5. In the (Catholic) seminary, from 1978 to 1982, I was frequently told that “devil” meant simply “daemonic,” that is, a morally-neutral natural force. So, I had a “daemonic” for music; that is, I had musical talent. I bring this up as a salutary reminder that the Church has a lot of work to do to repair the faith in the hearts and minds of countless faithful, lay and clergy. This posting is very helpful; one doesn’t often read anything about the evil one that contains any serious acknowledgement of his existence at all, let alone useful advice on how to deal with him. Thank you for writing it.

    One criticism: there is nothing diabolical in the word “gay.” It is intended simply to be non-clinical. It doesn’t mean “sodomy.” The Catechism does not teach that saying “gay” is of the devil. So while rightly insisting on perfect chastity as a divine command, don’t sin against charity or yield to the temptation to divide.

    Lastly, of course “devil” is a common noun; there are many devils as well as “the” devil. The followup comment about “improper nouns” is unnecessary. Rather than making a quibble over spelling, why not reach out to some men of about my age who continue to feel our vocations were put out with the trash? That would upset the devil more than typography, I think!

    1. Hmmm…. I think you need to re-read the “wordsmithing” part and see that your accusations are misplaced. The fact remains that there is nothing at all gay about sodomy. Your concern to distinguish the orientation from the act is fair, but this is well dealt with in many other articles I have written over the years and I cannot spell everything out in every article all the time, my posts are already so long. But even as regards mere orientation there is also nothing “gay” (i.e. happy) about same-sex attraction which remains a disordered affection. “Gay” is not a neutral term as you describe it. It applies a positive label to something that is not positive and the word is part of an agenda that seeks to redefine the moral understanding of the issues involved.

      Regarding your final point. I regret your experience and know that it was a tough time in the seminary from the 70s thru the 80s. I endured a lot too and have chronicled that here over the years. Whether your vocation, and that of others was “put in the trash” however may not be a fair accusation and would need to be assessed on a case by case basis. We ought not unfairly simplify the process of discernment in one’s vocation which has a lot a moving parts. There are many things the Church must consider.

      Finally, just to be fussy about your being fussy, you might want to study up a bit on how the use of the definite vs indefinite article affects whether certain nouns are proper or common. My use of the term “improper” was playful, though I sense you missed the ironic humor.

    2. No, there’s nothing diabolical in the word “gay,” but the word is not exactly morally neutral, is it? Words are conventional; they depend for their meaning on habitual use. For most people, as the word “gay” is used conventionally, it means “embracing the lifestyle.” The proper term for a person who rejects the lifestyle, and yet feels inclinations of passion and sexual desire for persons of his/her own gender, is homosexual or more properly homosexually oriented. When we use the term “gay” we are being co-opted into the culture whether we like it or not, and whether or not we choose to be co-opted. That’s the power of language! Several Sundays ago we had Saint Paul’s wonderful teaching in chapter three of Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The priest in his Sermon took this to mean that in Christ there is not “gay nor straight.” My thought as I listened was “O, yes there is, Father. Straight may or may not be morally chaste, but gay is always unchaste.” The use of the term “gay” in this context, in a sermon, was morally wrong, and it was not a small “wrong” at all.

        1. I believe “gray lifestyle” is a more accurate description. Lord knows it’s not gay. And I would like to have our rainbow back too.

    3. I’m not sure what your intention is here…

      On the one hand, you criticize Monsignor for writing that “gay” means “sodomy”. He did not write that. He is simply saying that one of the strategies the devil uses to deceive us is to replace words that connote serious offense (i.e. “sodomy”) with those that have more positive connotations (“gay”). Both words bring to mind homosexual activity, do they not? Yet one – “gay” – has stripped the activity of its negative meaning.

      On the other hand, you make an issue of Monsignor’s explanation of why he will not capitalize “the devil”. Monsignor is quite used to people picking apart his writing, complaining that this “wasn’t capitalized and that wasn’t spelled correctly.” I’m guessing he was anticipating all the comments on why he didn’t bother to capitalize.

      You write “don’t sin against charity”, yet I find your comments very uncharitable, especially your last paragraph.

  6. This was a very good article. I believe it would be worth hearing in a homily. I have seen these four things at work in my own spiritual life and my parish, and the Church as a whole. Division is the one I tend to be more aware of these days among the faithful, but then, it’s probably fueled by the other three.

  7. How can we please God if we do not understand the tactics of the devil, if we don’t even believe there is a devil that wants to destroy us and separate us from God for all eternity to hell! The enemy comes against us but God gives us the means to do battle against the devil, to discern Good and evil, to “Love sincerely, hate what is evil, cling to what is Good” (Romans 12:9). Yes, when we speak up, when we speak the Truth, the devil is going to come against us, the devil is going to try to silence us… but then Jesus says to persevere and He gives us the strength to do so. We are not alone.

    Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

    9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

  8. Dear Msgr Pope,

    Thanks for the timely post. I humbly ask that you and my brethren reading this to pray for me as I’m seeking to unite my unemployment sufferings with that of our crucified Lord. Last Sept I was downsized after 22 yrs and then in April was dismissed in the wake of a chaotic post-merger environment where I was over my head but conducted myself with Catholic dignity. How I prayed daily for that job to work but it didn’t. I’m being treated by a Catholic therapist to deal with worry/anxiety and am trying through the Rosary and St. Joseph to become more humble, pure and find fulfilling work – not the highest possible salary – where I can witness for Christ and provide for my family. I don’t want to fall for the devil’s efforts to divert and discourage me into soft atheism. You and all readers in my daily prayers, Ave Maria, Michael

    1. Praying right now! It is a very difficult thing to lose work and I have ahd to walk with many through difficult times. Thankfully most find work eventually! Prayers

      1. Thank you and God bless you Msgr and all my brothers and sisters who read this.

        1. St. Michael the Archangel, hold Michael in your arms and ask our Lord to bring him peace and prosperity. Amen.

    2. GOD Bless you, Michael. Am praying for you. I know the feeling. There’s a reason for everything being allowed to us by GOD. I don’t know what it is for you, HIS Ways are not our ways but rest be assured that HIS Love is greater than our love for ourselves. I believe something good is being brewed by GOD for you. I just came from a bout of the bad news of cancer, now I am free of it, all by the Grace of GOD. Be not afraid for your name is ‘who is like GOD.’

    3. Prayers for you, Michael. You are named for a most powerful saint and warrior.

      Redemptive suffering is at times a great challeng to us poor worldlings who can’t see past the present moment.
      My only suggestion to you is to not only pray for relief but acceptance of God’s will for you.

      1. Pausing in my readings of the post to pray for Michael … done. Rose from my knees with a reminder of how much stronger I have become from finding new work when (often) unemployed and, a feeling that Michael can gain honest confidence through this.

  9. I capitalize on God and Jesus Christ. That is what I was taught, English grammar aside.

  10. Wow! The devil has been trying to get to me this week. Thank you God for bringing this article to me today

  11. Thanks a lot for the info on the devil and the vídeos which I enjoyed very much. I’d also like to recommend the following book “Novos Relatos de um Exorcista’ by Pe.Gabriele Amorth which I bought in Brazil. Sorry I haven’t the title in English or the Editor’s name. God bless!

  12. “The news media, and other sources of information, sometimes exercise their greatest power in what they do not report.”

    Indeed: consider the mass-media embargo of the trial of Philadelphia abortionist and murderer Kermit Gosnell.

    Or, for a grim laugh, listen to the Washington, D.C., radio traffic reporters on the day of the March For Life as they fail to give the real reason why there are all those tour buses on Constitution and Independence Avenues during the afternoon rush hour.

    Makes one feel a little less complacent about “sins of omission.”

  13. Very pertinent to me right now. I’ve been having a massive spiritual attack against my priesthood and it has been really getting to me. Having a good talk with a brother priest was very helpful. He reminded me-as did this article-about what the devil wants to do to the human race but especially priests. After speaking with him I couldn’t help to think about how priests are wounded lambs stalked by the lion devil. Thank you for your good article. I will use some of these points in a homily soon to remind people that we fight not only against our nature but more importantly against that one who seeks to join us to his final fate. Let us pray.

    1. PadreNYC: When you joined the priesthood, you painted a bullseye on your chest and offered yourself in place of your lambs. It’s a tough job, but know that though it may not often be said, those of us in the pews who know our faith know the sacrifices you make and appreciate the burdens you have taken upon yourself.

    2. +JMJ+

      God Bless you Father. Thank you for your sacrifices for us.

      Adoration Of Jesus Christ In The Most Blessed Sacrament, Make spiritual communions(several times a day – you can share them with others if you want) and The Rosary all will help. Everyone please pray for our priests.

  14. Edit suggestion, Section II, last paragraph: sinful dries within us. I assume you meant drives.

    Thanks for this article!

  15. Thank you for your inspiring blog. I read it regularly and find here a lot of precious reflections.

    I would like to ask you a question about the song. I like the idea that “mama” is Mother Church, but I am not sure what does it mean: “she loves me like a rock”? I found the explanation in a dictionary that a “rock” means “coke” (in slang). I don’t like this translation but I can not imagine another one. Is there any?

    Thank you.

    Teofila from Poland.

    1. A rock, Teofila, is unmoving. To love someone like a rock, then, would be to love someone in a manner that is constant and unchanging. This is why we can say our mama loves us like a rock.

    2. Welcome to the U.S. Blog, Teofila!

      Msgr, you’re famous, you’re getting fans from around the world!

    3. In the case of this song’s lyrics, a rock is something stable and safe. So with Msgr’s interpretation, think of St. Peter, the Rock on which Mother Church was built. The love of a good mother is sure and lasting.

  16. Thank you Msgr. for the excellent article. I have always believed the devil is here among us and when sharing this, have been told there is no such thing. Exactly what he wants the human race to believe. I plan on purchasing the book. God Bless.

  17. Hey Jon, why are you so hung up on the word “gay?” It was an interesting post until you arrived at that word, and then a certain jarring note entered in. I first heard the word ‘gay’ as a teenager in the ‘fifties from a truck-driver that I hitched a ride from while in high school, and he certainly didn’t use it in a salutary way, only in a derisive and negative way; And I can still remember the phrase he used: “the cry of the wild homo, g-a-a-a-ay!” Silly and very ridiculing. So why has the gayreich sodomite movement in the U.S.LATCHED on to this idiotic word (in their weird context) as some kind of nonsensic UNITY word? Is it meant mainly in an appropriative sense? As in, like, “this is OUR word now, it IDENTIFIES us”? I don’t know, Jon, do you? And, btw, when used as a way of defanging the gayfascist movement, “gay” CAN be a diabolical use in that context, in order to ‘soften’ and “mainstream” the whole concept of organized sodomism, which, for instance, so-called “gay marriage” really is. And I’m just asking. GOD BLESS ALL, MARKRITE

  18. If one is walking in the path of Light and encounters the devil, one is sure that he traveling the right direction, but if your walking and never encounter evil, you surely are walking with the devil toward the road of perdition. The enemy is indeed wily and crafty and it is good that the LORD JESUS told us to be shrewd as a serpent and gentle as a dove. Thanks for this article, Monsi. We are very much into spiritual warfare, for we are Church Militants especially the Priests of the Church, the Fathers of the spiritual families and the priests of the little church, the fathers of families. Btw, I would also like to think that the Mama is our Mama Mary who loves me like a rock. Boyoboyoboy, she fights for me and with me indeed. “Who is She that cometh forth as a morning rising, fair as the moon…”

      1. You are welcome, Becky. GOD Bless you and the family. The continuation of the prayer is,”bright as the sun and terrible as an army set in battle array!” This refers to Mama Mary who steps on the head of the serpent. This is the prayer of the Legion of Mary called Catenary Legionis.

  19. Thank you for this summary of the book. I also have enjoyed the Screwtape Letters very much … my children and I could recognize the devil’s actions in our midst.

  20. Blessings! Thank you so much for sharing your reflections. It is time for me to re-read C.S.Lewis, ‘The Screwtape Letters’…

  21. “For the fact is, humility, which is reverence for the truth about ourselves, teaches us that we grow and develop slowly and in stages, and that we do in fact have setbacks, and live in a world that is hard, and far from perfect.”–Well said. For some reason your use of the word ‘reverence’ in the definition of humility, a word that I often have confusion about, brought it to life for me.

  22. The one I always think of is “rationalization”. It’s so prevalent today it’s almost intrinsic. Our politicians rationalize, our teachers, our media and all of us too. That to me is a very powerful tool of the d-.

    I think C.S. Lewis illustrated this well in the content of the letters between Wormwood and his instructor…

    Typically it’s any sentence that begins in our heads with, “Oh it’s just this once…”, etc.

  23. All respect to you man of God Msgnr Pope. Am so grateful to read such a very important article as an eye opener to many who are ignorant about the devils devices.
    As one of the believers in Christ Jesus as the Lord and Saviour(Savior), I would like to thank you for this.
    But the main concern I have Msgnr, is the issue of prayer. Out of the Four ways listed above, the first one is deception. This is really one of the best tool the devil uses to deceive us. However, I see Catholics not following the right way to speak to God according to how the Lord Jesus Christ taught us too.
    For example, in John 14v6, the Lord Jesus says; ”…And Jesus answere, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME.”
    In verse 13-14, He says; ”… And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me anything in My name, and I will do it.
    There are so many verses where the Lord Jesus talked about such things. Not leaving out John 16v23-26.
    My question is; why is that in the Catholic beliefs there is an encouragement of involving mother Mary and saints as mediators? Is that Biblical? Don’t you think this is a deception from the devil, as it already sounds?
    If there is a Biblical reference, may I be notified of it my Msgnr. Am writing from South Africa. Thank you so much.

      1. Msgr., Would the account of Jesus speaking with Moses and Elijah also say something to this question? What do you think?

        Matthew 17:3 Then Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus.

    1. Gracious,

      You protestant may know many verses but you don’t know all of the verses. And here reveals your lack of knowledge and your prideful rebellion against the TRUE CHURCH – the CATHOLIC CHURCH.

      In Luke 2:35, the prophet Simeon spoke to Mary saying:

      “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

      Why are there ‘many hearts’ and ‘thoughts’ that are ‘revealed’ after the piercing of Mary’s soul?
      This passage reveals that Mary’s soul is united to her Son and the followers of Christ is also united to Mary.
      But the ‘thoughts and ‘hearts’ are united to Mary in what way? This unity is achieved in the CALLING OF THE SAINTS:

      “CALL NOW if there be any that will answer thee, and TURN TO SOME of the SAINTS.” – Job 5:1


      And Mary is above all saints because God rested in her womb. We are to call out to the saints!

  24. Suggested reading:
    The Devil (Does He Exist and What Does He Do?); by Father Delaporte.
    Evidence of Satan in the Modern World; by Leon Cristiani
    The Devil..alive and active in our world; by Corrado Balducci

    O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

    Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

    These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

    Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen. V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
    R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.
    V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
    R. As we have hoped in Thee.
    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

    Let us pray.
    O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.

  25. Msgnr, I may have sounded so, but that’s not what I meant…. In the Catholic Religion there is a huge belief that the departed people, who are believed to be saints also pray for us who are still alive.
    St. Paul, in his writing,, did’t mean the dead saints…..

    1. Please read the article to which I directed you. It is clear that you did not, and for this reason I have deleted the rest of your comment. Your concerns are well and definitively answered in the article to which I directed you. Read it if you dare.

      1. Oh Gracious,

        Did St. Paul specify “don’t pray to the DEAD saints.” No he didn’t, but you protestants like to add text like “faith alone.” You guys (protestants) are funny, for you ADD TEXT and you reject REVEALED TEXT.
        The saints in Heaven are alive in Christ, they have souls ya know. Gracious, this is basic theology!

  26. I couldn’t agree with you more. Amazing timing on publishing this – like handing a sword to St. Michael the Archangel.

  27. This is excellent. I will have to look at the book you reference. Thank you so much for this.

  28. Would you mind if I had this printed in the parish bulletin? And if you do not object, how would you prefer we print the article’s credits?

  29. A prophet of God stated: “As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression… For while we know that “peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion,” we are also assured that “the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst.””
    “To lift our spirits and send us on our way rejoicing, the devil’s designs of despair, discouragement, depression, and despondency can be defeated in a dozen ways, namely: repentance, prayer, service, work, health, reading, blessings, fasting, friends, music, endurance, and goals. May we use them all in the difficult days ahead so that we Christian pilgrims will have greater happiness here and go on to a fulness of joy in the highest realms of the celestial kingdom.” (President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign Oct 1986)

  30. From Thomas F. Gallagher’s comment “No, there’s nothing diabolical in the word “gay,” but the word is not exactly morally neutral, is it? Words are conventional; they depend for their meaning on habitual use.”
    When I was growing up in the 1950’s and early 1960’s the dominant consumers of entertainment were used to the entertainment culture, and resulting terminology, of the 1930’s and 1950’s. To them “gay” meant a hedonistic, philandering and heterosexual male culture who were very prone to chase other men’s wives. Not a culture which I would endorse but, when I was a child that is who the word “gay” refererred to by “habitual use”
    Maurice Chevalier’s gay Paree (pronounciation for Paris); a song my father loved about a gay cabelllero, in Rio de Janeiro, who had lost an ear in a fight with a jealous husband and many other examples.
    That particular usage was dying out, but not yet gone, when whatever intellectual property rights which they may have had was taken from them by another culture. At about the same time some people of African descent were looking for a new term to replace the old “negro” which was not as derogatory as some terms but did have ties to the condescension of the past. They chose black; which did not, as far as I know, have a sort of reservation to some one else’s cultural terminology and serves as a fine example of re-naming. Wordsmithing was sure a good part of the homily here.
    However, in going to an overview of the entire homiliy, I get the impression that the devil’s main objective is to convince us that; if we create an illusion of Eden and get used to the less convincing parts of the illusion; we will somehow be back in Eden and can just coast along without addressing any spiritual values or needs.
    Wooden hard, and sour tasting, crab apples may not be pleasant at first but we can get used to them and be tricked into thinking that they’re as good as anything.
    I’ve watched some sectors of psychology begin addressing the needs of those who are ill with co-dependence (made prominent by the spouse of a co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous) then … having seen sub-segments of psychology resort to inspiring further descent into co-dependence, and its resulting denial that they call benefit of therapy, ties in a lot with the impression fo a (denied) pain filled illusion of an iminent Eden inspired by … who? I think we know.
    Thank you for this post which helps me more clearly focus on a previously “grey area” which is now less confusing.

    1. Oh dear. I proof read a few times and missed seeing, in the first paragraph “… resulting terminology, of the 1930′s and 1950′s” which should read, “1930’s and 1940’s”.
      Previously in the sentence, “growing up in the 1950′s and early 1960′s” is OK and expresses what I’m trying to say.
      Perhaps there was a chink in my armour due my own carelessness. Armour described in Ephesians 6 and, maybe in Isaiah 59:15-17
      So, God walks straight on the devil’s crooked path as I feel moved to share this possible link between the well known quote from The Book of Ephesians and one, which may be less known, in The Book of Isaiah.

  31. I liked the format that was used to clarify what methods might be used by the evil one. I’m not a Monsignor, Reverend, Pastor, or any other messenger of God that has a title. I’m just one person. I turned 57 on July 22nd, my grandmother’s birthday. I don’t believe in coincidences. I feel that I was some how supposed to come across this article and the responses made in return. But I can tell you how I felt about the article. Even the smallest of words that register in my head are a victory towards my soul… and I’m grateful for that.

    Thank you!

  32. Wow! Quite a good rundown on the many faces of the devil and it’s tactics. I have been under a particularly vicious attack lately on many fronts. The warning was given at the beginning of a book I bought, “True Devotion to Mary” – St. Louis De Montfort. All these things are being thrown at me (and my family) with some success. It is apparent that one must be on guard at all times with a clear mind. By the grace of God I will persevere. Thank you for putting this into print.

  33. Michael, we will pray for you as well and ask readers for prayers for us as well? My husband has been looking for work for quite some time – most of a year. He’s gotten out of farming, and so the transition has been very hard. We have 7 children at home and I’d dearly love to continue to home school. We are both very discouraged at times; not enough to give up or feel we’ve been abandoned, but enough to feel fairly down in the dumps!
    God bless you all,

  34. I think that we are giving the devil too much credit for our sins. I believe that the vast majority of sins in the World are from our own free will. I think the devils do tempt us to a certain extent, as limited by God, otherwise we would be overwhelmed.

    Our secular society also heavily influences us to sin.

    We should always pray to the Holy Spirit to descend on all of us sinners.

  35. when the celebrant says : Behold the Lamb of God,
    behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
    Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb
    we say” Lord, I am not worthy
    that you should enter under my roof,
    but only say the word
    and my soul shall be healed.”
    when we say these words doesnt it imply that we are not worthy of receiving the lord in our house. and that after mass when we go home satan can destroy our house because we are carrying the lord inside of us to our house.
    and when we say to the lord “only say the word and my soul shall be healed” doesnt it imply that we are not asking for any healing of our body which always needs healing? will not our bodies become prone to the attacks of the evil one?

  36. When I get distracted and my mind is whirling around and I make wrong decisions, I know the evil one is at work. All I need to do is spend more time with Jesus and “ALL IS WELL!

  37. Great post- thanks for sharing! I love how you brought up how important good content is. It’s so frustrating seeing poorly written/clearly spun/duplicate content online. Original and well written content is honestly so invaluable in the SEO world!

  38. Another great lesson for all of us, Monsignor. As you know “diabolos” is Greek and it means “the hurler.” Satan hurls his darts at us and hurls accusations against us trying to lead us into despair. Mary is our refuge. The beads of her Rosary are bullets to fire at the “hurler.”

  39. My spiritual director tells me and my family to sing praise to God and to give thanks when we are aware of the adversary’s presence and workings, which is always.

    Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow,
    Praise him all creatures here below;
    Praise him above all ye heavenly hosts.
    Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    It seems so simple, but children are meant to do simple things.

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