10/12/2018, 22.08
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Pope: the devil destroys with vices and wars or with the spirit of worldliness

When the demon has been cast out, he returns. "Yes, we have our faults, our sins, but everything seems to be in order. And he is ‘well-mannered ': go, see, look for a nice clique, knock on the door -' May I enter? – He rings the bell. And these well-mannered demons are worse than the first, because you do not even realize they are in your home. "

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The devil destroys either with vices and wars or with the spirit of worldliness said Pope Francis at Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the passage from the Gospel of Luke (Lk 11: 15-26) which tells of when Jesus casts out demons and is accused of doing so by means of Beelzebub.

"The devil, when he takes possession of a person's heart, he stays there, making himself at home and does not want to leave," the Pope said, stressing that when Jesus casts out demons, they try to ruin the person, to do evil " even physically ".

Jesus often  cast out demons, his and our true enemies. "The struggle between good and evil" sometimes "seems too abstract". But "the real struggle is the first fight between God and the ancient serpent, between Jesus and the devil". "This struggle takes place within us. Each of us is fighting, perhaps without even knowing it, but we are fighting ".

Today's Gospel begins with some people who accuse Jesus of having cast out a demon through Beelzebub. There are always "they evil tongued". A discussion follows between Jesus and these people.

"The essence of the devil is to destroy", the Pope reiterated, explaining that his vocation is precisely "to destroy the work of God". He noted the risk of dismissing [these demons] in a childlike way believing that it is not so, that they are inventions of priests. The demon, on the other hand, destroys and "when he cannot destroy" face to face, because he is faced with the force of God that defends the person, then being "smarter than a fox", cunning, he seeks a way to regain possession of that person.

The last part of the Gospel passage emphasizes that when the impure spirit is cast out of man, he wanders through deserted places seeking refuge and "not finding it says: 'I will return to my house - from where he had been cast out by Jesus - from which I left".

Even in speaking he introduces himself politely, saying "I left" when instead he was cast out. "On my return, I find it swept and adorn", and then he takes another seven spirits worse than him, they enter and stay there and that man’s condition becomes worse than before.

Francis reflected that when the devil cannot destroy a person through vices, or a people with wars and persecutions, he comes up with another strategy, "the strategy he uses with all of us". "We are Christians, Catholics, let's go to Mass, let's pray ... Everything seems to be in order. Yes, we have our faults, our sins, but everything seems to be in order. And he is ‘well-mannered ': go, see, look for a nice clique, knock on the door -' Excuse me? May I come in? - He rings the bell. And these polite demons are worse than before, because you do not realize you have them in your home. And this is the worldly spirit, the spirit of the world. The demon either directly destroys with vices, with wars, with injustices directly or politely destroys, diplomatically in this way that Jesus says. They make no noise, they make friends, they persuade you - 'No, don’t not do so much, no , but ... up to here it's fine '- and they lead you down the path of mediocrity, they make you ' luke-warm 'on the path of worldliness ".

Have care, therefore, not to fall "into this spiritual mediocrity, into this spirit of the world", which "corrupts us from within". "I am more afraid of these demons than of the first", said Francis. "When they say to me: 'We need an exorcist because a person is possessed by the devil', I do not worry as much as when I see these people who opened the door to educated demons, to those who persuade themselves that they are not enemies" .

"I often ask myself: what is worse in a person's life? A clear sin or living in the spirit of the world, of worldliness? That the devil throws you on a sin - also, not one, twenty, thirty sins, but clear, that you are ashamed of - or that the devil is at table with you and alive, living with you and everything is normal, but there, nourished insinuations and possesses you with the spirit of worldliness? ".

The spirit of worldliness is this: "what well-mannered demons bring". Francis recalled the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper - "defend them from the spirit of the world" - exhorting them to have "vigilance and calm". "In front of these polite demons who want to enter the front door like wedding guests, we say: 'Vigilance and calm'. Vigilance: this is the message of Jesus, Christian vigilance. What happens in my heart? Why am I so mediocre? Why am I so lukewarm? How many 'well-mannered' live at home without paying the rent? ".

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