The Power Of Satan (2).

The Power Of Satan (2).

continued…

Fr. Amorth Writes:

Scripture tells us that angels and demons (I want particularly to mention Satan) are spiritual creatures but also that they are individuals gifted with intelligence, will, freedom, and initiative. Those modern theologians who identify Satan with the abstract idea of evil are completely mistaken. Theirs is true heresy; that is, it is openly in contrast with the Bible, the Fathers, and the Magisterium of the Church. The truth about Satan was never doubted in the past; therefore, there are no dogmatic definitions in this respect with the exception of the following statement of the Fourth Lateran Council: “The devil [that is, Satan] and the other demons were created good by God;but they became evil through their own fault.” Whoever denies Satan also denies sin and no longer understands the actions of Christ.

Let us be clear about this: Jesus defeated Satan through his sacrifice. However, Jesus also defeated Satan before his death, through his teachings: “If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Lk 11:20). Jesus is the strongest one, who tied up Satan (Mk 3:27), despoiled him, and pillaged his kingdom, which is at an end (Mk 3:26).

Jesus first gave the power to cast out demons to his apostles; then he extended the power to the seventy-two disciples, and in the end he granted it to all those who would believe in him.

The Acts of the Apostles tell us that after the descent of the Holy Spirit the apostles continued to expel demons, and all Christians have done so after them. Already, the earliest Fathers of the Church, such as Justin and Irenaeus, clearly express Christian thought about the devil and about the power to cast him out. Other Fathers, in particular Tertullian and Origen, concur.

These four authors alone can refute many modern theologians, who, for all purposes, either do not believe in the devil or completely ignore him.

The Second Vatican Council powerfully reminded us of this abiding teaching of the Church:

“For a monumental struggle against the powers of darkness pervades the whole history of man. The battle was joined from the very origins of the world” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 37).

“Although he was made by God in a state of holiness, from the very dawn of history man abused his liberty, at the urging of personified Evil. Man set himself against God and sought to find fulfillment apart from God.

Although he knew God, he did not glorify Him as God, but his senseless mind was darkened and he served the creature rather than the Creator” (no. 13). “For He sent His Son, clothed in our flesh, in order that through this Son He might snatch men from the power of darkness and of Satan” (Ad Gentes, no. 3).

How can those who deny the existence and the many activities of Satan understand the achievements of Christ? How can they understand the value of the redemptive death of Christ? On the basis of Sacred Scripture, the Second Vatican Council affirms that “[Christ], by His death and resurrection, had freed us from the power of Satan”(Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 6). And “[Christ] was crucified and rose again to break the stranglehold of personified Evil” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 2).

To be continued…

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