Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Do not approach the devil or talk to him: he is “defeated”, “he is chained up to die, but he is capable of slaughter” because as “the father of lies” he can seduce and, like a chained rabid dog, bites if you caress him, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by the passage of the Gospel of John (16.5-11) in which Jesus says: “the prince of this world has been judged”.
“We can say that he is dying”, added the Pope, he is still “defeated”. But it is not easy to convince us because “the devil is a seducer”, “he knows what words to tell us”, and “we like to be seduced”. He has this ability; this ability to seduce. This is why it is so difficult to understand that he is defeated, because he presents himself with great power, promises you many things, brings you gifts – beautiful, well wrapped – ‘Oh, how nice!’ – but you do not know what is inside – ‘But, the packaging is beautiful’. It seduces us with the package without letting us see what’s inside. He can present his proposals to our vanity, to our curiosity “.
The hunters say they do not approach the dying crocodile because with a stroke it can still kill. So the devil who “is very dangerous”: presents himself with all his power, “his proposals are all lies” “and we, idiots, believe”. In fact, the devil “is the great liar, the father of lies”. “He can speak well”, “he is able to sing to deceive”: “he is a loser but moves like a winner”. This light of the devil that seems dazzling “like a firework” does not last, it fades away, it is not like the light of the Lord that instead is “gentle” and “permanent”.
The devil, said Francis again, “seduces us, knows how to touch our vanity, curiosity and we buy everything”, that is, “we fall into temptation”. It is therefore “a dangerous defeat”. “We must be attentive to the devil”, the Pope’s warning that he invites, as Jesus says, to be vigilant, pray and fast. Thus the temptation is overcome. It is also fundamental “not to approach him” because, as a Father of the Church said, he is like an “angry”, “rabid” chained dog, which one should not caress because it bites. “If I know that spiritually if I approach that thought, if I approach that desire, if I go that way or the other, I’m approaching the angry and chained dog. Please do not do it. ‘I have a big wound …’ – ‘Who made it?’ – ‘The dog’ – ‘But he was chained?’ – ‘Oh, yes, I went to give him a caress’ -‘ But you were looking for it ‘. It’s like this: never approach him, because he is chained. Let him stay chained there “.
And we must be careful not to talk to the devil as Eve did: ” “She believed herself to be the great theologian and she fell”. Jesus does not do it: in the desert, he responds with the Word of God. He hunts out the demons, he sometimes asks their names but doesn’t talk to them. “With the devil he does not dialogue, because he wins us, he is smarter than us”. He is disguised as an angel of light, but he is “an angel of shadow, an angel of death”:
“He is a convict, he is a loser, he is a chained one who is about to die, but he is capable of massacre. And we must pray, do penance, do not approach, do not dialogue with him”. And in the end “go to the mother, like children. When children are afraid, they go to their mother: “Mom, Mom… I’m scared! “when they make dreams… they go to their mother. Go to Our Lady; she guards us. And the Fathers of the Church, especially the Russian mystics, say: in the time of spiritual upheavals, take refuge under the mantle of the great Mother of God. To go to the Mother – Bergoglio concludes – that she may help us in this fight against the defeated, against the chained dog to defeat him”.