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Jun 30 06 8:21 PM
Quote:"What was the Fall of the Angels?":This expression indicates that Satan and other demons, about which Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church speak, were angels, created good by God. They were, however, transformed into evil because with a free and irrevocable choice they rejected God and His Kingdom, thus giving rise to the existence of hell. They try to associate human beings with their revolt against God. However, God has wrought in Christ a sure victory over the Evil One.
Quote:When tempted by the devil...
Quote:And then he turned to Peter. He said Satan had demanded to sift the disciples like wheat. This evokes the passage in the book of Job in which Satan asks God for permission to afflict Job. The devil - the calumniator of God and men - wants to prove by this that true religious devotion does not exist, but that man is always and in everything looking for his own gain. In Jobs case, God grants Satan the freedom he has requested precisely in order to defend his creature, man, and himself. This is what happens to the disciples of Jesus, in all times. So often it seems to us that God is allowing Satan too much liberty, that he is granting him the ability to shake us in a much too terrible way, and that this exceeds our power and too greatly oppresses us. Again and again we cry out to God: Look down upon the misery of your disciples and protect us! In fact, Jesus continues: I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail (Luke 22:32). The prayer of Jesus is the limit posed on the power of evil. The prayers of Jesus are the protection of the Church. We can seek refuge under this protection, cling to it and be sure of it. But, as the Gospel tells us, Jesus prayed especially for Peter: that your faith may not fail. This prayer of Jesus is at the same time a promise and a task entrusted. The prayer of Jesus safeguards Peters faith, the faith that he confessed at Caesarea Philippi: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:16). Ecco: dont ever allow this faith to become dumb, always reinvigorate it again, even in the face of the cross and all the contradictions of the world this is the task of Peter. This is precisely why the Lord does not only pray for the personal faith of Peter but for his faith in the service of others. This is what He means when He says: and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers (Luke 22:32). "Once you have turned back" - this saying is at the same time a prophecy and a promise. It foretells the weakness of Simon, who, in the presence of a couple of slaves, denies that he knows Jesus. Through this fall, Peter - and with him, the Church of all times - must learn that its own strength is never sufficient for building up and guiding the Church of the Lord. No one can do it by himself. As capable and skillful as Peter seems, he fails in the first moment of trial: once you have turned back The Lord, who foretold his fall, also promised his conversion: And the Lord turned and looked at Peter" (Luke 22:61). The gaze of Jesus accomplished the transformation, and became Peters salvation: he "went out and began to weep bitterly" (22:62). We always want to implore this salvific glance from Jesus - for all those who bear responsibility in the Church; for all those who suffer on account of the confusion of these times; for both great and small: Lord, always look upon us again and thus raise us up whenever we fall, taking us in your own good hands. The Lord entrusts to Peter the responsibility for his brothers through the promise of his prayer. Peters office is founded upon the prayer of Jesus. It is this that assures him that he will persevere through all human misery. And the Lord entrusts this task to him in the context of the Supper, in connection with the gift of the Most Holy Eucharist. The Church, at its core, is a Eucharistic community, and therefore a communion in the Body of the Lord. Peters task is that of presiding over this universal communion, of maintaining its presence in the world as a unity that is also visible. He, together with the whole Church of Rome, must - as Saint Ignatius of Antioch says - preside in charity: preside over the community of that love which comes from Christ and, ever anew, passes beyond the limits of the private to bring the love of Christ to the ends of the earth.
Quote:"And Peter took Him, and began to rebuke Him", says the Gospel. "But turning and seeing his disciples, He (Jesus) rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men."
Quote:Peter had attempted, as it were, to stop following and to take the lead, determining for himself the direction in which the road was to lead. But he is uncompromisingly directed back to his place: Get behind me! To follow really means to go behind, to move in the direction prescribed, even if this direction is completely contrary to one's own wishes. Precisely because the word "follow" is meant so literally, it effects the innermost depths of the human person.In this light we can understand to some extent what is meant when the calling of the disciples and the essence of discipleship are expressed in the gospels in a few stereotyped words of Jesus. "Follow me!"....
Jun 30 06 10:23 PM
Quote:Since the days as the leader of the forces that suppressed the liberatory aspects of Vatican II and purged or silenced the Church of its most creative leadership (including German Catholic theologians Eugene Drewermann and Hans Kung, Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, and several prominent American Catholic thinkers), to the present moment in which he is recognized as the leader most identified with the forces of reaction and suppression of dissent within the church, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has distinguished himself as a man who can be counted on to side with the most anti-humane and repressive forces, in opposition to those who seek to give primacy to a world of peace and justice,...
Jul 1 06 7:08 PM
Quote:From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." Matthew 16:16-18
Quote:He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." Mark 8:21-23
Quote:Herein yes he rebukes Peter; but it is NOT Peter he addresses in the following sentence. He truly is speaking to the unseen Satan who is trying to persuade Peter in his [Peter's] emotional thoughts as a man.
Quote:[Peter] was shocked by the Lord's announcement of the Passion and protested, prompting a lively reaction from Jesus (cf. Mk 8: 32-33).* * * * Peter wanted as Messiah a "divine man" who would fulfil the expectations of the people by imposing his power upon them all: we would also like the Lord to impose his power and transform the world instantly. Jesus presented himself as a "human God", the Servant of God, who turned the crowd's expectations upside-down by taking a path of humility and suffering.* * * *Peter, impulsive as he was, did not hesitate to take Jesus aside and rebuke him. Jesus' answer demolished all his false expectations, calling him to conversion and to follow him: "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men" (Mk 8: 33). It is not for you to show me the way; I take my own way and you should follow me.
Quote:Do you still have something like the question of all questions? And if you could ask the world-spirit [Weltgeist] something, what would you like to know?The question that I would have is the one that basically everyone has. Why is the world as it is? What is the meaning of all the suffering in it? Why is evil so powerful in it when God is the one with the real power?
Jul 3 06 2:59 AM
Quote:You articulate the thoughts of many intelligent people confronting this problem. Benodette,Surely you are not implying or suggesting that people who believe in the existence of Satan the Devil are unintelligent? >D That sure would include a lot of learned and highly intelligent people both in the Church as teachers and preachers, and believers within the Church who know their scriptures.There are no simplistic answers. The dictatorship of relativism again that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of where there is no absolute truth anywhere about anything!The finest minds have grappled with it for centuries.
Jul 3 06 9:32 AM
Jul 3 06 10:30 PM
Quote:Pax Tibi: It is incredibly easy to hand your power over to satan or evil by continually blaming him, or others, for everything evil that you do.Ultimately, each one of us is responsible for all of our own actions. Yes, evil is a reality but it is the individual who chooses to follow the path of evil and act in an evil way.
Jul 4 06 12:35 AM
Jul 5 06 2:03 AM
Quote:I was responding to the points raised in the post by rcesq no: 136 - paragraph 2 where she is questioning the reality of Satan the Devil, and even as regards to the scriptural context where this BEING is mentioned.
Quote:Personally, I find it too simplistic to blame an agent such as the "devil" for human actions that are evil. (Q: Why did you murder that child? A: The Devil made me do it.) If it helps you and others to deal with the concept of evil by anthropomorphizing evil into the figure of a devil -- the way the devil showed up in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, for example -- fine. But I hope you're aware that the story of Lucifer's fall is not told in Scripture. And Satan is a figure of some ambiguity in the New Testament. A character called Satan tempts Christ in the desert, but Christ also calls Peter "Satan" when Peter tries to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem and the cross. So perhaps "satan" is but another name for temptation -- which is not the same thing as evil.
Quote:The language of apocalyptic writing is richly symbolic, and the importance of the visions which are described is never in their immediate literal meaning. It can be taken as a rule that every element in this kind of writing has symbolic value persons, places, animals, actions, objects, parts of the body, numbers and measurements, stars, constellations, colours and garments -- and if we are not to misunderstand or distort the writers message, we must appreciate the imagery at its true value and do our best to translate the symbols back into the ideas which [the author] intended them to convey. There are parts of the text in which this will involve our distinguishing a direct allegorical interpretation of the images that are used. There are other parts, however, in which no single interpretation can be confidently adopted, since a single group of images will be found to draw its meaning from various different associations. [Emphasis added.]
Quote:391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil." The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."* * * *395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him." [Emphasis added.]
Jul 5 06 4:35 AM
Jul 5 06 9:19 AM
Jul 5 06 5:36 PM
Quote:I would like to ask you if YOU yourself ACTUALLY believe that HE exists?
Quote:do you yourself believe in God? as you seem rather confused as to spiritual things?
Jul 5 06 8:34 PM
Quote:Last time I looked, belief in the devil is not one of them.*
Quote:It is generally forgotten by Christians that one of principal effects of our redemption by Christ's death and resurrection is the defeat of what St. John calls "the prince of this world" (Jn 14:30)....Yet the Catholic faith is quite clear about it: "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil" (1 Jn 3: ....An odd aftermath of Vatican II. The denial of the existence of the devil among theologians during the late 1960s and 1970s prompted a magisterial document entitled Christian Faith and Demonology, which was published on July 10, 1975, by the ordinary authority of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (without however the signature of the prefect of the congregation or the approbation of Pope Paul VI). Rich in historical and scriptural references, this document shows beyond any doubt that the Church has always believed in the existence of the devil as a force that must be reckoned with in the daily life of the Christian....This study then proceeds to show that there is massive evidence from the New Testament (especially the contradictory teachings on this question by the Pharisees and Sadducees, the two major religious groups at the time of Christ), and from the Fathers of the Church and popes, all leading up to the Fourth Lateran Council of the 13th century, that demonstrates a fundamental teaching on the existence of the devil. The council merely sums up this teaching when it proclaims in a creed the following: We firmly believe and simply confess...one principle of the universe: the Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal, who by His omnipotence from the beginning of time created all things from nothing, both spiritual and corporeal, namely, the angels and the world, then the human creature, which belongs in a certain way to both, for it is composed of spirit and of body. For the devil and the other demons were created naturally good by God, but it is they who by their own action made themselves evil. As for man, he sinned at the instigation of the devil. It seems rather strange that theologians shortly after Vatican II would dispute the doctrine of the devil when it was again reaffirmed at this council. Hence, the document Christian Faith continues: It is for this reason that the Second Vatican Council, which concerned itself more often with the present condition of the Church than with creation, did not fail to warn against the activity of Satan and the demons. Once more, as at Florence and Trent, it recalled, with the apostle, that Christ "takes us out of the power of darkness." Summarizing Scripture in the manner of St. Paul and the Book of Revelation, the constitution Gaudium et Spes stated that our history, universal history, "is a hard struggle against the powers of darkness, a struggle begun with the beginning of the world and one which will continue, as the Lord says, until the last day." Elsewhere, Vatican II repeated the admonitions of the Letter to the Ephesians to "put on the armor of God so as to resist the wiles of the devil." For, as the same constitution reminds the laity, "we have to fight against the rulers of this dark world, against the spirits of evil." It is not surprising finally to note that the same council, wishing to emphasize that the Church is truly the kingdom of God already begun, appeals to the miracles of Jesus and for this purpose makes explicit reference to His exorcisms. It was on this occasion, in fact, that Jesus made the celebrated statement, "then the kingdom of God has come upon you."In conclusion, the same document sums up the reason why the existence of the devil was never solemnly defined by the magisterium: Briefly then, the Church's position in regard to demonology is clear and firm. It is true that in the course of the centuries the existence of Satan and of the devils has never in fact been the object of an explicit declaration of her magisterium. The reason for this is that the question was never posed in these terms. Both heretics and the faithful, basing their respective positions on sacred Scripture, were in agreement in recognizing the existence of Satan and the devils and their main misdeeds. This is why, when the reality of the devil is called into question today, it is to the constant and universal belief of the Church and to its main source, the teaching of Christ, that one must appeal, as has been stated. It is in fact in the teaching of the Gospel and as something at the heart of the faith that the existence of the demonic world is shown to be a dogmatic datum. The present-day unease which we described at the beginning does not therefore call into question a secondary element of Christian thinking; it is a question, rather, of the constant belief of the Church, of her manner of conceiving redemption and, at the root source, it goes against the very consciousness of Jesus. This is why, when His Holiness Pope Paul VI spoke recently of this "terrible, mysterious and frightening reality" of evil, he could assert with authority: "he who refuses to recognize its existence, or whoever makes of it a principle in itself which does not have, like every creature, its origin in God, or who explains it as a pseudoreality, a conceptual and imaginary personification of the unknown causes of our ills, departs from the integrity of biblical and ecclesiastical teaching." Neither exegetes nor theologians can neglect this caution.....temptation does not mean that people lack freedom in the face of the evil counselor's attempts to persuade them to do wrong. As the document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith makes clear even further:It is to faith in fact that the apostle St. Peter leads us back when he exhorts us to resist the devil, "strong in faith." Faith teaches us that the reality of evil "is a living, spiritual being, perverted and corrupting." Faith can also give us confidence, by assuring us that the power of Satan cannot go beyond the limits set by God. Faith likewise assures us that even though the devil is able to tempt us, he cannot force our consent. Above all, faith opens the heart to prayer, in which it finds its victory and its crown. It thus enables us to triumph over evil through the power of God.Finally, Christian Faith teaches us that our understanding of why God permits the devil to do what he does remains somewhat of a mystery (later on, the Catechism of the Catholic Church will give us more light on the matter):It certainly remains true that the demonic reality, attested to in the concrete by what we call the mystery of evil, remains an enigma surrounding the Christian life. We scarcely know any better than the apostles knew why the Lord permits it, nor how He makes it serve His designs. It could be, however, that, in our civilization obsessed with secularism that excludes the transcendent, the unexpected outbreaks of this mystery offer a meaning less alien to our understanding. They force man to look further and higher, beyond the immediate evidence. Through their menace, which stops us short, they enable us to grasp that there exists a beyond which has to be deciphered, and then to turn to Christ in order to hear from Him the Good News of salvation graciously offered to us....Of course, the Father does not "lead" anybody into sin. But if someone chooses a sinful action, He lets that person have the freedom and the consequences of that choice. One who entrusts himself to God does not dread the devil. If God is for us, who is against us?' "The victory of Jesus is ours when we pray, trust in God and use the faith of the Catholic Church to guide us in our way of lifewhich is not a mere matter of a chosen lifestyle for morality, nor a "style," like a set of clothes. Of course, once we abandon prayer and entertain doubts about the deposit of faith and moral teaching (which is really faith in action), then we permit the devil to gently persuade us to fall into the sins that are closest to our weak points. Worse, of course, we let him deceive us into thinking that our sins are no longer sins, and this leads to the hardening of one's heart (Catechism, nos. 1859 and 1864).The victory of Christ is such that He does not allow the devil to test us beyond our capacity (Catechism, no. 2848; 1 Cor 10:13). The Lord Jesus entirely defeated the devil for us, but He wants us to share His triumph by enduring temptation and choosing Him through acts of faith, hope and love. As the Catechism wisely teaches:The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man, and temptation, which leads to sin and death. We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a "delight to the eyes" and desirable when in reality its fruit is death. "God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings. . . . There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from Him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us" [no. 2847].The temptations caused by the devil then become instruments or occasions of God's intervention on behalf of those that seek Him from their hearts.Finally, we discover from the Catechism that the last petition of the Our Father, "deliver us from evil," is ultimately related to the devil himself, the evil one:In this petition, evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil (dia-bolos) is the one who "throws himself across" God's plan and His work of salvation accomplished in Christ [no. 28511."A murderer from the beginning, a liar and the father of lies," Satan is "the deceiver of the whole world." Through him sin and death entered the world and by his definitive defeat all creation will be "freed from the corruption of sin and death." Now "we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him [no. 2852].With Christian Faith and the Catechism treated above, the Catholic community has sufficient data to keep itself aware of this secondary faith fact and reality of the devil, notwithstanding the apparent silence of some clergymen on this ordinary content of faith.....For now, one needs vigilance and trust. Or, as it has been said by Peter: "Resist him, solid in your faith" (1 Pt 5:9a).....
Jul 5 06 10:59 PM
Quote:The Creed is a simplified OUTLINE only.
Jul 5 06 11:12 PM
Quote:"As regards matters in which without harm to faith or discipline - in the absence of any authoritative intervention of the Apostolic See -- there is room for divergent opinions, it is clearly the right of everyone to express and defend his own opinion. But in such discussions no expressions should be used which might constitute serious breaches of charity; let each one freely defend his own opinion, but let it be done with due moderation, so that no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith or to discipline." -- Pope Benedict XV Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 1914 (Italics supplied.)
Quote:God willed to leave man in the power of his own counsel, so that he would seek his Creator of his own accord and would freely arrive at full and blessed perfection by cleaving to God. (Gaudium et Spes, 17, quoted in Veritatis Splendor, 38. Italics supplied.)
Quote:they are of their father the devil
Quote:"Each of us is the result of a thought of God."
Quote:Even in the most difficult of situations man must respect the norm of morality so that he can be obedient to GOd's holy commandment and consisted with his own dignity as a person. Certainly, maintaining a harmony between freedom and truth occasionally demands uncommon sacrifices, and must be won at a high price: it can even involve martyrdom. But, as universal and daily experience demonstrates, man is tempted to break that harmony: "I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate ... I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want." (Rom. 7:15,19).x x xBut temptations can be overcome, sins can be avoided, because together with the commandments the Lord gives us the possibility of keeping them ... Keeping God's law in particular situations can be difficult, extremely difficult, but it is never impossible. This is the constant teaching of the Church's tradition ... "For God does not command the impossible, but in commanding He admonishes you to do what you can and to pray for what you cannot do, and He gives His aid to enable you. His commandments are not burdensome; His yoke is easy and his burden light." (Veritatis Splendor, 102.)
Quote:"God called the man, saying to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." God said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree I ordered you not to eat?" The man answered, "The woman you put with me gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it." God said to the woman, "What have you done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me and I ate." (Gen 3: 9-13)
Quote:Because of Satan, we find redemption in the Holy Cross of Christ.
Jul 6 06 12:12 AM
Jul 6 06 2:21 AM
Jul 6 06 3:45 AM
Jul 6 06 5:46 AM
Quote:"Introduction to Christianity", was an exploration of the Creed in relation to Christian Faith. Why devote an entire book to a 'simplified outline'?
Jul 6 06 8:56 AM
Designated Doctrinal Enforcer
Jul 6 06 6:07 PM
. . . the problem lies in the "hermeneutic of suspicion" that so many well-intentioned Catholics fall into; a kind of cynicism that takes a defensive approach to any Church document issued after the reign of Pope Pius XII. Heresy hunting is easy; words by their very nature require interpretation, and most words can be bent, twisted, and taken to conclusions that the speaker or author never intended. As a former Protestant, I am more than well-acquainted with this fact; this "hermeneutic of suspicion" is the grid through which I learned to read the Catholic Church's teachings. The worst possible motive is always assumed; if something can be interpreted in either a good sense or a bad sense, the bad sense is presumed to be the sense intended, and false conclusions are drawn. . . . It is not difficult to see this principle at work in the way some choose to receive and deal with the council, and especially with papal teachings and actions. . . .
"If the first phase of demonic activitythe presence of evilcomes at the devils initiative, the second phase comes at our own.There are two common ways the devil enters a person, one exorcist told me. The basic one is through sin. The person turns away from God and commits sin frequently. The devil finds a willing victim. He finds a friend. Conversely, theres the person who is good, and the devil goes after him. The devil tries to wear the person down. . . . Diabolic activity generally falls into one of four categories, he told me. The mildest forms are infestation (as in haunted houses) and obsession (when a person is harassed by the devil either by intense temptations or in a particular area of a persons life). Oppressionan external attack by evil spirits on a personis worse. The spirit could cause discouragement or weariness, said Father Jayachandra, or it can put up external shows to frighten the person, such as shaking a persons bed during his sleep at night.The rarest and most serious form is possession. Partial possession means in a certain part of the body, he said. Full possession means the devil takes control over the consciousness of the person. It uses the mouth of the person to speak. It uses the hands and legs of the person to do violence. It uses the mouth of the person to abuse and blaspheme.
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