Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Know Your Adversary: Part 1 of The "Fact File" on Satan


My dear Academicians, there has been talk in certain quarters lately about "all the evil things happening in the world right now," or whether "the end of the world will be coming soon."  In your immediate future, your stalwart Academy will present some helpful information about what our Catholic Faith teaches us about the end of the world. But that's for another day (yes, we will have another day!).

As it has been in many  previous posts, my intention here is to offer our matriculated Catholic Jedi Academicians some homework.  Yeah, yeah... I know that everybody hates homework. But as I've said before: Doing the Academy's homework will help create a disposition within you, a constant mood or temperament, that helps keeps your heart open to every action of the Holy Spirit.


First, let's be exact about the subjects we'll peruse.  Ergo, dear Academicians, some definitions:

EVIL is the absence of good (love, life, truth).
  • Evil begins in the heart and mind of a person who rejects good.
  • Evil spreads and infects things (our bodies, the earth, our thinking, our relationships).
  • The power of evil comes from the powers and talents of the human or angelic persons who choose evil, who reject good.
HUMAN PERSONS are created beings, fashioned by God, Who gave us an immortal soul.
  • Human persons are corporeal beings (we have physical bodies composed of matter) with mortal bodies (we live and move within the limitations of time and space and matter).
  • For example, we are not able to be in two or more locations at once; we cannot pass through walls; we age and our bodies degenerate and can suffer from injuries, etc).
ANGELIC PERSONS or ANGELS are created beings, fashioned by God, Who gave them immortal souls, too.
  • Angels are spiritual beings (they do not have material bodies), they are non-corporeal.
  • Angels are timeless and transcendent (they are not bound by the constraints of time and space and
    matter).
  • God employs angelic beings to help and inspire us, to pray for us, to try to influence and encourage us to live according to His Commandments and His Son's (Jesus') example.
  • Like human persons, angelic persons were created by God to have a free will, the ability to freely reject or accept the greatest good (namely, God, God's love, and God's will for what is best for the persons He created).
  • The angels who freely chose against God's will are now eternally opposed to God and to God's greatest
    creation: human beings. These evil angels are called devils or demons or evil spirits. They are the enemy,
    your spiritual adversaries.
1. JUST WHO IS SATAN? 
  • Satan is a created spirit, a created person. However, Satan is a different kind of created person. (Helpful little prayer about now, from Colossians 1:11-20 - "May you be strengthened with all power, according to [God's] glorious might... He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness... .")
  • Satan is a being with intelligence superior to human beings.
  • Satan is a person with mind and will, but no body, who is subject to God (just as all creatures are).
  • Satan is a real enemy to human persons.  Satan is not playing games: he is dead serious - about obliterating us human persons.  As Saint Paul instructed us, "Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:10-12).
  • Satan is one who tests, checks, verifies people's commitment to God.  Our Lord Jesus warned Saint Peter about an impending attack against his faith in Our Lord Jesus: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail... (Luke 22:31).
  • Before rejecting God and proclaiming himself to be more important than God, Satan was known by the name Lucifer (meaning "Light-bearer").
  • His rebellion against God mutated Lucifer into the contradiction of a "light-bearer" -- thus the name, Satan (meaning "Adversary").
  • Other titles: Angel of Light, Tempter, Deceiver, Destroyer, Roaring Lion, Prince of Darkness, the god of this world, Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies), Dragon, Serpent, Accuser (of human beings), Angel of the bottomless pit (of Hell).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, in Paragraph 394:
Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." In its consequences, the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.
To Be Continued...

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
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