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The Psychology of the Devil Header


Using Sacred Scripture and other sources, certain aspects of the psychology of Satan and his wicked Angels can be understood.   
Although the devils have differences among themselves, they are alike in their desire to do evil and in their fallen nature. That is why, whatever is said about Satan, their chief, also applies to all devils.

 

A perverted will

The devils are pure spirits, since they are Angels. They do not have the weaknesses of men. From this, we understand why their revolt against God is permanent, immutable, eternal. Their will became perverted and fixed in evil after they abandoned the Highest Good as their objective. As a consequence, the devils do not wish anything but evil in all their voluntary acts and, even when they appear to do good (as, for example, when they restore someone's health, give riches, or teach something), it is only as a means to cause more evil, leading the person to final perdition, which is their ultimate wish for all men.

Since God created them good, their nature continues good in itself. However, their will became perverted. Instead of striving for the end for which they were created – the service and the glory of God – they do exactly the contrary. They do everything to impede God's glory. Since they cannot reach Him directly, they act upon God's creatures, within the limits He allows.

 

Murderer and liar – cunning, false, deceiver

Lucifer by Gustave DoreThe Divine Redeemer summed up the diabolic psychology thus: "He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (Jo 8, 44).

The devil is a murderer and the father of lies, the liar par excellence, who hates truth, because truth leads to God: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jo 14, 5). Satan hates the Creator. When he rejected God, he renounced to truth and life forever. And it is by the lie that he spread death, spiritual death.

About Our Lord's statement that the devil is a murderer and a liar, Saint Augustine says: "We ask how come the devil became a murderer from the beginning and we reply that he killed the first man, not slaying him with a sword, or causing any other harm to his body, but he persuaded him to sin and thus, cast him out of the happiness of the earthly paradise".

And Father Maldonado, an erudite Jesuit exegete from the XVI Century, says on this same phrase – ‘For he is a liar and the father of lies' (Jo 8, 44): "Most authors believe this refers to Satan's words to Eve: ‘You shall be as God, knowing good and evil' (Gen. 3, 5); for he evidently lied with these words; that is, he added the lie to the act of (spiritual) murder, committing two crimes, at the same time… and we call the devil father of lies because he is the author and the inventor of the lie, in such a way that we can say that he gave birth to it".

When he tempts man, trying to take him away from God, he lies presenting a false image of reality, hiding his true feelings and enmeshing his victim in error, sophisms and deceit.

 

He is a cunning, false, deceiver.

"Satan is distinguished by his guile – writes Monsignor Cristiani. Guile is a deceitful scheme. The being that acts with guile has bad intentions. If he speaks, it is not to say the truth, but to deceive, to lead to falsehood. Satan is treacherous, false. One cannot trust him. He lacks equity, loyalty, frankness. He is erroneous, voluntarily obscure and dissimulative."

 


(From Angels and Demons, by Luis Solimeo)

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 18, 2021

Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does no...

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May 18

 

Our Lord loves you
and loves you tenderly; and
if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love,
it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Eric IX of Sweden

The king’s zeal for the faith was far from pleasing to his...

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St. Eric IX of Sweden

Eric the Holy or Erik the Saint was acknowledged king in most provinces of Sweden in 1150, and his family line subsisted for a hundred years. He did much to establish Christianity in Upper Sweden and built or completed at Old Uppsala the first large church to be erected in the country. It is said that all the ancient laws and constitutions of the kingdom were, by his orders, collected into one volume, which came to be known as King Eric’s Law or The Code of Uppland.

The king soon had to take up arms against the heathen Finns. He vanquished them in battle, and at his desire, St. Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, who had accompanied him on the expedition, remained in Finland to evangelize the people.

The king’s zeal for the Catholic Faith was far from pleasing to his nobles, and we are told that they entered into a conspiracy against him with Magnus, the son of the king of Denmark. King Eric was hearing Mass on the day after the feast of the Ascension when news was brought that a Danish army, swollen with Swedish rebels, was marching against him and was close at hand. With unwavering calm he answered, “Let us at least finish the sacrifice; the rest of the feast I shall keep elsewhere”. After Mass was over, he recommended his soul to God, and marched forth in advance of his guards. The conspirators rushed upon him, beat him down from his horse, and beheaded him. His death occurred on May 18 in 1161.

The relics of St. Eric IX of Sweden are preserved in the Cathedral of Uppsala, and the saintly king's effigy appears on the coat of arms of the city of Stockholm.

Pope St. John I

The king had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna and thrown into...

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Pope St. John I

St. John I was a native of Siena in Tuscany and was one of the seven deacons of Rome when he was elected to the papacy at the death of Pope Hormisdas in the year 523.

At the time, Theodoric the Great ruled over the Ostrogoths in Italy and Justin I was the Byzantine Emperor of Constantinople. King Theodoric supported the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ.

Justin I, the first Catholic on the throne of Constantinople in fifty years, published a severe edict against the Arians, requiring them to return to orthodox Catholics the churches they had taken from them. The said edict caused a commotion among eastern Arians, and spurred Theodoric to threaten war.

Ultimately, he opted for a diplomatic solution and named Pope John, much against his wishes, to head a delegation of five bishops and four senators to Justin.

Pope John, refused to comply with Theodoric’s wishes to influence Justin to reverse his policies. The only thing he did obtain from Justin was for him to mitigate his treatment of Arians, thus avoiding reprisals against Catholics in Italy.

After the delegation returned, Theodoric, disappointed with the result of the mission, and growing daily more suspicious at reports of the friendly relations between the Pope and Justin I, had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna.

Pope John I died in prison a short time later as a result of ill treatment.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Cathe...

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The Rosary & True Beauty

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life.

Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty. So much so, that she was known to those in Rome where she made her home as “Catherine the Beautiful.” Sadly, Catherine’s beauty went only skin deep, and she led a very sinful life.

One afternoon, strolling the streets of Rome, Catherine heard the voice of St. Dominic. This was the early 13th century and it was not unusual to cross paths with this great man of God.

On this particular day, he was preaching on the devotion to the Mother of God and the importance of praying her most holy Rosary. Caught up in the moment, Catherine had her name inscribed in the book of the confraternity and began to recite the Rosary. Though praying the Rosary gave her a sense of calmness she had not known before, Catherine did not abandon her sinful ways.

One evening, a youth, apparently a nobleman, came to her house. Catherine invited the handsome young man to stay to dine with her. When they were at supper, she saw drops of blood falling from his hands while he was breaking a piece of bread. Moments later, she observed, much to her discomfort, that all the food he took was tinged with blood.

Gathering up some courage to appease her curiosity, she asked him what that blood meant. With a firm but gentle look in his eyes, the youth replied that a Christian should take no food that was not tinged with the blood of Jesus Christ and sweetly seasoned with the memory of His passion.

Amazed at this reply, Catherine asked him who he was. "Soon," he answered, "I will show you." The rest of their meal passed uneventfully, yet always the drops of red catching Catherine’s eye, causing her to wonder about this man she supped with.

After dinner, when they had withdrawn into another room, the appearance of the youth changed. To Catherine’s stunned gaze, he showed himself crowned with thorns, his flesh torn and bleeding.

With the same firm but gentle gaze he said to her: “Do you wish to know who I am? Do you not know me? I am your Redeemer. Catherine, when will you cease to offend me? See how much I have suffered for you. You have grieved me enough, change your life."

Catherine began to weep bitterly, and Jesus, encouraging her, said: "Now begin to love me as much as you have offended me; and know that you have received this grace from me, on account of the Rosary you have been accustomed to recite in honor of my mother." And then he disappeared.

Catherine went in the morning to make her confession to St. Dominic, whose preaching on the Rosary had brought so marvelous a grace into her life. Giving to the poor all she possessed, from that day forward Catherine led so holy and joyful a life that she attained to great perfection.

It could now be said of her among the inhabitants of Rome that Catherine was indeed beautiful, but her beauty was no longer skin deep; her loveliness radiated from the depths of her soul.

The Most Holy Virgin often appeared to her; and Jesus himself revealed to St. Dominic, that this penitent had become very dear to him.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty.

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