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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 January 19, 2020

We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out wit...

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January 19

 

We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent!
Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues.
I see that the world is rotten
because of silence.

St. Catherine of Siena


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Wulfstan of Worcester

The citizens of Bristol would kidnap men and sell them into...

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St. Wulfstan of Worcester

Wulfstan (Wulstan) was a native of Warwickshire, England.  After his priestly ordination, he became a novice at the monastery of Worcester where he edified all by the innocence and sanctity of his life. He was assiduous at prayer, often watching all night in church.

The first task assigned to him at the monastery was the instruction of children, then treasurer and eventually - though against his fierce resistance - he was made prior. In 1062, he was elected Bishop of Worcester.

Wulfstan was a powerful preacher, often moving his audience to tears.

To his vigorous action is particularly attributed the suppression of the heinous practice among the citizens of Bristol of kidnapping men into slavery and shipping them over to Ireland. St. Patrick who became the great apostle and patron of the Irish was such a slave in his youth.

After the Norman conquest of England, William the Conqueror was initially uncertain about Wulfstan. But acknowledging his capacity and uprightness, Wulfstan was the only bishop William retained at his post under the new rule.

For the next thirty years Wulfstan rebuilt his cathedral, cared for the poor and put forth great effort in alleviating the harsh decrees of the Normans upon the vanquished Saxons. Whenever the English complained of the oppression of the Normans, Wulfstan told them: “This is a scourge of God for our sins, which we must bear with patience.”

The saintly bishop died on January 19 at eighty-seven years of age after washing the feet of a dozen poor men, a humble ritual he performed daily. He was canonized in 1203.

Photo by: Christopher Guy

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

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

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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