The Tricks of the Devil

Posted by James Hahn on

Tuesday September 3rd
Luke 4:31-37

At a parish mission during Lent the preacher put himself in a difficult position by telling the truth about certain Marian apparitions. He was charitable in his presentation but there were many upset parishioners waiting for him in the parish hall after the mission. The priest had warned that many apparitions, however holy they may seem, may be the work of the devil. He mentioned one very popular apparition that has not yet received Church approval. The parishioners relayed story after story of how loved ones had come back to the Church after visiting this apparition. They told the priest of how a son or daughter visited the site and then began an intense life of prayer and service. The priest responded with joy over the prodigal son or daughter but warned against devotion to an apparition in the place of true devotion to Christ and His Church.

The point of the priest was that we must trust in the Church and not simply in apparitions and that there are many who would continue to believe in the apparition even if the Church condemned it. This is a major problem. Many today may believe that they have come back to the Church through the power of an apparition, and this may be true. However, if they refuse to listen to the Church and her advice concerning that apparition then they are being led astray by something sinister.

In today's Gospel Jesus commands a demonic spirit to "Be silent, and come out of him (possessed man)." The spirit had just given testimony to the divinity of Jesus yet Jesus wants nothing to do with this false witness. Jesus wants those in the synagogue to believe in the power of His word not in the power of the demon's words. He wants them and me to believe because what He says is Truth, rather, because He is the Truth, not because the words spoken by the demon are mixed with truth.  If they or I were to continue to listen to these false words mixed with truth, it is that much easier for us to be led astray on down the road all the while thinking we are following the Lord.

The devil will try anything to snatch our souls, even imitating the Blessed Mother. We must constantly be on guard against these tricks of the devil for it is better to walk with faith through the darkness than accept a candle from the devil.

Lord Jesus, give me the grace to stay close to You and to do this by clinging to Your words given to me through the Church and through scripture. Help me to test all things against the standard of Your words and keep what is good and separate myself from that which is not. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed! Galatians 1:8-9

"The devil is capable of confusing the most brilliant mind." - Saint Padre Pio

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How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.
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  • Good article. I just wanted to add that the Church recognizes that pilgrims to a certain unapproved site need proper care and so the sacraments are made available to them. Never underestimate the power of grace given to us through the sacraments of the Church.

    Zita on

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