The “death” of the devil in people’s minds is accelerating the “death” of God in de-Christianized Western societies.

 

Father François-Marie Dermine, promoter of an annual international course on exorcism in Rome, discusses his recent popular work about the devil, offering keys to discernment on this controversial and sensitive topic in this article in the National Catholic Register.

Fr François-Marie Dermine OP says: 

"If the figure of the devil is missing, one also loses sight of the figure of God itself. In this sense, the death of the devil can accompany or precede or favor that of God because it makes the concept of God very abstract. It makes faith arid and intellectualistic and makes us forget that we really need to be saved, helped and protected by the Lord. We must bear in mind that our faith consists in the effective presence of a loving God, and reasoning is not always the best way to reach God."

In response to the question of why he decided to write a new book: Ragioniamo sul demonio. Tra superstizioni, mito e realtà (“Let’s Reason About the Devil: Between Superstitions, Myths and Reality”), which was written in a question-and-answer format and seeks to inform the public — believers and nonbelievers — about the nature and scope of Satanic activity at a time when the devil’s very existence is being increasingly questioned, Fr François-Marie explained:

I am an exorcist, and it really hurts me to hear people in general and priests in particular deny the concrete action of the devil in our lives. I couldn’t stand this situation anymore. It is the fundamental reason why I wrote this book. Faith deprived of the belief in the existence of the devil is not genuine because the existence of angels is a truth of faith, and the devil is a fallen angel. I am very clear from this point of view. Whoever denies the existence of the devil is a heretic. Obviously, the devil is not at the center of the faith, but his figure is indispensable to understand the mystery of faith.

I sometimes wonder how a priest can remain faithful to his vocation without believing in the devil. It makes him a kind of social worker, but nothing more.

Asked whether those who have a rooted life of prayer be the victims of third parties who resort to occult practices Fr François-Marie responds:

"Yes, unfortunately. This fact has been confirmed by my own experience. Everyone can be a victim of evil. But it is obvious that it is more difficult that a person who tries to live an honest life in the grace of God become prey to the devil. However, I have followed devout Christians who were under his grip. But if this happens, if God allows it, it is to enable these people to come to a greater good."

It might be a worthwhile read for Fr Paul Fox in Rayleigh!

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