c) Evil/Devil/Temptations/Hell

depression lonelinessTop Quotes AT-A-GLANCE: Evil/Devil/Temptations/Hell

(See Further Down the Page for the Full Quotes.)

  1. The Christian life involves a struggle against temptation and the forces of evil. (Pope John-Paul II)
  2. The spirit of evil seeks to make us stray from God’s path. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  3. Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature. (CS Lewis)
  4. The tempter is cunning. He does not directly impel us towards evil but rather towards a false good, making us believe that the true realities are power and everything that satisfies our primary needs. In this way God becomes secondary, he is reduced to a means; in short, he becomes unreal. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  5. The temptation to set God aside in order to put ourselves at the centre is always at the door…. only by behaving as children of God, without despairing at our shortcomings, at our sins, only by feeling loved by him will our life be new, enlivened by serenity and joy. (Pope Francis)
  6. Who or what is Satan? Believers today are split as to whether or not they believe that Satan is an actual person or simply a symbol for a venomous power that can overwhelm you, strip you of moral strength, and leave you precisely with the feeling of having been beaten up. Satan, scripture tells us, is the prince of jealousy, bitterness, paranoia, obsession, and lies. Few things in life torment us and beat us up as badly as these…. We just word things differently. We speak of being “obsessed”, while the saints speak of being “possessed”. It’s just a difference of words. Satan, however we choose to conceive of that power, is harassing us all the time and we, like the saints of old, need to learn the mantra: ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ (Fr Ron Rolheiser)
  7. Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself. (Pope Francis)
  8. We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ. (Pope Francis)
  9. Corruption stinks and a corrupt society stinks. A Christian who lets corruption inside them is not Christian. That person stinks. Understand? (Pope Francis)
  10. Satan deceived human beings, persuading them that they too were gods. (Pope John-Paul II)
  11. Of the leadership I ask this: be creative and never stop being rooted in local realities, since the father of lies is able to usurp noble words, to promote intellectual fads and to adopt ideological stances. But if you build on solid foundations, … you will surely be on the right path. (Pope Francis)
  12. “Away with you, Satan!” (Jesus)
  13. Demons, Jesus tells us, are to be confronted in the desert. The desert is that place where one does battle with satan. What exactly does that mean? Is satan, the devil, to be conceived of as a personified force, a fallen archangel, Lucifer? Or is satan a code name for that vast range of inner disturbances (addictions, scars, paranoia, fear, bitterness, and sexual wounds) that habitually torment us?…. Whether the devil is a person, an addiction, or a paranoia, in the end we still need to do battle at exactly the same place…. To go into the desert means to stare our inner chaos in the face…. What demons live inside this chaos?…. All of these demons are inside every one of us. To stare them in the face is to enter the desert. A scary thing? Yes, but the scriptures assure us that, if we do muster the courage to face them, God sends angels to minister to us and these angels bring along calm, restfulness, patience, empathy, humility, solicitude, joy, playfulness, and humour. (Fr Ron Rolheiser)
  14. St Peter thought he was strong enough, but look what happened to him when he was tempted: and then, after his fall, he rose again, and having lost all trust in himself, learned to place his trust in God and eventually… became a martyr. (Teresa of Avila)
  15. God is not in any way — directly or indirectly — the cause of evil…. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
  16. Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realised in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forward the greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption). (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
  17. The choice of evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to the slavery of sin. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
  18. One may never do evil so that good may result from it. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
  19. ‘Evil’ indicates the person of Satan who opposes God and is ‘the deceiver of the whole world.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
  20. Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, ‘Do you really mean to reintroduce our old friend the devil—hoofs and horns and all?’ Well, I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects, my answer is ‘Yes, I do.’ (CS Lewis)
  21. How did the Dark Power go wrong? Human beings cannot give an answer with any certainty. A reasonable (and traditional) guess… can, however, be offered. The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race…. Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors the idea that they could ‘be like gods’… and out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy. (CS Lewis)
  22. The devil… is a friend of lies, and is the lie itself. (Teresa of Avila)
  23. The devil always tries to divide us. He is the father of division. (Pope Francis)
  24. Although the temptation comes from without, the grace to resist it is entirely at our disposal and is stronger than the temptation. (Pope John XXIII)
  25. The body is insatiable; the more we give in to it, the more it demands. (St Joseph Cafosso)
  26. Jesus came to tell us everyone is wanted in paradise, and that hell, about which little gets said today, exists and is eternal for those who shut their hearts to his love. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  27. Dear reader, please close over this page for a while, and reflect with me on what is implied by the phrase ‘everlasting suffering’.  That is Christ’s own expression and it is wickedness to try to rub it off the slate. (Fr Robert Nash)
  28. Let us not be afraid either of facing the battle against the spirit of evil: the important thing is to fight it with him, with Christ, the Conqueror. And to be with him let us turn to his Mother, Mary. (Pope Benedict XVI)
  29. No evil is more powerful than the infinite mercy of God. (Pope John-Paul II)
  30. Only if good things begin to happen in the lives of those who hate us, only if they feel the warmth of love and blessing, can their hearts let go of the bitterness, jealousy and hatred that is there. Hearts begin to see how wrong their hatred is only when the object of their jealousy and hatred is itself strong enough to not give back in kind, but instead to absorb the hatred for what it is, wounded love. (Fr Ron Rolheiser)

All the Quotes, in Full… Evil/Devil/Temptations/Hell

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’”

—Jesus, Mt 25:40-43

“The Christian life involves a struggle against temptation and the forces of evil… as long as time lasts, the struggle between good and evil continues even in the human heart itself.”

—Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical Centesimus Annus, Section 25, from 1991.

“This Year of Faith Lent is a favourable time for rediscovering faith in God as the basic criterion for our life and for the life of the Church. This always means a struggle, a spiritual combat, because the spirit of evil is naturally opposed to our sanctification and seeks to make us stray from God’s path.”

—Pope Benedict XVI in his Angelus address to people in St Peter’s Square 17th February 2013

“Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature…. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less.”

—CS Lewis

“The tempter is cunning. He does not directly impel us towards evil but rather towards a false good, making us believe that the true realities are power and everything that satisfies our primary needs. In this way God becomes secondary, he is reduced to a means; in short, he becomes unreal, he no longer counts, he disappears. Ultimately, in temptation faith is at stake because God is at stake. At the crucial moments in life but also, as can be seen at every moment, we stand at a crossroads: do we want to follow our own ego or God? Our individual interests or the true Good, to follow what is really good?”

—Pope Benedict XVI in his Angelus address to people in St Peter’s Square 17th February 2013

“The temptation to set God aside in order to put ourselves at the centre is always at the door, and the experience of sin injures our Christian life, our being children of God. For this reason we must have the courage of faith not to allow ourselves to be guided by the mentality that tells us: “God is not necessary, he is not important for you”, and so forth. It is exactly the opposite: only by behaving as children of God, without despairing at our shortcomings, at our sins, only by feeling loved by him will our life be new, enlivened by serenity and joy.”

—Pope Francis I, Audience, 10th April 2013, as quoted on the Vatican website

“Where does temptation come from? How does it work in us? The Apostle tells us that it is not from God, but from our passions, our inner weaknesses, from the wounds left in us by original sin: that’s where temptations come from, from these passions. It’s curious… temptation has three characteristics: it grows, is contagious and is justified. It grows: it begins with a tranquil air, and grows … Jesus himself said this when He spoke about the parable of the wheat and the tares. The wheat grew, but so did the weeds sown by the enemy. And the temptation grows: it grows, it grows… And if one does not stop it, it fills everything.”

“And so, when we are tempted, we do not hear the Word of God, we don’t hear. We don’t understand. And Jesus had to remind them of the multiplication of the loaves to get them out of that environment, because temptation closes us in, it takes away any ability to see ahead, it closes every horizon, and so leads us to sin. When we are tempted, only the Word of God, the Word of Jesus saves us, hearing that Word that opens the horizon… He is always willing to teach us how to escape from temptation. And Jesus is great because He not only brings us out of temptation, but gives us more confidence.”

“Let us ask the Lord, who always — as He did with the disciples, with his patience — when we are tempted, tells us: ‘Stop, don’t worry. Remember what I did with you at that moment, at that time: remember. Lift up your eyes, look at the horizon, do not be closed, do not close in on yourself, go forward.’ And this Word will save us from falling into sin in the moment of temptation.”

—Pope Francis in one of his daily Mass homilies on Tuesday 18th February 2014 as reported by RomeReports.com in word and video

“A lying mouth destroys the soul.”

—Book of Wisdom 1:11

“No-one ever became extremely wicked all at once.”

—Decimus Juvenal

“Who or what is Satan? Believers today are split as to whether or not they believe that Satan is an actual person or simply a symbol for a venomous power that can overwhelm you, strip you of moral strength, and leave you precisely with the feeling of having been beaten up. Satan, scripture tells us, is the prince of jealousy, bitterness, paranoia, obsession, and lies. Few things in life torment us and beat us up as badly as these. They lurk in every dark corner, come out from under our beds at night, generally threaten us, darken our days, dampen our joys, and make us anxious as to what might lie around the corner. We just word things differently. We speak of being “obsessed”, while the saints speak of being “possessed”. It’s just a difference of words. Satan, however we choose to conceive of that power, is harassing us all the time and we, like the saints of old, need to learn the mantra: ‘Get behind me, Satan!’”

—Fr Ron Rolheiser

“Satan deceived human beings, persuading them that they too were gods, that they, like God, were capable of knowing good and evil, ruling the world according to their own will without having to take into account the divine will (cf Gen 3:5).”

—Pope John-Paul II (in ‘Pope John-Paul: A Reader‘ edited by O’Collins, SJ, published by Paulist Press: Mahwah, New Jersey, 2007.)

“Of the leadership I ask this: be creative and never stop being rooted in local realities, since the father of lies is able to usurp noble words, to promote intellectual fads and to adopt ideological stances. But if you build on solid foundations, on real needs and on the lived experience of your brothers and sisters, of campesinos and natives, of excluded workers and marginalized families, you will surely be on the right path.”

—Pope Francis, in section 2 of his Address to the “Second World Meeting of Popular Movements” in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 9th July 1015

“Life in Naples has never been easy, but it has never been sad! And this is your biggest asset: happiness, joy.”

None of us can say ‘No, I will not corrupt myself.’ No! It is a temptation. It is a slippery slope from there: from easy business, to crime, to the exploitation of people. Corruption stinks and a corrupt society stinks. A Christian who lets corruption inside them is not Christian. That person stinks. Understand?”

—Pope Francis while visiting the Scampia area of Naples, which is high in unemployment and is known for corruption and for being run by the Mafia, 21 March 2015 as reported in video and text by Rome Reports

“We too are tempted, we too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, he does not want us to be disciples of Christ. And what does the Spirit of Evil do, through his temptations, to distance us from the path of Jesus? The temptation of the devil has three characteristics and we need to learn about them in order not to fall into the trap. What does Satan do to distance us from the path of Jesus?

Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing. Secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community. And in the end, in order to calm the soul, it justifies itself. It grows, it spreads and it justifies itself.”

“We have a temptation that grows: it grows and infects others. For example, let’s look at gossip: I’m a bit envious of this or that person and at first I’m just envious inside and I need to share it and go to another person and say: “But have you seen that person?’… and this gossip tries to grow and infects another and another… This is the way gossip works and all of us have been tempted to gossip! Maybe not one of you, if you’re a saint , but I too have been tempted to gossip! It’s a daily temptation. And it begins in this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself.”

“We are all tempted because the law of our spiritual life, our Christian life is a struggle: a struggle. That’s because the Prince of this world, Satan, doesn’t want our holiness, he doesn’t want us to follow Christ. Maybe some of you might say: ‘But Father, how old fashioned you are to speak about the devil in the 21st century!’ But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here… even in the 21st century! And we mustn’t be naive, right? We must learn from the Gospel how to fight against Satan.”

—Pope Francis the 11th of April 2014 during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as reported by Rome Reports

“Away with you, Satan!”

—Jesus in the desert

“Jung was right, energy is not always friendly. It brings with it a host of demons. Demons, Jesus tells us, are to be confronted in the desert. The desert is that place where one does battle with satan. What exactly does that mean? Is satan, the devil, to be conceived of as a personified force, a fallen archangel, Lucifer? Or is satan a code name for that vast range of inner disturbances (addictions, scars, paranoia, fear, bitterness, and sexual wounds) that habitually torment us?…. Whether the devil is a person, an addiction, or a paranoia, in the end we still need to do battle at exactly the same place…. To go into the desert means to stare our inner chaos in the face…. What demons live inside this chaos? The demons of grandiosity, loneliness, and unbridled sexuality and the demons of paranoia, woundedness, and joylessness. What faces do these take?

Grandiosity is the demon that tells us that we are the centre of the universe, that our lives are more important than those of others. This is a demon manifest in our daydreams, in those inner cassette tapes we play where we are always the special one, the superstar, the one singled out for greatness. This is the demon of self-preoccupation and self-centredness, forever urging us to stand out, to be special. Loneliness is the demon of unhealthy restlessness. This is a demon of fear which torments us by telling us constantly that, at the end of the day, we will be alone, unloved, excluded, outside the circle. It makes us pathologically restless and desperate, looking always for someone or something that can take our loneliness away. Unbridled sexuality is the demon of obsession, addiction, lust. It makes us believe that sex (or some such pleasure) is a panacea, the final salvation, or, if not that, at least the best this world can offer. Its urges is to bracket everything else—sacred commitment, moral ideal, and consequences for ourselves and others—for a single, furtive pleasure. It is a demon with ten thousand faces obsessing us all, whether we admit it or not.

Paranoia is the demon of bitterness, anger, and jealousy. It makes us believe that life has cheated us, that we have not been given our just place, that the celebration is always about others and never about us. This demon fills us with the urge to be cynical, cold, distrustful, and cursing. Woundedness is the demon that tells us that our innocence and wholeness is irretrievably broken and that, for us, it is too late. The best we can do now is to take consolation in comfort, food, drink, pornography, drugs, or some such thing. Finally, the last demon in this family is that of joylessness, the demon of self-pity which tells us that joylessness is maturity, that cynicism is wisdom, and that bitterness is justice. This is the demon that keeps us from entering the room of celebration and joining the dance.

All of these demons are inside every one of us. To stare them in the face is to enter the desert. A scary thing? Yes, but the scriptures assure us that, if we do muster the courage to face them, God sends angels to minister to us and these angels bring along calm, restfulness, patience, empathy, humility, solicitude, joy, playfulness, and humour.”

—Fr Ron Rolheiser

“If at times in our lives everything seems desperate,… then is the moment to abandon ourselves to God fully and completely, without reserve. If we do so with all our heart, God will at once take into his own hands the immediate direction of our lives, for he alone can save us.”

—Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, (died 1964, Dominican theologian), as quoted on page 113 of the July 2012 Magnificat booklet

“St Peter thought he was strong enough, but look what happened to him when he was tempted: and then, after his fall, he rose again, and having lost all trust in himself, learned to place his trust in God and eventually… became a martyr.”

—St Teresa of Avila, in her ‘The Book of Foundations’ as quoted on page 77 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“To warn us against the serious temptations threatening us, our Lord quotes the great saying of Deuteronomy: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Dt 8:3; cf. Mt 4:4).”

—Pope John-Paul II (Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 1996)

“‘Why have you forsaken me?’ — Jesus on the cross is experiencing within himself the profound and total separation from God that sin involves at its very core. He’s experiencing the utter alienation from God. (Yet) what he says next is: ‘Into your hands I commend my spirit’ — he ends on a high note.

So what’s happening here? God’s solution doesn’t abolish the fact of evil. It doesn’t take it away. But there is an answer in that experience of God. Because you also have the divine Word saying to all sinful human beings: ‘You are everything, I am nothing’ — out of love!

But he’s also saying to God at the highest point of all mysticism: ‘God, you are everything, I am nothing.’ He has become completely nothing. Remember the line in Philippians that he became nothing for us.

…. (To talk about or teach about evil) Approach the question of evil with the solution — beginning with evil is very depressing. Start with the answer to it. Begin through Christ. That’s how Paul does it.”

—Fr Brendan Purcell, in the Q&A part of his talk at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, 2012, as recorded on the CD of it (a video of his talk is viewable at the IEC website)

“The power of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection is greater than any evil which man could or should fear.”

—Pope John Paul II (‘Crossing the Threshold of Hope’)

“This Bad Power, which is supposed to be on an equal footing with the Good Power… in order to be bad he must have impulses which were originally good in order to be able to pervert them… he must be getting from the Good Power: even to be bad he must borrow or steal from his opponent. And do you now see why Christianity has always said the devil is a fallen angel? That is not a mere story for the children. It is a real recognition of the fact that evil is a parasite, not an original thing.”

—CS Lewis in his book ‘Mere Christianity’ in the chapter ‘The Invasion’ (page 37 of the 1997 edition, Fount Paperbacks, London)

“The expression ‘the fall of the angels’ indicates that Satan and the other demons, about which Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church speak, were angels, created by God. They were, however, transformed into evil because with a free and irrevocable choice they rejected God and his Kingdom, thus giving rise to the existence of hell. They try to associate human beings with their revolt against God. However, God has wrought in Christ a sure victory over the Evil One.” (74)

“… God is not in any way — directly or indirectly — the cause of evil….” (57)

“Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil. This was realised in a wondrous way by God in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forward the greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our redemption).” (58)

“Freedom is the power given by God to act or not to act, to do this or to do that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility…. Freedom implies also the possibility of choosing between good and evil. The choice of evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to the slavery of sin.” (363)

“… one may never do evil so that good may result from it…” (375)

“‘Deliver us from evil’—’Evil’ indicates the person of Satan who opposes God and is ‘the deceiver of the whole world’ (Revelation 12:9). Victory over the devil has already been won by Christ. We pray, however, that the human family be freed from Satan and his works. We also ask for the precious gift of peace and the grace of perseverance as we wait for the coming of Christ who will free us definitively from the Evil One.” (597)

—Sections 57, 58, 363, 375, 597 of “Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church”, 2005, English translation by Libreria Editrice Vaticana (published by Veritas)

“Christianity thinks that this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created, and went wrong. Christianity agrees with Dualism (the belief that there are two equal and independent powers at the back of everything, one of them good and one of them bad, and this universe is the battlefield in which they fight out an endless war) that this universe is at war. But it does not think that this is a war between independent powers. It thinks it is a civil war, a rebellion, and that we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel.

Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery. I know someone will ask me, ‘Do you really mean to reintroduce our old friend the devil—hoofs and horns and all?’ Well, I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects, my answer is ‘Yes, I do.’

… Somebody once asked me: ‘Why did God make a creature of such rotten stuff that it went wrong?’ The better stuff a creature is made of—the cleverer and stronger and freer it is—then the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong. A cow cannot be very good or very bad; a dog can be better and worse; a child better and worse still; an ordinary man, still more so; a man of genius, still more so; a superhuman spirit best—or worst—of all.

How did the Dark Power go wrong? Human beings cannot give an answer with any certainty. A reasonable (and traditional) guess… can, however, be offered. The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race…. Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors the idea that they could ‘be like gods’… and out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

—CS Lewis in his book ‘Mere Christianity’, the first two paragraphs in the chapter ‘The Invasion’ and the last two paragraphs in the chapter ‘The Shocking Alternative’ (i.e. from pages 37 to 41 of the 1997 edition by Fount Publications, London)

“The devil… is a friend of lies,
and is the lie itself.
He will make no pact with anyone
who walks in truth.
When he sees the intellect darkened,
he subtly helps to blind the eyes.”

—St Teresa of Avila, in her ‘Book of Life’ as quoted on page 64 of “A Little Book of Teresa of Avila”, the Columba Press, Blackrock, County Dublin, 2003, compiled by Don Mullan

“At a particular moment
Adam and Eve said ‘no’ to God.
They turned away,
blocking off this energy of love.
They refused to be dependent upon the energy
flowing from God.
They were seduced by the Evil One
who had said,
You can do it alone,
you can be like God,
you can be free,
you don’t have to obey and be like children,
you can be adults.

It is this severing act which is the source
of all our experience of inner conflict.
There are a thousand ways
by which we try to avoid this reality,
ways in which we try to plaster over the cracks,
to hold things together by force or law or culture,
or by filling ourselves up
with projects and passing pleasures.

Man and woman are in danger of looking to each other
to fill up that emptiness.”

—Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, in his book ‘The Broken Body’, 1988, page 21

“The devil always tries to divide us. He is the father of division.”

—Pope Francis in a homily during one of his daily morning Masses 29th April 2014 as reported by RomeReports.com

“Contemporary culture seems to have lost the sense of good and evil, yet there is a real need to reaffirm that good does exist and will prevail, because ‘God is good and acts generously’ (Ps 119:68). The good is whatever gives, protects and promotes life, brotherhood, and communion.”

—Pope Benedict XVI, Lenten Message 2012

“We must recongise that wickedness is in us because, although the temptation comes from without, the grace to resist it is entirely at our disposal and is stronger than the temptation…. In our poor nature lie hidden perverse tendencies towards ambition, pride, greed, impatience, envy, avarice, sloth and impunity. These are within us, as (Father) Segneri says, as in a vast menagerie of wild beasts, bears, wolves, tigers, lions and leopards. They cannot hurt us so long as the portcullis is down and holds them back.”

—Pope John XXIII, November 27 1940, in his autobiography ‘Journal of a Soul’, revised edition published in 1980 by Geoffrey Chapman, NY & London, page 262.

“The body is insatiable; the more we give in to it, the more it demands.”

—St Joseph Cafosso (mentor to Don Bosco) as reported on Catholic Exchange in a June 23 2015 article on the Saint, apparently from Don Bosco’s own biography of Joseph

“I will always remember St. Francis de Sales’ advice: ‘Let the devil (the other reasoning mind, that of the other self) bang and scream at the door of your heart, offering you a thousand images and untimely thoughts. As he cannot enter except through the door of consent, keep this firmly closed and put your mind at rest. Do not get anxious when the waves batter against your boat; have no fear while God is with you.’”

—Pope John XXIII in his autobiography ‘Journal of a Soul’, included under “1-10 April 1903”; page 139 of the 1980 revised edition; published by Geoffrey Chapman.

“Jesus Christ gave up his life that we might live. Therefore, whoever wishes to carry the cross for his sake must take up the proper weapons for the contest (against temptation), especially those mentioned here. First, diligence; second, distrust of self; third, confidence in God; fourth, remembrance of the Passion; fifth, mindfulness of one’s own death; sixth, remembrance of God’s glory; seventh, the injunctions of Sacred Scripture following the example of Jesus Christ in the desert.”

—St Catharine of Bologna in “On the Seven Spiritual Weapons”, as quoted on her Americacatholic.org’s Saints page

“Jesus came to tell us everyone is wanted in paradise, and that hell, about which little gets said today, exists and is eternal for those who shut their hearts to his love.”

—Pope Benedict XVI, 2007

“Hell is the place of implacable and eternal hatred. In hell there is the fearful, agonising truth that these devouring pains will never end, never even grow less. Never a moment’s respite! I have known people who bore the most severe pains for thirty or fifty years. It was heroic. But, of course, they were well aware that the end would come some time. Dear reader, please close over this page for a while, and reflect with me on what is implied by the phrase ‘everlasting suffering’.  That is Christ’s own expression and it is wickedness to try to rub it off the slate…. One feels acutely conscious that much of the evil in the world today is traceable to the consistent propaganda against the teaching of Christ and the Church on sin and hell.”

—Fr Robert Nash, SJ, in ‘My Last Book’, 1983, Dun Laoghaire: The Glendale Press

“God either prevents evil or turns it to good.”

—(Coptic) Pope Shenouda II

“Yesterday was a dark day in the history of humanity, a terrible affront to human dignity…. Even if the forces of darkness appear to prevail, those who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say.”

—Pope John-Paul II, 12 September 2001, General Audience

“Let us not be afraid either of facing the battle against the spirit of evil: the important thing is to fight it with him, with Christ, the Conqueror. And to be with him let us turn to his Mother, Mary; let us call on her with filial trust in the hour of trial and she will make us feel the powerful presence of her divine Son, so that we can reject temptations with Christ’s word and thus put God back at the centre of our life.”

—Pope Benedict XVI in his Angelus address to people in St Peter’s Square 17th February 2013

“No evil is more powerful than the infinite mercy of God. In becoming man, Jesus entered completely into our human experience, even to the point of suffering the final and most cruel effect of the power of sin – death on a Cross. He really became one like us in all things but sin. But evil with all its power did not win. By dying, Christ destroyed our death; by rising, he restored our life; by his wounds we are healed and our sins are forgiven. For this reason, when the Lord appeared to his disciples after the Resurrection, he showed them his hands and his side. He wanted them to see that the victory had been won; to see that he, the Risen Christ, had transformed the marks of sin and death into symbols of hope and life.”

—Pope John Paul II in his Mass at Liverpool Cathedral, 1982 as seen online and quoted on page 19 of “The Pope in Britain: Collected Homilies & Speeches”, St Paul Publications, Slough; 1982.

“Leo Tolstoy once said: ‘There is only one way to put an end to evil, and that is to do good for evil.’ Only if good things begin to happen in the lives of those who hate us, only if they feel the warmth of love and blessing, can their hearts let go of the bitterness, jealousy and hatred that is there. Hearts begin to see how wrong their hatred is only when the object of their jealousy and hatred is itself strong enough to not give back in kind, but instead to absorb the hatred for what it is, wounded love.”

—Fr Ron Rolheiser

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