Satan? Fear Not

What forces were at work in his soul which created such malice, such irrational hatred?

Yes, the devil does exist. It isn’t fashionable these days to acknowledge Satan’s existence, but it is becomes easier to suspect sinister forces at work in this world when you consider the bizarre, monstrous life of Adolf Hitler. How did that pathetic corporal accomplish such evil — the Holocaust, world war, the devastation of his country? What forces were at work in his soul which created such malice, such irrational hatred? In a book-length interview published before he became Pope, Benedict XVI argued that the historical record suggests that demonic influences were at play in the life of Adolf Hitler. Here is an excerpt from Benedict’s comments on the subject: “That a person who made his way up from the lowest level of society — he had loafed around not doing much of anything and had no real education — the he could set a century in motion, that he could make political decisions with demonic insight and could make people listen to him, even educated people, that is terrifying. … “One only need read the history of the German generals, who time and again made up their minds, just for once, to tell him to his face what they really thought and who were then yet again so overcome by his power of fascination that they did not dare to. But then when you look at him from up close, this same person who has a demonic fascination about him is really just a quite banal hoodlum. … “In a similar way, Hitler was able to foresee demonic situations. For instance, I read once an account of how the preparations were made for Il Duce’s visit to Berlin. Those who were responsible for various aspects of it made their suggestions, and after a long time he said: ‘No, none of that is right. I can see how it ought to go.’ And in a kind of ecstasy he delivered a lecture about it, and it was all done like that. … “One certainly cannot say that Hitler was the devil; he was a man. But there are reliable reports by eyewitnesses that suggest he had some kind of demonic encounters, that he would say, trembling: ‘He was there again’, and other such things. We cannot get to the bottom of it. I believe we can say he was taken to the demonic realm in some profound way, by the way he was able to wield power and by the terror, the harm, that his power inflicted.” So who, or what, is Satan? According to Catholic theology, Satan and the other devils were created as good angels by God. However those angels we know as devils decided, in a definitive way, to embrace evil and reject God. Satan and his devils now try to get human beings to join them in their revolt against God. However, we need not really fear Satan and his devils, because God is all-loving and all-powerful, and through his son Jesus Christ has given us all the resources we need to resist them.   Image courtesy of Julie Gibbons 

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  • INGOODFAITH

    Lucifer, Satan & by Many-Names is: The Opposite [BAD-Character-BROTHER] & impostor & Competitor of that “GOOD” [Character] Mr. “Jesus Joseph” of Nazareth, the Angel in flesh, turned “Christ”; as gods [BROTHER & SON too] Angel gone Bad?

  • ThomasBaum

    THOMAS G BOHLINYou wrote, ” However, we need not really fear Satan and his devils, because God is all-loving and all-powerful, and through his son Jesus Christ has given us all the resources we need to resist them.”You are wrong, we have been given all the resources we need to conquer satan and his cohorts.As I have said, God wins, satan loses, a tie is unacceptable.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • katavo

    Salmonella grows on chicken meat, it doesn’t grow on icebergs.Hitler was able to do what he did because the substrate was there – a people ready willing and able to believe the what he was saying. Humans are like that, you know. I find most believers feel that atheists are against what they believe, when the truth of the matter is we are more likely to be against the fact that they *can* believe such nonsense, without question. That in fact a virtue is made of the willingness to suspend disbelief.The content of your True Belief is irrelevant, and I really don’t care: Christianity, Islam, Nazism or communism, all take place in the unquestioning mind of the person who has made a virtue of True Belief.This devil is a scam invented to allow believers the ability to still believe their god is all-good when there are such people as Hitler around. It’s one scam built to enable another.

  • jkarn

    The choice to block our own awareness of, and to not care about the suffering of others is evil. “True Belief” is evil to the degree that we impede our own awareness by ignoring elements of reality that contradict the belief, or teach someone else to ignore elements and perceptions of reality, including the suffering of others. We are not all knowing, consequently beliefs are necessary as working premises to help us in improving our awareness and coping, but excessive attachment to a belief, like excessive attachment to anything, is the root of suffering. Beliefs should be loosened or adapted or let go of when further evidence arises that gives more credence to an alternate belief, or to a further developed version of the inital belief. We don’t truly know whether Satan does exist (not yet proven) or does not exist. There is anecdotal evidence, but certainly nothing incontrovertible. We do know that people are themselves very capable of great evil, particularly when they ignore the great value of all other people. It is more useful to develop our awareness of the present moment and live with compassion and kindness than to attach too much to “true beliefs” based on the past or future. We do know how to reduce the amount of harm that we and other people do to each other, we just need to focus on being more active and effective in this work. A little more awareness could even help in exorcising the animosity that arises in many of the comments on this blog.Let’s take care of each other. God and Satan will take care of themselves.

  • norriehoyt

    Common sense tells us that if God were “all-loving and all-powerful”, things would be other than than they are.

  • salero21

    The order of battle in resisting the Devil is spelled out in Jam. 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.So is not just to merely resist Satan but to submit ourselves to God first. Once we achieve that, the devil will flee. Though he might come back but then we’ll be better prepare the next time around.I have a problem however with the Catholic Theology that says that: “Satan and the other devils were created as good angels by God.” That’s mere speculation.