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Spiritual Corner -- Bishop Fulton Sheen’s Penetrating Analysis on “the Devil”

Posted : Oct-13-2023

Let us see how the “devil” is being depicted from the sound philosophical and theological points of view. Firstly, I will describe the “devil” from the psychiatric point of view, then I will do so from the biblical point of view.

From the “Psychiatric” Point of View

Dr. Robert May in his writings on psychiatry asks what the devil is from the psychiatric point of view. The word “devil” comes from Greek word which means dilacerations and tearing apart. Thus, the devil is all that causes disruption: breaking up unity, breaking down entity, and producing disagreements. Things related to the devil are on the increase. Please note that discords in the Catholic Church, among religious bodies, in the laity – whether it is discord found in church communities or among the clergy, are all manifestations of being entwined by the spirit of the diabolic. This psychiatrist analyzes how the devil works: 1. Love of discord, 2. Violence, aggressiveness, 3. Schizophrenia, split personality and lack of inner peace.

From the “Biblical Point” of View

What is ‘Satan” from the biblical point of view? ---Contempt of the Cross of Christ, and is anti-cross. In Chapter 16 of the Gospel of Matthew, Peter expressed that he was willing to have a divine Christ, but not a suffering Christ, it was just like how, when Jesus began His public life, Satan seduced Him to leave the cross. We recognize the Lord’s divinity but not the Cross, this is the essence of Satan as described in the Bible. We do have such a notion inside the Church. Please note how much mortification, self-denial and discipline we have abandoned in schools, and the damage we attempt to create in the seminaries.

”Before and after we sin” how does our Lord and Satan appear to be?

“Before we sin”: Christ appears to be the accuser. He denies us from doing this and that, He appears in the form of the Lord on the cross, blocks our way, so that we are not free to do what we want to do. At that point, Satan appears as our defender, he stands on our side, on the side of our sexual desires, on our pride, on our greed, and he is with us.

“After we sinned”: their roles switched, Christ becomes the defender while Satan becomes the accuser. The Lord says, “Come, toil and burdened people, if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.” But Satan would say,” Well, now you are taking drugs, now you are hurt, so do not come to me, I cannot help you, you might as well give up, you have lost your virginity, what makes the difference now? You might continue as such. You have already stolen the things, though you are not yet being
caught, but you will be, or you will be pretty soon.” Thus, never play with all that is evil, or we will fall into the trap.

Three Powerful Weapons to Fight against Satan: “The Holy Name of Jesus, the Precious Blood of Christ and the Holy Mother”.

We have these three weapons to equip ourselves. When you think of the diabolic, the demonic and the satanic, do not be misled by what you may hear through the media of communications. The demonic very simply is anti-Cross, anti-disciplined life and anti-Christ. That is Satan, nothing else. If you can understand this, nothing will go wrong, but it will bid you love the Cross. 

This article is extracted from Bishop Fulton Sheen’s ‘The Devil’ which is a penetrating analysis on the subject. You are welcome to visit to have a detailed reading.

God bless!
Sr. Thomas Lo