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The devil is a loser but can still deceive us into giving him power, says Pope

Pope Francis has branded the devil as ‘a loser’ – but says he can still deceive people into giving him power.

He said that the devil ‘seduces us; he knows how to appeal to our vanity and curiosity and we buy it all,” during his homily on May 8 during a Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.

The Gospel passage of the day, from St John, concludes with Jesus saying to his disciples that ‘the ruler of this world has been condemned’, which the Holy Father said referred to the devil, and that with Jesus’ resurrection, the devil was defeated but still pretended to have power and still tries to influence people.

“He has this ability to seduce,” he said. “That makes it hard to understand that he is a loser because he presents himself with great power, promises you many things, brings you gifts – beautiful, all wrapped up.

“He knows how to seduce us with the package without letting us see what’s inside. He knows how to present his proposals to appeal to our vanity, our curiosity.”

The Pope added that unfortunately, we too often ‘like being seduced’.

The devil is ‘the great liar, the father of lies,’ he continued, ‘and we fools believe him’.

“We must be aware of the devil,” he said, and that Jesus taught the disciples the only way to do this was to watch, pray and fast.

It’s especially important that Christians don’t think they can approach the devil, see what he’s like and then just walk away unscathed, the Pope cautioned, and said that, as one of the Church’s fathers wrote, the devil is like an angry, rabid dog that is chained up.

People know when they are playing with fire, the Pope said. They know when they are approaching that angry dog.

“Please, don’t,” he urged, before imagining a dialogue where someone cries over being bitten, but it turns out the dog was chained up and he approached it, basically provoking the injury.

The Holy Father also advised that someone who is frightened of the devil’s influence can always go to Mary.

“When children are afraid they go to their mother,” he added. “’Mum, mum, I’m afraid.’

“When they have bad dreams, they go to mum. Go to the Blessed Mother; she protects us.”


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