The Church has always recognized the existence of angels and demons. Yet, what incidence do they have in our lives? Can a demon influence us and bring us to do evil? Can a good angel protect us and help us do good? Do good angels and evil spirits play an invisible role?
In life, we will for sure undergo trials. We all share in experiencing at times crises, sufferings, bereavement…The struggle might appears as if merely external, due to a difficult economic situation, or we might feel misunderstood by our spouse, or our children, or suffer from a disease, or an accident…
Can a demon influence us and bring us to do evil?
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” warns Saint Peter (1P 5, 8-9). The Apostle refers here to our true opponent: the devil, Satan. He thus shows that the real fight remains invisible: we are constantly under the threat of a fierce and powerful enemy. Fortunately, God missions his good angels to guard us wherever we go (Ps.91, 11).
A pure spiritual creature, having rejected God’s plan of love, the devil endeavors strives to distract man from his blessed vocation. Although he can interact in an extraordinary manner (obsession, vexation or possession), the devil chiefly acts by temptation. He does not know the secrets of our heart and cannot operate directly on our will. Thus he uses persuasion : by playing on our sensitivity, or memory or our imagination. As a result, evil becomes attractive and good becomes repulsive. This is how the demon subtly seeks our consent to sin. The most critical sin he ultimately seeks out is the sin of despair. By this sin of pride, the Accuser endeavors to make us despair of God’s love and of our salvation. Finally, let us recall that Satan is a fallen angel, thus he is much smarter than us and he takes his time. But he cannot tempt us beyond our strength. God won’t allow it. And never will!
Can a good angel protect us and help us do good?
Faced with the onslaught of the devil, man would be utterly helpless were it not for God’s grace and his good angels’ help. The Church identifies in Jesus’ words: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Mt 18, 10), that God assigns a guardian angel to man, from his birth till his death.
Thus, we all have beside us, a guardian angel charged with protecting us on the way. This is the friend who knows us so well. He intercedes for us, defends us from demonic assaults, comforts us and consoles us. As an educator, he also prepares us to receive grace and imparts us with inner illuminations that impel us to love more. The benevolent presence of angels punctuates the Latin and the Oriental liturgies. Moreover, during Mass, the acclamation of man merges with that of the angels as one single praise: “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.”
Rev. Fr. Paul Denizot, csm, rector. Excerpt from Chemin d’éternité magazine n°279
Les anges et les démons sont le thème d’un week-end théologie à Montligeon les 21 et 22 octobre 2021.