EVIL: The Life Of Lucifer, by Jeffrey Burton Russell

August 16, 2016

From Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages Evil is real and immediate.  On March 8, 1980, the Los Angeles Times reported the activities of the convicted murderer Steven T. Judy: The brutal murder that made today Judy’s last day to live occurred around 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday, April 28, 1979.  Terry Lee Chasteen, 23, was taking her children – Misty Ann, 5, Steven, 4, and Mark, 2 – to the babysitter en route to her job at an Indianapolis supermarket when she was flagged to the side of the interstate highway by a man indicating there was a problem with her car.  It was Judy, just five days out of jail after posting $750 bond on an armed robbery charge, playing the role of a good Samaritan.  But while pretending to help, [...]

SERMON: Of The Struggle Of The Flesh And The Devil Against The Human Spirit, And The Efficacy Of Prayer by Bernard of Clairvaux

March 8, 2015

1. My loving concern for you, brothers, is why I speak to you.  It is so more often if I were not prevented by much business.  You should not wonder if I am concerned for you, since I find in myself much matter and cause for concern.  As often as I think of my own miserable condition and perils of every kind, my soul is troubled within me.  I must have no less concern for each of you if I love you as myself.  The one who searches hearts knows how often concern for you outweighs concern for myself in my heart.  You should not wonder that I have so much concern for you and that great anxiety disturbs me over every one of you when I see you in so miserable a condition and in such great danger.  It is clear that we make our own snare, [...]

EVIL: The Discernment Of Spirits, by the author of The Cloud of Unknowing

December 26, 2014

1.  Because there are different kinds of spirits, it is necessary for us to know how to distinguish them; especially as we are taught by the Apostle Saint John not to give credence to all spirits.  For it might seem to those who have but little education in spiritual things especially, that every thought that resounds in the human heart must be the utterance of no other spirit except man’s own.  And this is not so: as both the faith and the witness of Holy Scripture clearly show.  “For I shall hear,” says the Prophet David, “not what I myself speak, but whatever my Lord God speaks in me.”  And another prophet says that an angel spoke in him.  And besides this, we are taught in the Psalm that wicked [...]

SOULS: This Book Has Come From God by Mechthild of Magdeburg

October 17, 2014

The Soul Praises Herself for Many Things She is Given Two Angels and Two Evil Devils. With Twelve Virtues She Does Battle Against the Flesh From The Flowing Light of the Godhead All the days of my life before I began this book and before a single word of it had come into my soul, I was one of the most naive persons ever to be in religious life.  I knew nothing about the devil’s malice; I was unaware of the frailty of the world; the duplicity of people in religious life was also unknown to me.  I have to speak of God’s honor and for the sake of the book’s teaching: I, unworthy sinner, was greeted by the Holy Spirit in my twelfth year, while I was alone, with such an outpouring that I could never, ever after that endure [...]

MYSTICISM: Profitable Teachings From The Life Of The Bride Of Christ Catherine Of Siena

October 3, 2014

beginning with what our Lord taught her and continuing with what she taught her followers From The Cell of Self-Knowledge The first thing our Lord taught her was this: Daughter, do you not know who you are and who I am?  If you know these two things, you are blessed and will continue to be so.  You are she that is not, and I am he who is.  As long as you keep an awareness of these two facts in your heart, your enemy the devil will never deceive you, and you will be able to slip easily out of all his traps.  You will never give way to temptation to do anything against my commandments and teachings, and you will have no difficulty in winning my grace, truth, and love. † The second thing he taught her was this: As long as you think of [...]

POETRY: The Devil Comes On Horseback, by Yusef Komunyakaa

June 27, 2014

Although the sandy soil’s already red, the devil still comes on horseback at midnight, with old obscenities in his head, galloping along a pipeline that ferries oil to the black tankers headed for Shanghai. Traveling through folklore & songs, prayers & curses, he’s a windmill of torches & hot lead, rage & plunder, bloodlust & self-hatred, rising out of the Seven Odes, a Crow of the Arabs. Let them wing & soar, let them stumble away on broken feet, let them beg with words of the unborn, let them strum a dusty oud of gut & gourd, still the devil rides a shadow at daybreak. Pity one who doesn’t know his bloodline is rape. He rides with a child’s heart in his hands, a head on a crooked staff, [...]

POETRY: The Personal Devil, by Robert Pinsky

June 27, 2014

Ink, fire, quintuple mirrors— By means bizarre enough, I convoked the multiple eye And saw from claw to scruff The growth that Being nurtured: The subtle bully whose Days— His furies and lackeys and bearers— Hang like the dozing flies Whose billions in bog or orchard Gorge with a daylong sigh. The devices I arrayed Conjured features like mine, A familiar shape that I Denied—denied as the bane Of myself, the multifarious Event that pulls my face To its own. As I watched it fade I saw myself take place, Crystalline, in the iris Of the huge, dissolving [...]

EVIL: On The Devil, a conversation between Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka

June 23, 2014

From On Heaven and Earth BERGOGLIO: The Devil is, theologically, a being that opted not to accept the plan of God.  The masterpiece of the Lord is man; some angels did not accept it and they rebelled.  The Devil is one of them.  In the book of Job he is the tempter, the one that looks to destroy the work of God, he that brings us to self-sufficiency, to pride.  Jesus defines him as the Father of Lies, and the book of Wisdom says that sin entered the world through the Devil’s envy of God’s masterpiece.  His fruits are always destruction: division, hate, and slander.  And in my personal experience, I feel him every time that I am tempted to do something that is not what God wants for me.  I believe that the Devil exists. [...]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Handling Demons, or, The Art of the Broom

December 6, 2013

I’ve spent my life straddling two worlds.  And, to be honest, it has, on the whole, been annoying.  Really, really annoying. Working with God all these years has sharpened that expression of my brain that loves exactness.  I was an editor until I realized that I could never stop editing.  I would edit roadside signs.  I would edit menus.  I would edit pretty much everything coming out of anyone’s mouth. So I stopped being an editor. But with God, in some ways, I get to continue being an editor.  Because what I learn from him always has an exact edge.  It is precise. It is absolute. Hard, like a rock.  Solid. But with people, it’s always about mushing things together.  It’s OK to just think this about that, [...]

SERMON: Beware If You Have No Temptations by Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney

September 29, 2013

Whom does the devil pursue most?  Perhaps you are thinking that it must be those who are tempted most; these would undoubtedly be the habitual drunkards, the scandalmongers, the immodest and shameless people who wallow in moral filth, and the miser, who hoards in all sorts of ways.  No, my dear brethren, no, it is not these people.  On the contrary, the Devil despises them, or else he holds onto them, lest they not have a long enough time in which to do evil, because the longer they live, the more their bad example will drag souls into hell.  Indeed, if the Devil had pursued this lewd and shameless old fellow too closely, he might have shortened the latter’s life by fifteen or twenty years, and he would not then have destroyed the [...]

EVIL: The Ever-Creative Nature of The Devil And His Demons

June 3, 2013

I’ve been studying someone’s soul recently.  I guess you could say that I’ve been working on finding a way to better understand the process of healing a wounded soul.  And with this person, I’ve come away with a sense that the Devil and his minions are really, really clever fellows. You could say, I’m actually impressed by their range of approaches and the ease with which they can throw temptation across someone’s path. In my definition of hell, there are four sectors: the destructive and constructive expressions of hate, and the destructive and constructive aspects of love. I have come to conclude that the Devil sources from the sector of hell that is the destructive realm of love.  It is the realm [...]

SOUL STRUCTURE: Let’s Talk Evil (includes a diagram of hell)

March 5, 2013

Well, it is Lent, after all.  The time to take a most serious look at all things spiritual.  And the more I think about it, the more I believe that the lack of understanding about the soul that permeates the world is one reason why so many people do not heal after trauma and other severe life experiences. In fact, I am becoming so serious about this in my thoughts that I actually want to develop a method of healing souls.  But perhaps more on that later. The bottom-line fact of the matter, for me anyway, is that evil is all about stealing soul energy.   Our souls contain energy.  We are born with it (as in seeing the shine of a newborn).  We develop it through our experiences and efforts such as forgiveness and compassion.  And [...]

LENTEN FIRE: Wednesday Of The First Week Of Lent

February 21, 2013

From Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers  The enchanter lures the wild beast Question: With what kind of thought does the Devil lure the monk out of his cell? Answer: The Devil is an enchanter.  With enticing words the enchanter lures the wild beast out of its lair and, catching it, drags it into the streets of the city where he releases it to people’s laughter, and when later it grows old in his captivity he consigns it to the flames or tosses it into the sea.  It’s the same with a monk: his way of life suffers when, drawn outside by his thoughts, he abandons his cell. A crowing cock, a silly tug-of-war, and naked women The demons also tried to shake Pachomius’s cell to make [...]


August 17, 2012

In God, there is always the seen and the unseen. The front and the back, as it were. The unseen side of a blessing (which is seen) could very well be a swift kick in the pants from God.  OK, you wanted this, now get it together and take good care of it. Whatever it is. We even joke about this conundrum: Be careful what you wish for, for you may just get it. It isn’t necessarily giving everything the aspects of good and bad.  But in soul structures, there are good, normal souls, with not that much variation, and evil souls — or structures in the place of where souls should be. The dark side is very much a term that can be applied these types of unsouls. On the very, very plus side of soul structure there is the Holy Trinity, who, [...]

MYSTICISM: Distinguishing Between God And The Devil In Supernatural Locutions

August 14, 2012

The Greek word, diakrisis, refers to distinguishing, dividing and judging, and it is used for discerning the spirits, for evaluating whence comes a particular communication.  Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 12:10 of a gift of recognizing spirits, and he lists it among sundry other charisms given to the faithful: preaching, faith, healing, working miracles, tongues and such like.  The community is admonished in 1 Corinthians 14:29 to test the origin of the alleged communications from the prophets. (Authenticity, Thomas Dubay) I went ahead and used John of the Cross’s term for communications from God, supernatural locutions.  It seems to be a nice, neat way to succinctly describe these kind of communications. On two extended [...]