«We must be aware of the presence of this cunning enemy, interested in our eternal damnation, in our failure, and prepare to defend ourselves against it and fight it, “said the Pope during Sunday’s Angelus at the Vatican.
Francis was commenting on this Sunday’s Gospel about the temptations of Jesus in the desert. He said that this scene evokes for Catholics something very real, «the place of trial and temptation, where the Tempter, taking advantage of human fragility and needs, hints at his lying voice, alternative to God’s. It shows you another way, a way of deception. The tempter seduces ».
«The whole ministry of Christ is a fight against the Evil One in his many manifestations: healings of diseases, exorcisms of the possessed, forgiveness of sins. It’s a fight, “he stressed. “Also the life of the Christian who follows in the footsteps of the Lord, is a battle against the spirit of evil,” he added, underlining that in the end Jesus always wins.
“The grace of God assures us victory over the enemy, but I would like to highlight one thing,” said the Pope, turning away from the dialogue he had prepared.
“In their life, Jesus never spoke with the devil, never. Either he chased him from possession, or condemned him, or showed his malice. But we never see a dialogue. And in the desert there seems to be a dialogue, because the devil makes three proposals. But Jesus does not answer him with his words but with three quotes from the Bible, “he recalled. “He did it to teach us how to deal with temptations, because if we accept the dialogue, we will be defeated,” he said.
The enemy is crouching there, be careful. Never talk to him, “he insisted before concluding.
The Pope has already taken up the “face-to-face” Angelus for several weeks, which prays with pilgrims leaning out of a window of the Apostolic Palace. This morning he looked very good and was smiling very much.
Today begins the most similar to some Winter Break. In the next few days it will not have any public event or receive visits, because this afternoon its traditional Lenten spiritual retreat, which will last until next Friday morning.
Other years he used to do it outside of Rome, with the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican curia, but the pandemic has forced him to do it on his own at home to avoid crowds.
Francis has written a letter to each member of the curia in which he asks them to do the spiritual exercises on their own during these days. As a guide, he has given you a curious 17th century book.
It is a volume entitled “Give importance to the Lord.” It is a seventeenth century text signed by an anonymous author who presents himself as Master of the Monastery of San Bartolomé. The manuscript was discovered by a priest in an antique book store. Of intense depth, those who know him compare him to a classic of spirituality entitled “The Imitation of Christ.”