Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
July 19, 2010
Beware the wiles of Ol' Nick, pastor warns
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
LAC STE. ANNE - The devil does exist and we must protect ourselves from its influence because it's easy to fall into his clutches, says Father Paul Moret.
Using the words of St. Paul, the Edmonton priest described the evil spirit as "an enemy who is trying to trip us up as we are striving to enter into the kingdom of God."
He quoted St. Peter writing in the New Testament: "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, solid in your faith."
Moret, a priest for 22 years and currently pastor of St. Agnes and St. Anthony parishes, was one of several priests who addressed this year's Family Life Conference marking the recently concluded Year for Priests. Several hundred people attended his hour-long presentation July 2.
Moret, whose priesthood was influenced by St. John Vianney, said oftentimes we don't realize we are being led by the devil "because Satan tries to lure us with things that we like."
"You know, Satan tries to draw us in by things that are appealing to us. That's why Scripture says that Satan often appears as an angel of light. He doesn't appear to us as something bad because we would run away. He appears to us as something good so that we are attracted and eventually overcome."
But Moret said Catholics need to be able to look at the difference between heaven and hell - the fact that God is promising us eternal life, eternal rewards.
"Satan only promises us things that will be here for a moment and later be taken away," he said. "This shows us how we can get sucked in, again, because Satan tries to mimic God and he tries to get us to worship him as we would worship God."
We have to be so careful because Satan does oftentimes appears as an agent of good, continued Moret. "Without any kind of discernment we can easily fall into the clutches of the devil."
For the past 40 or 50 years we've been in a situation where people have massively denied the existence of the devil.
"I believe that because of that denial of his existence, we have allowed him greater freedom, we have allowed him greater range because we don't have our guard up. We are not protecting ourselves," Moret said.
"We are not discerning when it comes to spiritual things whether this is from God or whether this is from something else."
When it comes to the sexual abuse scandals, the spotlight has been put on the priesthood and on the Church, with some people blaming celibacy for the abuse.
"It has nothing to do with celibacy," Moret said. "It has to do with evil and we have to have a proper understanding of this."
Moret chided those who committed the abuse as well as those who put a blind eye to it. "There have been mistakes made in the past and a lot of poor judgment but I really believe that we are getting a handle on this," he said, urging his audience to not let the scandals shake their faith.
"You can be outraged if you want, but don't allow these sorts of things to ruin your faith. If you allow that, then the devil wins."
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