December 7, 2015

VATICAN CITY - Every day, the devil tries to seduce people with promises of riches, grandeur and power, Pope Francis said.

Satan "sows snares and is a seducer. He seduces with charm, with diabolical charm, he leads you to believe everything. He knows how to sell with this charm, he sells well, but he pays badly in the end," the pope said in a homily.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the Vatican police force that works together with the Swiss Guard to protect the pope and provide security at papal events.

"There is a war between good and evil where we have to choose which we want: good or evil," the pope said.

Unfortunately, the devil is constantly at work, trying to trick or seduce people into choosing evil, he said Oct. 2.

The devil employs three steps in his strategy to pull people along - the same three steps he used when tempting Jesus in the desert, the pope said.

By tempting a fasting Jesus to turn stones into bread, he said, the devil first tries to play on people's desire to accumulate material things.

Many people sell their soul, their happiness for just "two cents," he said.

Once the step of acquiring wealth is taken, "you feel important," which leads to "the second step: vanity."

The devil tempted Jesus by telling him to make "a great show" and perform a great miracle to prove to everyone he was the Son of God, the pope said.


The third and last step is appealing to a person's desire for power and their arrogance and pride, like when the devil told Jesus he could give him all the power in the world.

"This also happens to us, always, in little things. Being too attached to wealth, we like it when we are praised, like a peacock," he said.

But "vanity makes you become

ridiculous," Pope Francis said, and power makes people believe they are God, "and this is a great sin."

The pope said the only way to fight the devil is with the Word of God.

Jesus responded to each of the devil's three temptations by citing Scripture. We should do the same when temptation strikes, he said.