Never converse with the devil, who seduces and ruins lives.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, drawing from today’s readings, which continued reflecting on the end of the world, as discussed in the Book of Revelations.
Seducer, Liar, Trickster
The Pontiff noted how in today’s reading the angel seizes the serpent, chains it up and throws it into the abyss, which is then locked and sealed, and stressed that the serpent or devil is thrown into the abyss “so that it would no longer lead the nations astray” because it is the seducer.
“He is a liar and what’s more is the father of lies, he generates lies and is a trickster. He makes you believe that if you eat this apple you will be like a God. He sells it to you like this and you buy it and in the end he tricks you, deceives you and ruins your life.
“‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’ Jesus teaches us: never converse with the devil. One does not converse with him. What did Jesus do with the devil? He chased him away, he asked his name but did not hold a dialogue with him.”
How to Defend Oneself
Pope Francis went on to explain how when Jesus was in the wilderness, he defended himself when replying to the devil by using the Word of God and the Word of the Bible.
Thus, the Argentine Pope stressed, we must never converse with this liar and trickster who seeks our ruin and who for this reason will be thrown into the abyss.
The Holy Father also described how today’s reading shows how the Lord will judge the great and the lowly “according to their deeds,” with the damned being thrown into the pool of fire. Francis described this as the “second death.”
Not a Torture Chamber
“Eternal damnation is not a torture chamber,” he said. “That’s a description of this second death: it is a death. And those who will not be received in the Kingdom of God, it’s because they have not drawn close to the Lord. These are the people who journeyed along their own path, distancing themselves from the Lord and passing in front of the Lord but then choosing to walk away from Him.”
What eternal damnation is, he explained, is “continually distancing oneself from God.”
“It is the worst pain, an unsatisfied heart, a heart that was created to find God but which, out of arrogance and self-confidence, distances itself from God.”
Distancing oneself from God Who gives happiness and Who loves us so much, the Pontiff admonished, is the “fire,” and the road to eternal damnation.
Pointing out how the reading’s final image ends with a vision of hope, Francis noted that if with humility, we open our hearts, we will have joy, salvation, and will receive Jesus’ forgiveness.
“Hope is what opens our hearts to the encounter with Jesus. This is what awaits us: the encounter with Jesus. It’s beautiful, very beautiful,” Pope Francis said, concluding, “He asks us only to be humble and say ‘Lord.’ It’s enough to say that word and He will do the rest.”