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Christians are in a constant battle against evil, Pope preaches

Pope Francis today observed that we can learn from the Scriptures how to fight the Devil, saying in his homily for Daily Mass today in the chapel of the St. Martha Residence in the Vatican that temptation is a daily struggle and that we are in a “constant battle” against sin and evil. “We too are tempted, we too are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, he does not want us to be disciples of Christ,” the Holy Father explained. Satan, the Pope reminded the congregation, “does not want our Christian witness.”

Pope Francis is pictured here in a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.
Pope Francis is pictured here in a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.Photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images

“And what does the Spirit of Evil do, through his temptations, to distance us from the path of Jesus?” he asked, observing that “The temptation of the devil has three characteristics and we need to learn about them in order not to fall into the trap. Firstly, his temptation begins gradually but grows and is always growing, secondly, it grows and infects another person, it spreads to another and seeks to be part of the community, the Pontiff explained. In the end, temptation spreads, and in order to take root, the Pope said “it justifies itself” and we often allow that to happen. “We have a temptation that grows: it grows and infects others,” Francis preached. “For example, let’s look at gossip: I’m a bit envious of this or that person and at first I’m just envious inside” but eventually “I need to share it and go to another person and say: ‘But have you seen that person?’”

“Maybe not one of you, if you’re a saint, but I too have been tempted to gossip! It’s a daily temptation. And it begins in this way, discreetly, like a trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself,” the Holy Father said, concluding his remarks by urging people to be vigilant in avoiding sin by exercising daily prayer.