The Prince of this World

It is to faith that Saint Peter the Apostle appeals when he urges us to resist the devil as men “solid in your faith.” Faith tells us that evil is a “a living, spiritual being that is perverted and perverts others.” Faith is also a source of confidence, for it assures us that the devil’s power must stop at boundaries set for him by God. It assures us, in addition, that while the devil is able to tempt, he cannot exhort our consent. Most of all, faith opens the heart to prayer, wherein it finds its triumph and crown, for prayer wins for us the victory over evil, thanks to Gods grace.

It is certain that the reality of the devil, as concretely attested by what we call the mystery of evil, is today, as always, an enigma surrounding the Christian’s life. We are little wiser than the apostles as to why the Lord permits it and how He makes it serve His purpose. Yet, it may be that in our civilization, which is so secularized and so focused on the horizontal plane of man’s life, unexpected manifestations of this mystery have a meaning not impossible to ascertain. For, such manifestations oblige us to look further and higher, beyond immediate evidences. The insolent threats with which evil darkens our path enable us to glimpse the existence of a beyond which challenges us to understand it and then turn to Christ so that we may hear from Him the good news of the salvation He graciously offers us. Vatican Council II