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Pope’s Wednesday Audience: Remain Vigilant Against Pride and ‘Well-Mannered Demons’…

“It is a danger not of a psychological, but of a spiritual order, a real snare of the evil spirit,” Francis said. “Indeed, he awaits precisely the moment in which we are too sure of ourselves, this is the danger: ‘I am sure of myself, I have won, now I am well’ is that moment that the evil spirit waits for, when everything is going well, when things are going ‘swimmingly’ and we ‘have the wind in our sails.’”

General audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Dec. 14, 2022. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA
General audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Dec. 14, 2022. Daniel Ibáñez / CNA

The pope explained that when we let our spiritual guard down, the devil, who knows how to dress himself up to look nice, can enter our hearts.

To illustrate this point, Francis recalled one of Jesus’ parables, as told in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus said: “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.”

“This,” the pope said, “is the frame of mind of the Christians who await the final coming of the Lord; but it can also be understood as the normal attitude to have in the conduct of life, so that our good choices, taken at times after challenging discernment, may proceed in a persevering and consistent manner, and bear fruit.”

Building on the metaphor of the house, Pope Francis described a clean and tidy abode with everything prepared, but the master is missing, because he is either not home, is distracted, or has fallen asleep, and evil is able to enter.

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