Yes we do! However, we may not believe in them in quite the way that they are presented in today’s Gospel. I believe in the Devil and his various minions. Exactly how the devil manifests his evil and corruptive values and influences in today’s world or at any time in human history will always be subject to much debate and depend upon personal preferences amid one’s beliefs.

 

There is no doubt in my mind that there is more to sin in the world than the mere fact of human choice. There is a level of manipulation of human choices going on behind the scenes governed by the Devil and his minions that is seeking to create an environment where evil, and consequently sin, will flourish. There is an old saying that is very true, that all that is necessary for evil to flourish is for the good to do nothing.

 

The miracle stories of Jesus expelling demons from the possessed are all very exciting but perhaps the more important issue for us to reflect upon could be: “What are we doing in the fight to do good?” That is, blaming the evil in the world on demons and not taking personal responsibility for our role in our sinfulness and suffering is playing into the hands of the devil as it distracts us from the very thing we have the most influence over, namely our own part in it! Herein lies the best way to rid the world of evil – each and every person should choose to do what he or she can to pursue good.

 

Do I believe in the devil? Yes, I do? Do I give the devil a lot of attention? No, I do not? Why? The best way to sideline the devil is to ignore him. He cannot influence our decisions unless we listen to his opinions! Ignore the devil, and he will flee far from you looking for someone who is more willing to listen to his evil suggestions. It is simple and seemingly naïve advice but it is not as naïve as it first sounds. Sometimes the best wisdom is found in the simplest of answers to the most vexing questions.

 

Do I ever allow myself to be tempted into listening to the suggestions of the Devil? How good am I at ignoring the Devil’s advances.

 

Holy Spirit, help me to be able to discern between good and evil in my life so that I will know when to listen to the suggestions around me and when to ignore them.