Reminding us of the source of evil in the world and how we must fight him daily, in this story from Osservatore Romano.
The fight against the subtle plans of destruction and dehumanization brought forth by the devil — who “presents things as if they were good”, even inventing “humanistic explanations” — is “an everyday reality”. And unless we fight “we will be defeated”. But we have the certainty of that we are not alone in this fight, because the Lord entrusted to the archangels the task of defending man. Pope Francis recalled the role of Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on Monday, 29 September, during morning Mass at Santa Marta.
The Pontiff began by pointing out that “the two Readings we heard — both that from the Prophet Daniel (7:9-10, 13-14) and that from the Gospel according to John (1:47-51) — speak to us about glory: the glory of heaven, the court of heaven, the adoration in heaven”. Thus, he explained, “there is glory” and “in the midst of this glory there is Jesus Christ”. In fact, Daniel says: “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him”. Here, Francis said, is “Jesus Christ, before the Father, in the glory of heaven”.
The day’s liturgy also reintroduces this reality in the Gospel. Thus, the Pope continued, “to Nathaniel, who was astonished, Jesus says: ‘you shall see greater things than these…. you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man’”. And the Holy Father used “the image of Jacob’s ladder: Jesus is at the centre of glory, Jesus is the glory of the Father”. A glory which, the Bishop of Rome clarified, “is promised in Daniel, is promised in Jesus. But it is also a promise made in eternity”.
The Pontiff then referred to the “other Reading” from Revelation (12:7-12). In this text as well, he indicated, “glory is spoken of, but as a battle”. In fact, it reads: “Now war arose in heaven: Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him”. It is the “battle between the Devil and God”, he explained. But “this battle happens after Satan seeks to destroy the woman who is about to give birth to her child”. Because, the Pope stated, “Satan always seeks to destroy man: that man whom Daniel saw there, in glory, and who Jesus told Nathaniel would come in glory”. The Pope said further that, “from the beginning, the Bible tells us about this: Satan’s seduction to destroy. Perhaps out of envy”. And in this regard, referring to Psalm 8, Francis highlighted that the angel so highly intelligent “could not bear this humiliation on his shoulders, that an inferior creature could be made superior; and he sought to destroy him”.
Retrieved September 29, 2014 from http://www.osservatoreromano.va/en/news/angels-and-demons