— INTRODUCTORY NOTE —
It is said that one of the favorite ploys of the devil is to convince men that he does not exist, that this is a myth born of earlier and less enlightened times than our own. (We today, after all, are so much more enlightened by the sciences, and especially the [psuedo-] science of psychology1.) Hence C.S. Lewis, in his profound and delightful Screwtable Letters, has "Uncle Screwtape" —who is mentoring his nephew "Wormwood" in seducing souls away from the "Enemy"—give this advice to his nephew: "If any faint suspicion of your existence begins to arise in [your patient's] mind, suggest to him a picture of something in red tights, and persuade him that since he cannot believe in that (it is an old textbook method of confusing them) he therefore cannot believe in you."
Thus the demonic element so evident in both the Old and New Testaments, is today often explained by some of our more "enlightened" theologians and bible scholars—Protestant and, alas, Catholic—in terms of psychological pathology rather than preternatural demonology. They thereby turn the alleged "myth" of the devil's existence into the real myth of his non-existence.
Christ our Master, being a product of His times, unfortunately, and so lacking the brilliant "insights" of today's biblical and theological savants, apparently did not realize that He was curing psychological illness rather than casting out demons. But then did not Christ call Himelf "the Truth", and identify Himself with the All-knowing God? Whom then should we believe? Who is truly enlightened, and who benighted?
In the article presented here and translated from Maria Valtorta's Quadernetti collection of Visions and Dictations, Christ speaks again of Satan and his ways with men, especially with victim souls. For a previous and more extensive treatment by the Master on this subject, the Reader is referred to Malevolent Darkness, posted elsewhere on this site.
Know then that it was inevitable that you should experience the hatred of Satan. Every victim soul experiences it in one way or another. Because to be a victim soul is to be, as far as one can be, like the Redeemer in one's person and ministry, and also in one's triumphs. These triumphs are defeats for Satan. Which is easy to understand. This ministry is like a sword which wounds him, and like a hook which snatches prey from him. This too is easy to understand. This resemblance [to the Redeemer] in one's person is another grief in the infinite grief of Satan, because his condemnation is to hate that which at the same time he craves.
Do you know how Satan burns with desire, with remorse, with nostalgia for what he has lost? Understand Me, it is not from a spirit of love—for he cannot love. But from the perfect pride of his spirit. What he lost is the Kingdom where he was the head of the angels. He suffers not only for not being an angel, but for not being their head, inferior in splendor only to God. But since all of Paradise is centered in God, Satan, being unable to go to God Himself by force of circumstance, goes where God is present [in the just]. God is still approachable by Satan—the Accursed One, the Outcast—God is approachable in human flesh. And that was the case when I was on Earth. Or rather—and this is what has happened for twenty centuries—Satan goes to God Who is present and active in a just man.
Therefore, Maria, do not say and do not think: "Like seeks like, and therefore I am damned because the damned persecute me, always coming near me." No. It is not thus. Not for love. But from hate Satan comes near you; to draw near to the treasure he lost, and torment himself for having lost it. Every just soul is a Paradise where God abides, along with His power. From hate for the prey lost: the just soul. From hate for all the prey that the just soul snatches from him: the souls saved by a just soul. His craving goads him to come. And so too, it goads all the damned who are his.
Listen, Maria: Do you not fly away with your thoughts—and if you could, you would do it also with your body—do you not fly to places where you had once known peace? To your boarding school, for instance? Yes. Well then, the damned, those who are truly damned, besides being tormented by hate, they are tormented by an unceasing restlessness and by a nightmarish longing—so intense is it—for the life they lost, and lost so miserably; being at once terrified of and attracted to the God they lost, they approach the just. It is a moment of...calling it an "escape" is an error, since one does not escape damnation. But they believe that by coming near the just in order to torture them, and to torture themselves with remorse, is escape.
Oh! there is nothing that can give them relief! And even that which is refreshment for all others: the nearness of a creature breathing out peace, the aura of God, is changed for them into a more bitter torture. And yet, they come, because they are the "restless" par excellence; because they are the "disordered" par excellence; and they cannot subject themselves to God-Order Who has confined them in the place they merited for eternity. From remorse and from hatred of God they come to be tortured and to torture, to bring disorder on Earth near the just, they: "rebels" toward any law of Order and of Love.
Are you persuaded that they come to you because they are "unlike" you? Besides, this is a sign which should not dishearten you, but confirm your soul in hope. This is a painful sign, I know; a frightening sign, I know. It was expected, it was necessary. Many others, more or less honestly, more or less holily, have desired it. It was in the soul of your [spiritual] Director3 so that he could witness with more proof that you, My daughter, are in My arms. It was and is in the souls of others, in good souls or deniers, who know that where God is, so is envious Satan too, in an eternal struggle...
But have no fear! I am the King. And there is no other outside of Me. Satan is always a subject, and he cannot prevail over the rights and affections which I—the Only and Mighty God, Lord and Creator of the Universe and of the kingdoms of Light and Darkness—have over souls and for souls.
Be at peace, Be at peace. Gethsemani was completely full of Satan. But it was the dawn of My Triumph.
God is with you.
1. See: http://ironink.org/index.php?blog=1&cat=52
2. Maria Valtorta, Quadernetti (Edizioni Pisani / Centro Editoriale Valtortiano srl, Via Po 95, 03036 Isola del Liri (FR), Italia, 2006): 54-56.
3. ...your [spiritual] Director...., i.e., Fr. Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M.