Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain.... Then Jesus answered him: Get thee behind me, Satan..., we read in the Gospel of yesterday's Mass.
The devil exists. Sacred Scripture speaks of him from the first to the last revealed book, from Genesis to Revelation. In the parable of the tares, the Lord affirms that the bad seed, whose task is to suffocate the wheat, was cast out by the enemy. In the parable of the sower, the Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown.
Some, inclined to a superficial optimism, think that evil is merely an incidental imperfection in a world continually evolving toward better days. However, the history of man has suffered from the devil's influence. There are traits of intense malice present in our days, which cannot be explained by human action alone. The devil, in very diverse forms, wreaks havoc on mankind. Undoubtedly, "throughout all of human history there is a hard battle against the power of darkness which, begun at the origins of the world, will last, as the Lord says, until the last day". In such a way that the devil "causes numerous damages of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature in individuals and in society".
The action of the devil is mysterious, real and effective. From the first centuries, Christians were aware of this diabolical activity. St. Peter warned the early Christians: "Be sober and vigilant, because your enemy the devil prowls around you like a roaring lion, looking for prey to devour. Stand firm in the faith.
With Jesus Christ the dominion of the devil has been diminished, for he has "delivered us from the power of Satan". Because of Christ's redemptive work, the devil can only cause real harm to those who freely allow him to do so by consenting to evil and turning away from God.
The Lord manifests himself in numerous passages of the Gospel as the conqueror of the devil, delivering many from diabolical possession. In Jesus is placed our trust, and He does not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. The devil will try to "seduce and draw away the human spirit to violate the precepts of God, darkening little by little the hearts of those who seek to serve him, to the end that they may forget the true God, serving him as if he were the true God." And this, always. In a thousand different ways. But the Lord has given us the means to overcome all temptations: no one sins out of necessity. Let us consider, in depth, this Lent, what this means.
Moreover, in order to free us from the diabolical influence, God has also provided an angel to help and protect us. "Go to your Guardian, in the hour of trial, and he will protect you against the devil and bring you holy inspirations."