I KNOW that there are many who call themselves Christians, and who believe in the Redemption, and yet, absurdly enough, deny the personal existence of Satan.
They assert, with an air of profound wisdom, that the word "devil," "Satan," is simply the imaginary personification of all the evil influences to which we are subject in this life. But I ask, What can be more absurd than to deny what all nations, without exception, have always believed, and still believe the personal existence of the devil?
What can be more impious than to deny what we find asserted in plain words, on almost every page of Holy Writ, the personal existence of the devil?
Holy Scripture tells us that Satan, in the form of a serpent, seduced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit. It declares that all the gods of the Gentiles are devils. It tells us that the devil is the prince of this world ant that he goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. It bids us resist the devil, and he will flee from us. St. Paul speaks of the prince and the powers of the air that besiege us, and against whom we must put on the whole armor of God, and do valiant battle.
Moreover, Holy Scripture speaks of demoniacs, or persons possessed with devils, and among the marvellous works ascribed to Jesus Christ is that of expelling demons, or casting out devils.
As to Catholics, there can be no question concerning the personal existence of Satan.
The Catholic Church plainly and unequivocally recognizes the existence of Satan, as may be gathered from the prayers and ceremonies of Baptism, as well as from the significance of the Sacrament itself, and not only his existence, but his power over the natural man, and even material objects. The Catholic Church has also her exorcists, and her precise forms and prayers for exorcising evil spirits.
Besides, every Christian knows that the Son of God became man and died upon the cross for no other purpose than to destroy the works of the devil, and to redeem mankind from his power.