Pope at Angelus: When tempted or taking wrong path, invoke Jesus

During his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis urges the faithful to resist what has the power to enslave them by invoking Jesus whenever they feel tempted or about to make a misstep, and tells them, once again, to not dialogue with the devil.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

When you feel tempted or that the devil is leading you in the wrong direction, invoke Jesus.

This was the suggestion Pope Francis offered to the faithful during his Angelus address in St. Peter's Square on Sunday at noon.

As he reflected on today's Gospel passage according to St. Mark, which recalls Jesus freeing a person who had been possessed by an evil spirit, the Holy Father reminded the faithful that the devil wants to take hold of us, but we can resist him by staying close to the Lord.

He said the devil desires to possess in order to "chain our souls" and that, therefore, "we must guard against the "chains" that suffocate our freedom" and "enchain our hearts."

The Pope acknowledged various types of "enchainments" we all face that "make us slaves, always dissatisfied, and devour energy, goods, and affections."

Jesus frees us

Jesus, Pope Francis reassured, came to free us from all these chains, and the devil's relentless attacks.

"Jesus liberates from the power of evil and - let us note well - never dialogues with the devil! We, on the other hand," he lamented, "often let his chains hold us until they do too much harm, but then it is more difficult to free ourselves from them.

"Christ," however, he underlined, "reminds us that with the devil we never negotiate."

"What to do then when we feel tempted and oppressed?" the Pope asked, inviting "Invoke Jesus: invoke him there, where we feel the chains of evil and fear tighten most strongly."

Don't dialogue with the devil

The Pope warned against conversing with the devil.

"There is no dialogue with the devil, because if you enter into dialogue with him, he wins, always. Be careful."

"The Lord, with the power of his Spirit, wishes to repeat to the evil one even today: 'Go away, leave that heart alone, do not divide the world, families, our communities; let them live peacefully, so that the fruits of my Spirit may flourish there, not yours."

Jesus, the Holy Father highlighted, instead desires that "love, joy, meekness may reign," and that there be "freedom, peace, and care," instead of violence and cries of hatred."

Vigilance to be full of love and joy

The Lord, he reminded, wants our lives to be full of love and joy, but, reiterated, this requires our continued caution.

Jesus, the Pope suggested requires our viligance in not dialoguing with the devil, and our prayer, which allows Him to restore us.

Pope Francis concluded by asking the Blessed Mother to protect us from evil, before offering those gathered in the Square a good Sunday and a good lunch.

One can read the full text of the Pope's Angelus Address at the Vatican website.

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28 January 2024, 12:04