When I wrote an article for Catholic World Report in 2016 entitled “The Battle Against The Devil Is Still Being Fought Today”, describing the devil’s tactics as identified in Scripture, commentary, and literature. I neglected to identify Satan’s commandments, or false “truths”, framed in such seductive ways. Whether we realize it or not, we are unremittingly subjected to these commandments every time we open the door and walk (or run or march or drive) into the world, turn on the TV, connect to the Internet, read a newspaper and many works of popular scholarship or fiction, whether we are Christians or Buddhists or atheists, people in the pews or Cardinals, old men or young women, in the academy or the marketplace. Everyone. The devil has seen to that. We are all one and the same to Satan, souls to be vanquished and consumed. We are swimming in these perilous waters, and even the most hydrophobic aren’t immune from its influence.
God has given us the means to resist: Scripture
, the saints, the sacraments, good teachers. Still, human freedom is fraught with both opportunity and peril.
One of the very best at giving us a picture of Satan and his tactics is J.R.R. Tolkien, a modern prophet. Because he composed stories, we can easily overlook the spiritual wisdom embedded in his works. In “The Silmarillion”, a hard to read but extremely edifying, book, Tolkien depicts how the devil connives, in the person of Melkor (his Lucifer), working to sunder us from God and other people by using the very gifts God gives us.
Read more at Catholic World Report.