The Deceiver by LIVIO FANZAGA***
Satan seduces, but you are the one who decides. Even though his seduction is very
powerful, he can not bend your will to do evil. Even though the tempest of thoughts,
desires, resentment, and hatred he stirs in your heart is overwhelming, there is no sin
without your free and conscious consent. Eve sinned because she wanted to sin. God has
put our will exclusively in our hands.
There are apostles of evil. They are people who besides ruining themselves drag along
other souls also. They have perverted themselves into becoming demons, as Saint
Catherine of Siena asserted, and thus "fulfill the office of the demons," inducing others to
sin. It is truly said that one never sins alone. Our sin is negatively reflected in our
neighbors. If we do not repent quickly and return to God the heart is hardened and,
almost to reassure ourselves, we drag others along the way of ruin.
Eve was so possessed by evil that she did not hesitate to entice Adam also. "She also gave
some to her husband, and he ate" (Gen 3:6). When you examine your life, remember all
the times that by your words, evil example, and complicity you have pushed your
neighbor into the arms of the evil one. Think of all those souls that are lost in sin because
of you. Repent before God, repair the damages you have caused, and make yourself an
apostle of good.
The corruptors of souls are the great strength of the demon. In the contemporary world,
they occupy very significant and visible positions in various fields such as culture,
science, politics or economics, including the realm of the mass media. They have learned
the vernacular of flattery and lies from their teacher. Despising truth and exalting error,
they disparage good and virtue while exalting evil and vice. They are the faithful servants
of Satan, and they will go with him to his kingdom of death in recompense.
Watch out for such people, even if they are very close to you and united to you by bonds
of affection. You show your worthiness as a human being by saying no to evil, even if the
one who proposes it is most dear to you. If Adam had said no to Eve, he would have
undoubtedly saved himself and perhaps even her. No human respect, no bond of
friendship, no reason of human nature, nor any interest must ever cause you stay with
anyone who proposes evil. It is much better to lose a friend or family member than to lose
God for all of eternity.
Nevertheless, Adam took the fruit Eve offered him without argument, and he ate it. He
blindly followed his wife, even when fell into the abyss. How many behave like this!
Like leaves in the wind, they are dragged where the world wants, and Satan rejoices over
the spoils obtained so cheaply. The law of the herd, public opinion polls, and social
brainwashing dominate the modern world. You, however, must be very attentive to the
voice of God. Keep your conscience illuminated by the Church and never stray from her,
no matter what others think, even if they are those whom you love the most.
From Disillusionment to Illusion**
When man commits evil, he is inevitably degraded. He then opens his eyes and all that
before seemed beautiful and desirable, afterwards entirely loses its attractiveness. First
evil attracts you, then it poisons you. From the illusion of obtaining much happiness
follows both disillusionment and disappointment. Once the fruit was eaten "the eyes of
both were opened." Adam and Eve had deluded themselves into thinking that they could
become "like God" but found themselves deprived of divinity and its gifts. The
conscience begins to feel remorse. That God Whom you have driven from your heart by
sinning does not abandon you. In His goodness He makes you hear His voice in the
depths of your being. It is a voice that disapproves of the evil you have committed and at
the same time is an invitation to return to the straight way.
Consider this great grace that opens the eyes after the satanic temptation. It is the moment
in which, if you are honest with yourself, you realize that Satan has deceived you. With
all that he has offered you he has succeeded in destroying your dignity, morality and your
soul. He has given you something, but he himself has taken your heart. You, like Adam
and Eve, realize your nakedness. You have been stripped of sanctifying grace and of the
gifts of spiritual beauty and wisdom that adorned you: now you see yourself in your
The disillusionment that comes after every sin, with the verification of the deception, the
remorse of conscience, and the consciousness of the damages you have suffered,
constitutes a moment of great grace, even though in the context of a spiritual catastrophe.
After every sin, the Divine Wisdom opens our eyes so that we see the despicable face of
evil. This always happens unless a person, persevering on the way of ruin, suffocates his
conscience and hardens his heart.
Adam and Even, having realized the lie of the tempter and the existential catastrophe into
which they had fallen, would have been able and should have cried out to God from the
depths of their misery. The Creator in His goodness would have listened to them and
would have come to their aid. So we, dear friend, have at the moment of the grace of
disillusionment the possibility of a ready rehabilitation, if we turn humbly and contritely
to that God Whom we have foolishly abandoned.
Unfortunately, this happens all too rarely. More often, man falls again into that satanic
deception, desiring to try again the fruit which has proven to be so untrustworthy and
poisonous. The disillusionment is followed by a new illusion, and this process continues,
so that man enters into a deadly mechanism that crushes the soul, driving it to blindness
and to total death.
Many men waste their lives following illusions which are followed immediately by
disillusionment. "Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again," declare Jesus (Jn
4:13). Only the mercy of God can break this satanic chain which renders us slaves, but you must cooperate with the grace which opens your eyes every time you do evil. Thinkof the last sin you committed. Were you happy to place your trust in the demon? Didn't
you become disillusioned, saddened, and degraded? Why then do you wish to repeat the
same experience, believing again and again the allurements of the tempter?
There may come a time in which, having sinned, your eyes are no longer opened. It is a very alarming signal, because it means you are entering the spiritual status of
impenitence. This happens when you advance unperturbed along the way of perversion and our conscience is finally snuffed out completely. Then the worst crimes can be committed without your feeling remorse. How many souls move in this level of deep darkness, in which they have given their unconditional consent to Satan and to his kingdom of perdition! Only a great grace, with the awakening of conscience, could now save them.