Silencing Satan

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

Then I heard Satan's voice ... My soul remained silent and, by an act of will, continued to pray without entering into conversation with the Spirit of Darkness. Nevertheless, such an extraordinary disgust with life came over me that I had to make a great act of the will to consent to go on living (1497).

Believe it or not, Satan speaks to us all the time. As a master of deception, he's hidden this truth from many of us, leading us to believe that his lies are simply our own thoughts. We, therefore, need to learn how to avoid falling victim to his tactics.

The Deceiver and The Accuser
Satan is not only a deceiver and a liar, he's also known as the accuser or the adversary (see Rev 12:10). He's constantly trying to refute everything God says about Himself and everything God says about us.

Satan tries to tell us that the Lord is not good, that He isn't merciful and that He doesn't have the best intentions for us. He also tries to tell us that we are no good - that we are irredeemable and hopeless.

Though Satan lies outright, often his accusations are based on an element of truth.

It's true: We are sinners. We don't actually deserve redemption. But we must ignore the voice in our heads - the voice of Satan - that tells us that our sins are beyond God's mercy, that we don't deserve God's love, that we are beyond redemption. Through the Cross, God has wiped away all our sins and set us right with Him. Listening to the voice of Satan, therefore, only leads to confusion and suffering.

Discerning the Difference
We, therefore, need to ignore the voice of the evil one. We can tell the difference between the voice of Satan and the voice of God by its tone. Is the voice in question one of peace, kindness, hope, and mercy? Or is it one of hatred, fear, sadness, and hopelessness? If it's a good voice, we can be sure it's God. If it's not, it's Satan.

Though it may seem scary that Satan is always trying to trick us, we don't have to be afraid. We just have to follow St. Faustina's example.

As she writes in the passage above, St. Faustina did not let the evil one go undetected. She practiced recognizing the thoughts going through her mind and learned to distinguish the source of each voice. When she realized that the voice speaking to her soul was evil, she immediately attributed it to Satan and turned away from it.

If we want to better recognize the voice of the evil one, we need to pray daily, receive the Sacraments regularly, and perform works of mercy.

God doesn't want us to live in sadness, hopelessness, and despair. He wants to liberate us from the stronghold of the evil one. However, we need to be aware of the truth - that each moment, we are in the midst of a spiritual battle. We can either retreat and let the evil one devour us. Or, we can turn to God, who gives us all the tools we need to conquer Satan and to help others overcome his lies, too.

My prayer: Jesus, please deliver me from the vicious lies of the evil one. Help me to recognize Satan's voice when he speaks to me and give me the strength to reject him. Let me hear Your voice amid my struggles and give me the grace to persevere and to receive Your peace.

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