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Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Devil: Is He for Real? Why Does God Let Him Hang Around?

TiepoloGiambattistaDieUnbefleckteEmpfangnis17671768Drachen[Devil,Demon,Dragon]Crop

The Devil: Is He for Real?  Why Does God Let Him Hang Around? Dear Father John, I’ve heard that talking about the devil is just a way to talk about bad things that happen.  On the other hand, there are some people that claim there really is a devil.  Is the devil for real?  If so, why does God let him hang around when our purpose is to get to heaven?  It seems so contradictory. THE DEVIL,... Read More

Why does Satan Appear More Frequently in the New Testament than in the Old?

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Father Fortea, why does Satan appear more frequently in the New Testament than in the Old? The term Satan appears eighteen times in the Old Testament and thirty-five in the New. The devil can be found thirty-six times. The term demon appears twenty-one times in the New Testament, while the Old Testament’s equivalent terms for demon (Lilith, etc.) appear much less. The New Testament is shorter than... Read More

Condemned: Are Only those who Want to be Condemned, Condemned?

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Father Fortea, are only those who want to be condemned actually condemned? No one really wants to be condemned. But some choose to be condemned because their sinful actions exclude them from the life of blessedness. In the same way, no one really wants to spend their lives on earth full of hatred and wishing evil on one’s neighbor, but some choose to live this way, much to their own suffering. Consciously... Read More

What is the Greatest Evil?

March 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Fortea, Sin, Spiritual Warfare

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Father Fortea, what is the greatest evil? According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the greatest evil is sin (CCC 1488). Since God is love and sin leads to the rejection of His love, sin inevitably leads to hatred – of God, of humanity, of those around us, and of ourselves. Those who allow themselves to walk the path of hatred can reach the point where they hate all four objects with their... Read More

Infinite Evil — Does it Exist? An Exorcist Reponds

March 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Evil, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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Father Fortea, does “infinite evil” exist? No, evil is limited. Evil always exists in a finite being; it does not exist in itself. While an infinite being (i.e., God) can exist, infinite evil cannot because it is merely a lack (or privation) of a good that should be present in a being. But, one may ask, couldn’t an infinite being deform itself infinitely? Here’s the problem: to degrade... Read More

What are the Types of Evil?

March 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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Father Fortea, what are the types of evil? While the variety of particular evils is infinite, theologians typically distinguish between physical and moral evils. Remember our earlier definition of evil: the lack (or privation) of a good that should exist in a thing. Here’s a good example of a physical evil: the painting the Mona Lisa is good, but a knife mark left by a vandal would be an evil because... Read More

Evil: Will it Exist Forever?

February 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Demonology, Evil, Fr. Fortea, Spiritual Warfare

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Father Fortea, will evil exist forever? Yes, in a certain sense. The clear teachings of Sacred Scripture and the Church affirm that both demons and condemned human beings will exist for all eternity in hell. In this sense evil will exist indefinitely. Evil will exist forever within these fallen angels and humans. At the end of time, the divine order will be established in a perfect way; God’s truth... Read More

Evil: What is it? Aquinas’ Classical Definition Found in Catechism

February 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Demonology, Evil, Fr. Fortea

Aquinat[Aquinas,ThomasAquinas,Aquino]Crop

Father Fortea, what is evil? Evil is the lack (or privation) of a good that should be present in a thing. For example, blindness is a physical evil because it is the absence of the ability to see, which is proper to a human being. In moral terms, sin is the absence of a particular virtue in a person. As such, evil is not something that exists in itself; it is merely the absence of the good (see Catechism... Read More

Why Do We Sin?

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Fr. Fortea, Sin, Temptation

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Dear Father Fortea, why do we sin? We sin because, due to the effects of original sin, our wills have been weakened, and we give in to temptation. When we are tempted, we must choose between two options: doing good or doing evil, committing a sin or living in virtue. In temptation, the will has to choose between two options; it knows that one option is good and the other evil but feels attracted to... Read More

Does Evil Really Exist?

November 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Evil, Fr. Fortea

Roser 02 (Chip)

Father Fortea, does evil really exist? Yes, it does. The first thing we need to know is that evil – like good – is an objective reality. Though many in today’s culture insist that morality is merely one’s personal opinion and is subjective (“what’s right for you might be wrong for me” and vice versa), this is a very grave error. Who could successfully argue that such things as illness,... Read More

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