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During a mass at the Vatican, Pope Francis insists vigilance should be a continuing effort because the evil spirit never tires.

In a Friday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, the Catholic pontiff encouraged Christians to be more vigilant of evil’s constant effort to lure individual conscience to become too rigid or relativistic.

The Pope’s message was part of his homily that mainly tackled a Biblical verse from Luke wherein Jesus was accused by a crowd of working with the devil Beelzebul after successfully driving away an evil spirit from a possessed man. According to the Pope, the rightful action from the crowd should be gratitude or appreciation but instead, the people back then were consumed by their fear of the Romans, envious attitude towards Jesus or simply by doctrinal rigidity or their dogmatic beliefs.

These, according to the Pope are examples as to how the evil spirit tries to misrepresent and misinterpret things among people to be able to achieve its ultimate goal of taking over mans’ conscience. The pontiff said that the devil enters a person “drop by drop” and slowly commands the man to do things in a too rigid or relative manner. When relativism eventually becomes a habit of the individual, it becomes “soothing or anesthetizing” to the individual’s conscience.

Pope Francis added that “when the evil spirit succeeds in anesthetizing the conscience, it is then he can claim a true victory, for he has become the master of that conscience.” Thus, it eventually becomes an excuse for a person to feel okay or think that he/she is doing alright even if it’s really is the opposite. This is also the reason why certain people often blame others and fail to make an assessment of themselves first or those claiming to be righteous.

The Pope suggests that vigilance is the key to prevent the evil spirit from succeeding. People must discern things and analyze their roots or origin (whether they are coming from good or bad influences). Pope Francis also stressed that vigilance should be a continuing effort because the evil spirit never tires. In fact evil can disguise itself from what are seemingly fine and good things as the Pope notes that the devil “is hidden, he comes with his polite friends, knocks at the door, asks for permission, comes in, and lives with the person.

Another action suggested by the Pope to combat such evil attacks is for individuals to make daily examination of their conscience. Pope Francis laid out some key questions “What happened today in my heart because of this? From where do these comments, words, teachings come? Who says this?”

According to the Pontiff, constant vigilance and conscience examination are required “in order to not allow the one who deceives, seduces and fascinates enter.”

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