This originally good angel, the Devil, is a powerful spiritual creature whose goal is to destroy us by turning us against the Father. We refer to him every time we pray the Lord’s Prayer—“deliver us from evil” refers to the Evil One, of and to whom Jesus spoke regularly in the Gospels, the angel who opposes his Father. The Catechism broadens this teaching, noting that “heresy, apostasy, and schism--do not occur without human sin: Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes.” Thirty years of teaching in Catholic schools, all of them since the time of Vatican II, has taught me that the Church since Vatican II has witnessed the aforementioned errors in the Sacred Liturgy, religious life, catechesis, social action, and morals, all of which have divided the People of God.
In St. John’s gospel, Our Lord calls Satan “ruler of this world,” teaching that the salvation he would bring us as God’s gift involved the destruction of Satan’s power in this world. Just before His passion, Jesus told the apostles that an eternal fire awaited Satan and his angels. Sacred Scripture teaches that The Prince of Darkness will be allowed by God to test us for a time, but in the end will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Thus, in Catholic teaching, the reality of spiritual warfare, though often dismissed, is something the Church Militant here on earth must be prepared for!