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("Meditations for Lent from St. Thomas Aquinas", pp. 84-86, 1937 Imp.)

Third Monday



Our Lord said, as His Passion drew near, Now
shall the princes of this world be cast out. And I, 
if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to 
myself (John xii. 31, 32).

He was lifted up from the earth by His Passion 
on the cross. Therefore by that Passion the devil 
was driven out from his dominion over men.

With reference to that power, which, before the 
Passion of Christ, the devil used to exercise over 
mankind, three things are to be borne in mind.

1. Man had by his sin earned for himself 
enslavement to the devil, for it was by the devil's 
temptation that he had been overcome.

2. God, whom man in sinning had offended, 
had, by his justice, abandoned man to the enslave- 
ment of the devil.

3. The devil by his own most wicked will 
stood in the way of man's achieving his salvation.

With regard to the first point the Passion of Christ 
set man free from the devil's power because the 
Passion of Christ brought about the forgiveness of 
sin. As to the second point the Passion delivered 
man from the devil, because it brought about a 
reconciliation between God and man. As to the 
third point, the Passion of Christ freed us from the 
devil's power because in his action during the 
Passion the devil over-reached himself. He went 
beyond the limits of the power over men allowed 
to him by God, when he plotted the death of 
Christ, upon whom, since he was without sin, 
there lay no debt payable by death. Whence St. 
Augustine's words, "The devil was overcome by 
the justice of Christ. In Him the devil found 
nothing that deserved death, but, none the less, he 
slew him. And it was but just that those debtors 
that the devil detained should go free since they 
believed in Him whom, though he was under 
no bond to him, the devil had slain."

The devil still continues to exercise a power 
over men. He can, God permitting it, tempt them 
in soul and in body. There is, however, made 
available for man a remedy in the Passion of Christ, 
by means of which he can defend himself against 
these attacks, so that they do not lead him into 
the destruction of eternal death. Likewise all 
those who before the Passion of Christ resisted the 
devil had derived their power to resist from the 
Passion, although the Passion had not yet been 
accomplished. But in one point none of those 
who lived before the Passion had been able to 
escape the hand of the devil, namely, they all had 
to go down into hell, a thing from which, since the 
Passion, all men can, by his power, defend them- 

God also allows the devil to deceive men in 
certain persons, times and places, according to the 
hidden character of His designs. Such, for 
example, will be anti-Christ. But there always 
remains, and for the age of anti-Christ too, a 
remedy prepared for man through the Passion of 
Christ, a power of protecting himself against the 
wickedness of the devils. The fact that there are 
some who neglect to make use of this remedy does 
not lessen the efficacy of the Passion of Christ.

(3 49 2)

Blessed be St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles!


The Papal Restoration Staff

Mar. 9, 2015