Apr 2, 2015
Is the devil real? Here is Msgr. Ronald Knox on that: “It is stupid of modern civilization to have given up believing in the devil, when he is the only explanation of it.”
Monsignor Knox, eminent British convert, author, retreat master and translator of the Bible, may have been indulging in irony. But irony doesn’t change the fact that the devil and his demonic associates exist.
I came across the Knox quote in Manual for Spiritual Warfare, newly published by Tan Books and edited by Paul Thigpen. “Like it or not,” Thigpen begins his thoughtful introduction, “you are at war. No matter who you are—whether or not you know it—you have a mortal enemy who wants to destroy you, not just in this life, but in the next.” That enemy is of course the devil.
As chance would have it, a copy of the manual reached me shortly before last Christmas, when the news was all about the murder by fanatics of 150 children and teachers in a school in Pakistan. As this is being written, the world is stunned by the action of a German pilot who deliberately flew his airliner into an Alpine mountainside, killing 149 others along with himself.