"For Francis, the Devil is not a myth, but a real person," explains Father Thomas Rosica, C.S.B., of Salt and Light TV, in a new video that is part of The Living Word collaboration between America and the American Bible Society.
Division within a Christian community is a very grave sin; it is the work of the devil.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) September 30, 2014
The evil one appears frequently in the pope's teachings, and was detailed in a Washington Post article in May:
"Largely under the radar, theologians and Vatican insiders say, Francis has not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have, but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call."
Father Rosica explains:
Even in what some might see as innocuous subjects, Francis sees the influence of evil: "Let's look at gossip," says Rosica, paraphrasing Francis. "I'm a bit envious of this or that person at first I'm just envious inside. But I need to share it and go to another person and say 'have you seen this person?' and this gossip tries to grow and infects another. This is the way gossip works and all of us have been tempted to gossip. It's a daily temptation. It begins in this way discreetly like a little trickle of water. It grows by infecting others and in the end it justifies itself."
"Each time he speaks about the Devil, Pope Francis urges us to be vigilant and not to give into that initial temptation and thus allow it to spread" Rosica adds.
"There's also a Jesuit connection to the Devil for Pope Francis," Rosica says. "You see, in Ignatius' teaching, there is an edginess, a seriousness about the campaign the opposition of the evil one, and about the strength and grace that people need to make us resist and to make the right decision. For Ignatius and for Pope Francis, people must discern where God is calling them and following that call requires courage and a willingness to accept suffering and rejection. St Ignatius believed that making progress in following Christ gives birth to a sense of peace and harmony even in the face of challenges. The enemy doesn't like that and tries to disrupt it, particularly by tempting Christians to focus all their attention on themselves."