Cardinal Tagle at exorcism confab: God’s love trumps evil
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila. FILE PHOTO
By Minnie Agdeppa
August 29, 2017
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila celebrated on Aug. 21, the feast of St. Piux X, reminded the faithful that the world, specially the Philippines, remains beautiful despite evil because of God’s love.
“Human logic would say, ‘Once a sinner, always a sinner. There is no more hope for this person so the person must be eliminated to make the world beautiful.’ My God! The world is actually beautiful because God responds to it,” he said in both English and Filipino, addressing participants of the 2nd National Conference on the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism gathered in the Beato Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building of University of Sto. Tomas.
“God is stronger than evil. That’s the secret of the beauty of the world,” emphasized the prelate. “No evil, no evil is strong enough to defeat the love and mercy of God.”
Mystery of evil
Reflecting on Scripture passages that narrated the Israelites’ abandonment of God and Jesus’ encounter with the rich young man, Tagle traced the mystery of evil in the world from the Fall of Adam and Eve to the present.
Quoting a verse from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, he said, “‘The good that I know is good that should be done, I do not do.’ The Serpent (Satan) was able to read the human psyche from the very beginning of time such that man mysteriously participates in it even to the present.”
The prelate cited instances “how we are also captured by the mystery of evil” in the same way “Israel abandons the True God–the God that has saved” and “done marvelous deeds in order to give” them “new life”. It is best seen when spouses separate, brother and sister sue each other in court over a parcel of land, people abandon friendships in order to gain political positions, among others, said Tagle.
Citing the story of the rich, young man, Tagle noted how free will makes evil possible. “Imagine the goodness of this person… (But) when given a choice, he chose to abandon eternal life… How could this be?! Someone who have observed all the Commandments?!”
Growing number of cases
“This is illogical. This is irrational. But sin–evil, is not rational,” he stressed.
He pointed to the fact that people follow “gods who have not done anything for them.” The prelate highlighted that “human logic, human rationality would fail” in the face of sin.
According to Tagle, a person fails to understand his own choices. This, according to him, is actually the mystery of evil.
Nevertheless, the greater mystery of God’s love, he stressed, is present in the darkness of man’s sinful history. Tagle outlined the pattern of man’s relationship with God: “people will turn to Him in despair, God will respond, the people will abandon Him again, God will be hurt” yet will remain with His people whom He cannot forsake.
“This is the mystery also of the never-ending mercy and compassion of God. This mystery of love that conquers evil. And there’s no other way to conquer evil but by the love of God.”
Spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism (AMOE), the Philippine Association of Catholic Exorcists (PACE), the University of Santo Tomas, and the Instituto Sacerdos San Miguel Arcangel, the 2nd National Conference on the Ministry of Spiritual Liberation and Exorcism is an annual event.
Nearly 200 exorcists and case officers from various dioceses, archdioceses, and religious congregations in the country and from the U.S. attended this year’s five-day event that ended on Aug. 25. The event was launched in 2016 due to the growing number of cases of demonic oppression, obsession, and possession in the country.