Dear Editor: Evil is real and a product of Original Sin. While Baptism forgives Original Sin, a person still has the free will to access the evil within. Ascribing this evil to an entity outside of oneself, like a devil, minimizes the responsibility of the individual in confronting his or her evil intentions and actions.
“The Devil made me do it” or tempted me to do evil provides a false defense in accepting that I must confront and combat the evil impulses that originate within me. People who express devil possession may manifest an internal moral struggle that is real and serious and need the prayers categorized as the Rite of Exorcism.
The Church and the Bible may have personified this evil as the “Devil” as a way to understand a complex truth in a tangible form. However, I am concerned that this leads people to believe evil is something “other” and an outside influence rather than something inside us all that we need to acknowledge and strive to overcome.