Rome, Italy, Jan 28, 2010 / 04:28 am (CNA).- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver followed his keynote address to the Emmanuel Community of Rome's conference on "Priests and Laity in the Mission" with a short reflection on the "disappointing times" he is experiencing. He also elaborated on a major theme of his talk—the reality of Satan and the importance of "spiritual combat."
Just before launching into a question and answer session, Archbishop Chaput gave a reflection on his years as a bishop to stimulate discussion, saying, "I thought that after 20 years more of my life things would change and things would be a lot better but I don't think they are.
"I think we live in disappointing times, in times of confusion, and in some ways that is the result of our failure to understand that we have an enemy in the Devil, but also we have enemies in the world around us."
He pointed to a "great talk" from an American Protestant pastor he once heard which was titled "We preach as though we don't have enemies," and reflected that this sentiment "is true in the United States... .”
"I think it's important to understand the we are in a battle, we really do live in a time of spiritual combat and I think we've lost that sense of the Church," Archbishop Chaput stated.
He continued with a comparison of the temptation we face to be like "everyone else" like the Israelites from the Old Testament wishing for a king like the other nations. They wanted a king ... they got Saul and he was a good man, and then he became a politician and he lost his faith. We're just like that."
"In America, we don't want to be different than our Protestant brothers and sisters, or the secular forces around us. And, I think that's the great danger of our time, we don't love God enough and we don't enter into combat with the enemy enough and we need to recommit ourselves to doing that," the Archbishop of Denver urged.
During his keynote address, Archbishop Chaput had also referred to the importance of recognizing that evil exists and that "Satan is real."
Responding to a question from CNA about where he sees the Devil's presence in society, the archbishop said, "Well, one of the most obvious...( continued here)