Fr. Ambrogio Villa, a priest and exorcist of the diocese of Milan, explained in a catechesis what specific temptations Satan uses to attack married couples. Indeed, “The first way, the most important way by which Satan divides families, is through sins,” Fr. Villa says.
How does Satan attack married couples?
Fr. Villa lists three ways that Satan divides families, through sins of omission and commission: by distracting us from prayer; by exacerbating our individualism; and by twisting the way we live our sexuality.
Satan divides the family first of all by dissuading us from prayer, especially family prayer. Many families no longer pray together, as was common in the past. For example, it used to be quite common for families to pray the Rosary together; today that tradition is fading, Fr. Villa explains.
The exaltation of individualism
The devil’s second attack on the family is the exaltation of individualism. Satan fosters this attitude in several ways. For example, he foments arguments in which husbands and wives speak harsh and hurtful words to each other; by making each of the spouses think that they can make decisions about their finances without any input from the other; and by encouraging them to fiercely defend their own rights without consideration of those of the other.
“Satan so exalts and exasperates individualism that it leads to the destruction of the family,” Fr. Villa says. Individualism ruins “the family, which is an institution that lives on the exchange of love.”
Uncontrolled or inhibited sexuality
Fr. Villa explains that Satan divides spouses by unbalancing their sexuality – either encouraging excesses and transgressions, including pornography or cheating, or the opposite: suppressing their sexual relationship altogether.
Indeed, many times, he says, the evil one enters families by tricking the spouses into denying each other the exercise of their sexuality. “A family doesn’t unravel first of all because of sexuality, because sexuality is not the first thing; however, it isn’t the last thing either,” Fr. Villa says.
“Satan divides spouses in everything, but especially in bed. This is biblical, if you know the story of Tobias. The demon Asmodeus – a demon of impurity – prevented Sarah from having conjugal union with her husbands (…) The Church considers the sexual act so important that it is constitutive of the sacrament of marriage.”
Satan speaks during an exorcism
At the end of his catechesis, Fr. Villa shared a powerful anecdote he’d read from another exorcist, Msgr. Sante Babolin. “During an exorcism of a woman who was prevented from uniting sexually with her husband, (he) asked the devil, ‘Why are you preventing this woman from living the sacrament of marriage?’ (…) And he gave him a breathtaking answer: ‘I hate it when husband and wife love each other.’”