Dear Father Angelo,
I would like some clarification on Satan chained for a thousand years on the intermediate parousia and on the parousia of Christ. What is the relationship between them?
1. To comment on the expression of the Apocalypse to which you refer, it is necessary to read the entire passage, “Then I saw an angel come down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain. He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,which he locked over and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray, until the thousand years are completed. After this, it is to be released for a short time “(Rev 20,1- 3).
2. Since Satan is a fallen angel, and therefore a spirit, the expression “sealed” indicates that his power of action is limited. A thousand years is a symbolic number and indicates the space of time that goes from the first coming of Christ to the second. This is the common interpretation of the holy Fathers, such as the example of Saint Augstine in De Civitate Dei, book XX, chap. 7. Jesus, with his incarnation and death, bound the strong man, that is, the devil, of whom we speak in Mt 12:29. On the contrary, he threw him out, according to what we read in Jn 12:31. So the power of Satan between the first and second coming of Christ is very limited compared to what it was before.
3. Saint Augustine says that the nations that will not be seduced are the Church that branches out into many peoples. Well, in this period the Church is protected. The devil will still have the power to tempt men, as Saint Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8 “Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” and also Saint Paul in Eph 6:11 “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” But he no longer enjoys all the freedom he had before.
4. After these years by divine arrangement, the devil must be freed from the chain for some time. St. Augustine wonders if in that period the devil could seduce the Church and replies, “No, in fact the predestined and elected Church before the creation of the world can never be seduced and of which it is said ‘ The Lord knows those who are his (2 Tm 2,19)’ (lb.cap 8)”
5. At that time, that is, at the end of the world, the devil will be freed for a short time and then he will go out in anger and wage a very hard war on the Church, trying to drag the world into apostasy (2 Thess 2: 3) and to spread the reign of the Antichrist.
6. Have we reached this period? We do not know. Blessed Catherine Emmerich would seem to say yes. But this is a private revelation. And the Church does not commit anyone’s faith to private revelations. Indeed, on the occasion of the beatification of Catherine Emmerich, the Church said that this proclamation was made for the virtues of Blessed Catherine, completely excluding the value of her revelations.
7. On the intermediate parousia click these two words on the search engine of our site and you will find some answers. The same thing also does for the parousia of Christ.
I wish you well, I pray to the Lord for you and I bless you.