St. Paul and “the mystery of evil”

One of the most enigmatic tropes in the New Testament can be found in St. Paul’s comments to the Thessalonians (2 Thess 2) about the “mysterium iniquitatis”: the mystery of “lawlessness” or “evil” he tells us is “already at work.” This is a pervasive and apocalyptic evil able to inhabit and control human hearts, worldly powers, and worst of all, the earthly reality of Christ’s own mystical body, the Church.