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THE DEVIL


 

 

THE EVIL ONE OFFERS STONE

When Christ became hungry in the desert, having fasted for forty days, the devil approached Him and offered, not bread but, stone. Then, he taunted Christ to change it into bread. 

When we hunger for the pleasures of the world, lust of the flesh, honors, security and happiness, the devil tempts us by offering stones. If we fall into his temptation and object, "this is a stone," where is the security and happiness? He taunts us and answers, "Well, change this stone into security and happiness," which you cannot do. 

Adam and Eve hungered for the knowledge of good and evil; Satan offered them stone. They fell, took the stone and when they asked where is the knowledge of good and evil, Satan's answer was: "Change those stones into the knowledge of good and evil.". . .which they could not do. They ended up with nothing.

When the evil one offers something nice, know that it is an illusion; in reality it is a stone.

It is a compliment to be tempted by the devil. It is a sign that you have truly renounced him, that God has armed you for battle, that you have progressed to a higher spiritual dignity, that you are in the right direction towards eternal life.

Most Christians are not really tempted by the devil because most are striving for the STONE without any prompting from the evil one. Why should the devil bother with you since you are doing such a good job ruining your soul? Victory over the just is Satan's greatest desire.

The beginning of temptations comes through suggestions from the devil, offering to satisfy our evil desires. If we like the suggestion, delight follows. While suggestions are external to man, delight is internal. Much can be done to control suggestions by controlling one's ambiance. When temptations enter the realm of delight, it is now internal and, because of our fallen nature, it is difficult to reject. So we must try to stop temptations at their onset, at the suggestions stage.   If Eve did not listen to the serpent's suggestion, she would not have fallen.

Also, it is when we are alone that the devil especially harasses us with temptations. Christ was alone and Eve was alone, without her husband, when the evil one approached them. Thus, the importance for the members of the community and family to be together. . .it is their protection against the devil. 

St. Ambrose

 

 

 

 

 

(06-09-03)

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