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THE DEVIL


 


 

THE UNSEEN WARFARE - PART IV (THE CHURCH FIGHTS BACK)

CHRIST LEADS THE FIGHT

Christ came to teach us how to do battle against the devil.  St. Leo the Great said: "He took up human arms by which to fight Satan's machinations."  Since he came to teach humans, He used what we humans have and NOT what God has.    

Being poor and helpless was part of Christ's strategy in defeating the devil.  Christ had to be a prisoner of His humanity to teach us how to be free from this prison.  His purpose was to destroy death and its author, the devil, by His own death.  A display of resistance in Christ's part would have made this victory impossible.

On our part, a desire to be holy is a declaration of war against the devils.  They are tortured by our desire for holiness because they see us attaining what they have forfeited.  Whenever we are raised up, they are cast down; when we are strong, they are weak.  Our healing is their wound.  The more we walk in the spirit the more determined will be their attacks.  

Christ showed us the tactic we must employ.  He did not use His divinity; He used his humanity.  The way He fought is the way He wants us to fight, keeping in mind that it is not by the devil's power that we overcome but by our lack of SELF DISCIPLINE.  We fall by our own choice.  The devil is strong not by nature but because of our remissness.  Abbot Serenus said: "No one can be deceived by the devil except him who has chosen to yield to him the consent of his will.  Each man goes wrong from this: Since the cause of our fall is ourselves, it ought to follow that many perish without the devil's help.  For what did it profit Adam and Eve to be in paradise, what did it profit Judas to be in Christ's company, what did it profit the Israelites to be the chosen people if, because of lack of discipline, they allowed themselves to be overwhelmed by the devil?  

THE DEMON IN GOD'S PLAN

God uses the devil to do us good, to train us to be watchful and alert.  Every misfortune is meant to benefit us.  The malice of the wicked gives splendour to the virtues of the righteous.  So the devil is meant by God to make the virtuous more illustrious.  

Without the devil, our sins would be inexcusable and the punishment would be intolerable.  Adam's sin was mitigated because of the devil.  

 

 

 

 

 

(06-02-05)

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