THE UNSEEN WARFARE
- PART IV (HOW
must always guard against Satan. If today he does not use open
persecution, it is because the hidden methods like ignorance,
negligence and heresy are more effective. He uses flattery
instead of tortures. He stirs up strife, passions and wagging
of tongues. So, even if we don't bend our knees before him, we
nevertheless end up paying homage by our sinful lives.
only way to conquer this enemy, St. Leo the Great says, is for us to
conquer ourselves. Like the Israelites, realizing not only by
arms will we win, but by self-discipline and conquering the desires
of the flesh shall we be victors.
let us arm ourselves with holiness, fully conscious of what we
are up against. . .cosmic powers, rulers of the world of darkness,
superhuman forces of evil. John Chrysostom says: "The
devil does not attack when we are together with others who are
similarly in the service of God." So the first Christians
lived in monasteries for this purpose, or in closed knit
families. The devil attacks when we are alone; he attacked Eve
when she was apart from her husband, and Christ when He was alone in
the devil uses the present material world to strike us as if
"from beneath", to disarm him we must reject the present
world, living in the world but not of this world. We must
learn that honours, pleasures and riches are vanities and cause
death to the soul; and that the slander and abuse with which
the world persecute us is true glory and joy.
however, is not attained by disarming the devil alone, for many go
to perdition unattacked by the devil. We must also remove our
ignorance, avoid negligence and reject heresies, warns St.