THE ASSAULTS OF SATAN
His first assaults are violent; resist that
and his second will be weaker; that being resisted, he proves a
has left the devil and his hammer broken and bruised. If Christ has
left him any strength at all, it is not to tempt so much as to
the impious King Antiochus entered the temple of Jerusalem to lay it
waste, his first act was to remove the golden altar and the golden
candlestick. Satan acts in the same manner when he intends to deprive
of spiritual good that soul which is the temple of the living God; he
takes from it the altar that is the fervor of mind. Then he removes
from it the candlestick that is the light which makes known the
eternal maxims, knowledge of the commands of Christ.
cannot take from the soul the light of faith. He, however, removes the
light of consideration, so that the soul may not reflect on what it
believes; and as it is of no avail to open the eyes in the dark,
"So," says St. Augustine, "it is of no advantage to be
near the light if the eyes are closed."
eternal maxims, the commands of Christ, considered in the light of
faith, are most clear. Yet if we do not open the eyes of the mind by
meditating on them, we live as if we were perfectly blind, and so
precipitate ourselves into every vice.