Thought for the Day – 14 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Enemies of the Soul
“It is Christian teaching that we have three enemies which are a constant threat to our salvation.
The first, is the devil, an invisible but very powerful foe.
The devil was once an Angel of beauty.
He had gifts superior to those of men and was in a state of happiness.
But God required from him, a proof of his fidelity before he could merit the everlasting reward for which he had been destined.
Lucifer was proud of his beauty and power.
Believing that he was equal to the Most High God, he rebelled against his Creator and drew with him, into eternal ruin, innumerable bands of disloyal Angels.
Their sin was greater than ours because they had been endowed with a superior intellect and their will was not subject to the pull of the sensitive appetites of a material body.
This is why God did not give them time to repent but condemned them immediately to the everlasting torments of Hell.
It is false to imagine, however, that they are confined, as it were, in one place.
Being pure spirit, they can, with God’s permission, wander throughout the world, carrying their hell within themselves.
Moreover, they can endanger, in a thousand ways, our eternal salvation.
The Gospel often speaks of diabolical temptations and obsessions and, St Peter warns us to be continually on our guard against the onslaughts of the enemy.
“Be sober,” he says, “be watchful. For your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same suffering befalls your brethren all over the world” (1 Peter 5:8).
It is the same now as it was in the time of Jesus and His Apostles.
We do not see this infernal spirit but, we feel his presence.
Let us remember what St Augustine wrote about him.
“The devil,” he said, “is a mastiff in chains. He can bark but, he cannot bite, unless we yield to his evil suggestions and approach him. Watch and pray!””