Raising Hell – Part Dos :)

Aaaaand we’re back, playing the aforementioned “saints” card. 

Let’s start with a notorious demon-crusher, St. John Vianney.

“Whom does the devil pursue most? 
Perhaps you are thinking that it must be those who are tempted most…
the immodest and shameless people who wallow in moral filth…
No, my dear brethren, no, it is not these people…
So, you will ask me, who then are the people most tempted?
They are these, my friends; note them carefully.
The people most tempted are those who are ready,
with the grace of God, to sacrifice everything for the salvation of their poor souls,
who renounce all those things which most people eagerly seek.”
He goes on with another nice bit:
“The devil only tempts those souls that wish to abandon sin and those that are in a state of grace. The others belong to him; he has no need to tempt them…The greatest of all evils is not to be tempted, because there are then grounds for believing that the devil looks upon us as his property.”
Ouch.
A few more, because I am still very much in a redheaded mood and these two gentlemen are definitely my style:
The strategy of our adversary can be compared to the tactics of a commander intent upon seizing and plundering a position he desires.  The leader of an army will encamp, explore the fortifications and defenses of the fortress, and attack at the weakest point…After you have made a decision that is pleasing to God, the devil may try to make you have second thoughts.  Intensify your prayer time, meditation, and good deeds.  
For if satan’s temptations merely cause you to increase your efforts to grow in holiness, 
he’ll have an incentive to leave you alone.”
       St. Ignatius of Loyola
“In the face of such strong attacks by the enemies of the Church of God, are we to remain inactive?  Is that all we can do, complain and cry?  NO!  Every one of us has a holy obligation to build a trench and personally hurl back the assaults of the enemy.”
       St. Maximilian Kolbe
Basically awesome, right?

Now, while we should understand what we’re dealing with, we should be cautious to avoid dwelling unnecessarily on it. Don’t give Hell too much credit, that’s what the saints are good for.

To check in with one of my fellow redheads, St. Faustina recounts in her diary, “At about 11:00 o’clock, satan shook my bed.  I awoke instantly, and I started to pray peacefully to my guardian angel.”

Peacefully…with Satan shaking her bed. Oh, girl.
From St. John Bosco, very amazin’ man: “When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel.”
And of course we must include St. Teresa of Avila, because that woman is a hoot: “From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue.”
On a more serious note, friends, the second chapter of Sirach kicks off by reminding our often-impatient hearts, “When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials.”
But that chapter ends with words of hope, “For equal to His majesty is His mercy; and equal to His name are His works.”
If you need some encouragement, that whole chapter of Sirach is for you. It’s for me. And so are these words from Servant of God Solanus Casey:
“In my opinion, there is hardly anything else that the enemy of our soul dreads more than confidence, humble confidence in God.  Confidence in God is the very soul of prayer.”


Let’s also keep in mind that today is a most glorious feast day, the Triumph of the Holy Cross. 


If you’ve got a Magnificat, you’ll see a marvelous little quote in the italics right before Mass:


“We exalt Christ’s Cross whenever we freely take it up, filled with the certainty that the ultimate meaning and fulfillment which we crave in life comes to us through this unending event. ‘With the cross we are freed from the restraint of the enemy and we clutch on to the strength of salvation.'”
Ready to go raise a little hell yet?


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