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114. The Assaults of Bad Angels on Men

1. To tempt means one of two things: (a) to make a test ortrial; thus "God tempted Abraham" (Gen. 22:1); (b) toinvite, incite, or allure someone to sin. It is in the second senseof the word that the fallen angels tempt human beings. God permitsthis assault of the demons upon men, and turns it into a humanopportunity and benefit; God gives to men all requisite aid torepulse the assaults of demons, and to advance in grace and meritby resisting temptation.

2. To the devil (who is the fallen Lucifer, now Satan)belong exclusively the plan and campaign of the demons'assaults upon mankind.

3. In one way the devil is the cause of every human sin;he tempted Adam and thus contributed to the fall which renders menprone to sin. But, in a strict sense, diabolical influence does notenter into every sin of man. Some sins come of the weakness ofhuman nature and from inordinateness of appetites which the sinnerfreely allows to prevail.

4. Angels cannot perform miracles; therefore demonscannot. But demons can do astonishing things, and can occasion realhavoc.

5. When the assault of demons is repulsed, the devil isnot rendered incapable of further attack. But it seems that hecannot return immediately to the assault, but only after the lapseof a definite time. God's mercy as well as the shrewdness ofthe tempter, seems to promise so much.

"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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