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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.

"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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