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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.

"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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