Sometimes what the demons attempt in their assaults against us can be almost laughable.
The other day, they were provoking memories – memories of hurt and anger at clerics I’ve known; and memories of bad experiences in my parish, of maltreatment by the laity, of an on-going sense of alienation here.
It would have been easy to succumb to the temptation to just be angry about it all. But I’ve been down that road before, and I know how fruitless it is. It results in nothing but more anger; not righteous anger, but vindictive anger that only leads to more sinful, uncharitable thoughts. And it was obvious where those thoughts and feelings originated – so obvious that I chuckled at the demonic attempt! (They hate that, I’m told.)
So I dropped those memories at the foot of the Cross, as they say.
Then, yesterday, there were more nagging memories. These memories were of isolated events in my distant past – times when I was perhaps a little defensive, a little rude, a little dishonest. It wasn’t the big sins that were coming to mind, but such obscure little things that one wonders how in the world those memories still even exist!
Well, it wasn’t difficult to see what prompted those thoughts to surface. It is amazing what the demons can prompt one to think about.
It makes me wonder, though. If a person begins to discern more and more easily that the demons are stirring her up, and if she becomes more and more able to forestall those little attacks, won’t the attacks get bigger, the challenges harder?
No matter. Our Lord is always there with us to help. We just have to remember that. I guess the little battles that become more easily won prepare us for the bigger ones that await us.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.