[Abba Elias] also said, “An old man was living in a temple and the demons came to say to him, ‘Leave this place which belongs to us,’ and the old man said, ‘No place belongs to you.’ Then they began to scatter his palm leaves about, one by one, and the old man went on gathering them together with persistence.
“A little later the devil took his hand and pulled him to the door. When the old man reached the door, he seized the lintel with the other hand crying out, ‘Jesus, save me.’ Immediately the devil fled away.
“Then the old man began to weep. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Why are you weeping?’ and the old man said, ‘because the devils have dared to seize a man and treat him like this.’ The Lord said to him, ‘You had been careless. As soon as you turned to me again, you see I was beside you.’
“I say this because it is necessary to take great pains, and anyone who does not do so, cannot come to his God. For he himself was crucified for our sake.”
I have noted a few times myself that the devil can be quite forceful in convincing me of some untruth that tempts me to despair; but when I call out to Our Lord for help, He always comes to my aid. And after the struggle has been resolved, I always ask myself why I did not remember to call on Our Lord earlier in the battle!
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.
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