Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness. Therefore take unto you the armour of God (Ep6:10-13a)
Have you ever reflected on the following words of Scripture: Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you like wheat?
The devil asks God’s permission to work to the detriment of souls, and God permits him… There is something terrible in this.
Now, do you know what happens? The devil remains the whole night seated beside your pillow, watching for your awakening like an impatient sower to cast seeds of wicked thoughts into our hearts.
Then he conceals himself in all creatures, and any of them can lead us to evil.
All worldly environment is like a plague-stricken city, in which every instant we run risk of contagion, if we proceed without caution.
What we see leads us to voluptuousness, or to jealousy, or to envy, or contempt of others… What we hear tempts us to vexation, to vanity, or to anger… What we feel tempts us to selfishness, to the desire of being esteemed, or to effeminacy; to idleness, or to revenge; or even to some sinful affection.
Prayer puts between us and mankind a pure and healthy atmosphere
Let us arm ourselves, from early morning, with the shield of prayer. God places it at our disposal – prayer, which puts between us and inanimate creatures something like a veil which has the power of rendering weaker the sensual rays which they pour forth around them, and transmitting to us only life-giving warmth.
Prayer, which puts between us and mankind that pure and healthy atmosphere that manifests to us their words and actions, with a heavenly sweetness like unto the perfume of a flower, and causes us to exclaim: It is good for us to be here!
Prayer, finally, which absorbs the wicked emanations of the heart, and dissipates them as the north wind does the noxious miasma, which springs up from the damp ground.
Are you at peace?
Are you at peace? asks a saint. If so, prayer will preserve you therein.
Are you tempted? Prayer will sustain you.
Have you fallen? Prayer will rise you up.
Have you lost courage? Prayer will restore you.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889