Devil is Really a Sissy

A priest  was ministering to a man on his deathbed. "Renounce Satan!" said the priest.     ”No," said the dying man.  "I say, renounce the devil and his works!”  "No," the man repeated. “And why not, I ask you in the name of all that is holy?"  "Because," said the dying man, "I want to wait until I see where I'm heading, before I start annoying anybody." The first Sunday of Lent begins with a reflection on the Temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.

All human beings are subjected to temptations. St. Anthony of Egypt (251-356) is the saint best equipped to be a patron of those tested by Satan. St. Jerome (Died 30, Sep 420) tells us his story. Anthony had left his Egyptian village to escape the temptations that arise in civil society. But when he went off to the inhabited desert to live as a hermit, Satan & his company followed him. To prevent him from becoming holier, they attacked him in every possible way with all sorts of wild visions and even physical violence.

When he fasted or prayed more vigorously, they tried to persuade him he was not fasting and praying enough. If he could not be tricked into presumption, they thought they might trick him into despair. Anthony resisted, but it was a lonely fight. One day, however, when the hordes of hell had beaten him up within an inch of his life, a ray of light suddenly fell on him from heaven, and the devils took flight.

Breathless, but now at peace, Anthony addressed God, whose presence he sensed in the light. “Where were you my Lord and Master?” he asked, a bit impatiently. “Why didn’t you appear at the beginning to stop my pain?” God answered “Anthony, I was right here, but I wanted to see you in action. And now, because you held out and did not surrender, I will ever be your helper, and I will make you renowned everywhere.”

St. Paul has given us the same assurance of God’s presence and assistance: “He will not let you be tested beyond your strength” (1 Cor 10:13). We must be on guard against Satan, but not be afraid of him. God is on our side, so long as we are on his. The devil will always prove to be what he really is – a sissy.

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church