St John of the Cross on Satan


from The Spiritual Canticle
John of the Cross

quoted in In Conversation with God
Francis Fernandez

No human power can be compared to his; only God's power can vanquish him and only God's light can unmask the snares that he lays. The soul that would overcome the ower of the devil will not be able to do so without prayer, nor will it recongise his deceitful traps without the aid of mortification and humility.

The traps of the devil cannot be seen by those who are looking in the mirror. A great many people walk around with a Rube Goldberg apparatus attached to them--a fishing pole at the seat of the pant that dangles a mirror in front of them. Walking about in this way will lead only to falling into a pit--and oh what pits there are to find.

The worst part of all of this is that there are certain kinds of people who, once they have fallen into a pit, choose to make it home, decorate it and invite others in, thinking there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way they are living.

The season of Lent is a time to look at the minefield of pits we may have previously inhabited and to resolve, by the grace of God never to dwell there again. It is a time to realize that we cannot even tell the good from the bad, even though we know it for a certainty in our heads. It is a time for humble adoration and extended prayer to ask God to make right what we have made oh, so wrong. It is a time to break the mirror and to begin to move ahead fully aware of what lay in our path. And this may only be done with God's grace, His help, and our continued and grace-perfected obedience to His law.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on February 14, 2005 7:54 AM.

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