Catholic Commute S02E41 What do you do that delights the devil?

5 ways we hurt ourselves without realizing it

I think that very few of us modern people will end up in hell at the end of a train of massive crimes. Instead, I think most will arrive with a long train of minor compromises of comfort. To quote, “It is a weapon of a more civilized age.” While we stand back and laud ourselves for not being as base as the generations of old, we quietly dig ourselves in deeper than ever.

In this episode I highlight 5 categories of actions that don’t necessarily seem bad – in fact often seem good – that can bring great delight to the devil in his efforts to doom us to hell. I encourage you, while listening, to see what ways you are guilty of, what things apply to you! Hopefully you’ll find some way to wipe that smirk off of his face.

Click Continue Reading to see the show notes.

S02E41 What do you do that delights the devil?

 

St. Anthony the Great:

 

A 3rd-4th century desert monk, we know about St. Anthony from a biography written by St. Athanasius called Life of St. Anthony. It says that when people would visit St. Anthony at his desert home, “they heard tumults, many voices, and, as it were, the clash of arms. At night they saw the mountain become full of wild beasts, and him also fighting as though against visible beings, and praying against them.”

 

In one story, St. Anthony decided to spend a night alone in a large tomb. A huge group of demons descended upon him and attacked his body. The devil “so cut him with stripes that he lay on the ground speechless from the excessive pain. For he affirmed that the torture had been so excessive that no blows inflicted by man could ever have caused him such torment.”

 

The next day, a friend bringing him supplies found him and brought him back to the nearby village. But that evening, he regained consciousness and asked for the friend to carry him back to the tomb. After his friend shut him back in the tomb, St. Anthony called out, “Here am I, Antony; I flee not from your stripes, for even if you inflict more nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ.” The demons returned, and here’s how St. Athanasius describes what happened next:

 

“[I]n the night they made such a din that the whole of that place seemed to be shaken by an earthquake, and the demons as if breaking the four walls of the dwelling seemed to enter through them, coming in the likeness of beasts and creeping things.

 

“And the place was on a sudden filled with the forms of lions, bears, leopards, bulls, serpents, asps, scorpions, and wolves, and each of them was moving according to his nature. The lion was roaring, wishing to attack, the bull seeming to toss with its horns, the serpent writhing but unable to approach, and the wolf as it rushed on was restrained; altogether the noises of the apparitions, with their angry ragings, were dreadful.”

 

Though he was in terrible pain, he responded boldly to the demons:

 

“If there had been any power in you, it would have sufficed had one of you come, but since the Lord has made you weak, you attempt to terrify me by numbers: and a proof of your weakness is that you take the shapes of brute beasts.

 

“If you are able, and have received power against me, delay not to attack; but if you are unable, why trouble me in vain? For faith in our Lord is a seal and a wall of safety to us.”

 

Suddenly, the roof opened up and a bright light filled the tomb. The demons vanished and his pain ceased. Realizing that God had saved him, he prayed, “Where were you? Why did you not appear at the beginning to make my pains to cease?” And God replied to him: “Antony, I was here, but I waited to see your fight; since you have endured, and have not been beaten, I will ever be a succor to you, and will make your name known everywhere.”

 

St. Athanasius writes that “[h]aving heard this, Antony arose and prayed, and received such strength that he perceived that he had more power in his body than formerly. And he was then about thirty-five years old.”

 

 

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

 

—-

 

What do you do that delights the devil?

 

“The devil frequently fills our thoughts with great schemes, so that instead of putting our hands to what work we can do to serve our Lord, we may rest satisfied with wishing to perform impossibilities.”

― Teresa of Ávila, Interior Castle

 

  1. Fail to speak the truth
    1. Devil is the father of lies, but also of “untruth.”
    2. Speaking the truth makes us stronger. Anything else makes us weaker
    3. Truth in love
    4. Story of Rose calling Grandpa fat
    5. Truth is powerful.
  2. Compromise on virtue
    1. Story on Quora
    2. Devil celebrates little falls as much as big ones. Littles go unnoticed while big may send us to the confessional (and better do so!)
    3. “Be the person who, at the funeral of a loved one, everyone turns to for comfort.” – Jordan Peterson
    4. We are our own parents.
  3. Go alone
    1. Story of birthday party meltdown.
    2. Devil wants us alone. Alone he can break us.
    3. Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
    4. Phillipians 1:27-28 Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents.
    5. We have to be an active community.
  4. Give in to indulgence
    1. At the moment, I weigh more than any previous time in my marriage. I didn’t get there by one gigantic feast.
    2. Very few people will end up in Hell based upon concentration camps or gulags. Instead most of them will end up because of a million small comforts chosen.
    3. Modern psychologists and productivity experts claim that discomfort is good.
    4. God encounters us in the desert, not in the promised land.
  5. Pride
    1. Self over-confidence. Lack of humility
    2. Non-serviam. Not “I’ll do something horrible.”
    3. First instinct should be to doubt our motives for any choice that brings us good.
    4. Good things are not wrong. But often times good is the enemy of great.
    5. Mary’s Fiat. “Thy will be done.”

 

  1. Fail to speak the truth
  2. Compromise on virtue
  3. Go alone
  4. Give in to indulgence
  5. Pride

 

“We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world. To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.”

― Jack Gilbert

 

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