The Devil exults most when he can steal a man’s joy of spirit from him. He carries a powder with him to throw into any smallest possible chinks of our conscience, to soil the spotlessness of our mind and the purity of our life. But when spiritual joy fills our hearts, the Serpent pours out his deadly poison in vain.
“The demons cannot hurt a servant of Christ when they see him filled with holy mirth. But when his spirit is tearful, forlorn, downcast, it is readily swallowed up completely by sadness, or it is carried to the extreme of vain enjoyments . . . When a servant of God, as commonly happens, is troubled about anything, he ought to get right up and pray, and insist on staying in his sovereign Father’s presence until He restores the joy of his salvation to him. For if he lingers in his gloom, that Babylonian mess will ripen to the point where, if it is not flushed out with tears, it will generate permanent corrosion in the heart.”—aC 125. From the words of St. Francis (Part VI. No.186) An Anthology by James Meyer, O.F.M.