The Help Given the Demoniac

MEDITATION

The Help Given the Demoniac

The devil ceaselessly sets his snares against a person who is so hardhearted as to despise God’s help in resisting him; for then he sees a blackness of iniquity rising up in that person, bringing such bitterness into his whole body that its strength dries up. Hence, when a person begins to contemplate his evil and so crushes himself in despair, deeming it impossible for him to avoid evil and do good, the devil sees this and says, ”Behold a person who is like us, denying his God and turning to follow us. Let us hasten and run swiftly to him, urging him by our arts so that he cannot escape us. For to leave God and follow us is what he wants.”

But a person who is assailed by these evils through the devi|’s agency, and polluted by murder, adultery, voracity, drunkenness and excess of all vices, will fall into death if he continues in them impenitent; while one who resists the devil and withdraws repenting from these vices will rise again to life. For if a person follows the longing of his flesh and neglects the good desires of his spirit, the Maker of this globe says of him, “he despises me and sinfully loves his flesh, and reiects the knowledge that he should turn away from perdition. And therefore he must be cast out.” But if a person loves the virtuous ardor of his spirit and reiects the pleasure of his flesh, the Creator of the world says of him, ”he looks toward me and does not nourish his body on filth, and desires the knowledge of how to avoid death. And therefore help will be given him.”

Saint Hildegard of Bingen

Saint Hildegard of Bingen (t 1179) was a German Benedictine nun, physician, composer; and mystic. She is a Doctor of the Church,

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