The trick the devil uses to hold captives

We have been posting snippets of Spiritual Masters’ advises on the spiritual combat in the hopes that this new year will find more people working hard to repair their lives. We all know the devil devices many elegant ways to hold people in sin and in all forms of self-deceptions. Here’s the writing of the spiritual master Fr Lorenzo Scupoli in his book “The Spiritual Combat”:

Of the Devil’s assaults and devices against those whom he holds in the bondage of sin

When the devil holds a man in the bondage of sin, his chief care is to blind his eyes more and more, and to avert from him everything which might lead to a knowledge of his most wretched condition. And not only does he, by instilling contrary thoughts, drive from him all reflections and inspirations which call him to conversion, but, by according him ready opportunities, he makes him fall into other and greater sins. Hence, the thicker and darker waxes his blindness, the more desperate and habitual becomes his course of sin; and thus, from blindness to deeper blindness, from sin to fouler sin, his wretched life will whirl on even unto death, unless God, by His grace, should intervene to save him. The remedy for one in this unhappy condition is, to be ready to give diligent heed to the thoughts and inspirations which call him from darkness to light, crying with all his heart to his Creator,

“O Lord, help me; help me speedily; leave me not any longer in
the darkness of sin.”

And let him not fail to repeat this cry for mercy over and over again in these or the like words. If possible, let him have immediate recourse to some spiritual guide, and ask aid and counsel, that so he may be delivered from the power of the enemy. And if he cannot do this at the moment, let him fly with all speed to the crucifix, prostrating himself before it; and asking mercy and aid also from the Mother of God.

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