4. Nothing upsets a good frame of mind more than
laughter, jokes and idle chatter. Likewise, nothing rejuvenates a decaying soul
more and prepares it to come closer to God than the fear of God, conscientious
attention, and the continuous study of Godís Word and prayer.
6. Just like metal that comes into contact with
fire becomes unapproachable, so do frequent prayers strengthen the mind for
battle against the enemy. That is why the demons, in knowing that prayers can
conquer them, apply all their strength to weaken our endeavors toward them.
28. Another time, a teacher may be subjected to
temptations and dishonor because he had been beneficial to others in imparting
spiritual wisdom. That is why the Apostle writes: "You are distinguished,
but we are dishonored" (1 Cor. 4:10).
30. The Apostle Peter is first charged with the
keys (of the Heavenly Kingdom) before being allowed to renounce Jesus Christ,
so that his fall may purify his opinion of himself. Likewise if you, having
received the keys to guidance and perception, succumb to various temptations,
do not be surprised but praise our wisest Lord for curbing your self-opinion
through your fall. This is because temptation is a bridle ó Godís providence ó
that curbs self-opinion of people.
51. The devil sets boldly and threateningly upon a
soul that has newly emerged from its body, presenting him as the bitter and
terrifying accuser of its downfall. However, you can also see how a soul that
loves God and is true to Him ó although it formerly was ulcerated with sin for
a short period ó is not afraid of his attacks and threats, but becomes
increasingly stronger in the Lord as it is exhilarated with joy, invigorated
with wisdom as it sees the accompanying heavenly forces: as if protected by an
illuminated wall of faith and with great boldness calls out against the evil
spirit: "What is it between you and us, alien to God? What is it between
you and us, insidious servant that has been cast down from Heaven? You have no
authority over us. Only Christ, the Son of God, has authority over us and
everyone on earth; we have sinned against Him and to Him we will have to
answer, having a warranty of His clemency toward us and salvation in His pure
Cross. And you get away from us ó cursed one!"
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