spiritual warfare

St.Anthony of Padua’s battles with the demons

Saint Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon in 1195. He entered into the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine at a very young age and became a priest. However, one day he heard the tale of a martyr in Morocco from some Friars Minor, sent by Saint Francis of Assisi to announce the Gospel to the sultans.

Fascinated by the spirit of the new order founded by Saint Francis, Fernando left his own order and joined the Friars Minor, taking the name of Anthony. Thanks to his great eloquence, his superiors sent him to Italy to preach. He ended up in the city of Padua, where he preached the Lenten sermons that upset the entire town.

It is here where he died in 1227. After his death the miracles obtained through his intersession were so numerous that he was canonized the following year.

Often Satan tormented Saint Anthony with diabolic illusions when he retired in prayer to his small hermitage of Brive. Often times fellow petitioners, that wanted to imitate his love for the poor and lonely, would join him. When the supply of food ended Saint Anthony would send them to look for help in the nearby village. One night on the way back from the village, some of his friends saw a band of pimps that were destroying a camp of one of their benefactors. They went right away to warn the Saint.

Saint Anthony replied to them: “Do not be afraid. It is only a decoy from the demon that wants to distract you from prayer.” The next day, in fact, the camp of the benefactor was found completely intact just as Saint Anthony assured them.

A case of diabolical obsession, that yielded to the power of St Anthony of Padua, was recorded in Portugal during the reign of King Denis. 

Under the guise of a heavenly visitant, the devil frequently appeared to a woman of Lisbon and urged her to throw herself into the river Tagus in order to obtain the remission of her sins and eternal happiness. 

The tormented woman at length decided to drown herself. Passing a Franciscan chapel on her way to the river, she entered, and kneeling before the altar of St. Anthony, implored the Saint to help her save her soul. Overcome by fatigue, she fell asleep. 

During her slumber St Anthony appeared to her, revealed the deceit of the “father of lies” and released her from the obsession. On awaking, the woman found a letter which the Saint had given her during the vision. It contained the prayer now known as the “Brief of St Anthony.” The original of Saint Anthonys Brief was preserved with the crown jewels by the King of Portugal. Pope Sixtus V caused the efficacious lines to be inscribed on an obelisk, which he had erected in the quadrangle in front of Saint Peter’s. 

SAINT ANTHONY’S BRIEF

Behold the Cross of the Lord!
Fly, ye powers of darkness!
The Lion of the tribe of Juda,
the root of David, has conquered.
Alleluia!

It is a devout practice to wear this blessing known as Saint Anthonys Brief on one’s person, or to put it up in the home, and often repeat it.

Passion of Christ comfort me! Comfort me for the day is long and weary, comfort me as I fight my up the path of life safe to the haven of Thy Sacred Heart. Comfort me in pain and sorrow and tribulation, comfort me when temptation rages around me and every hope seems lost. And when that last dread hour has sounded and my eyes are closing on this world of sin, Passion of Christ! comfort me then, and lead me gently to Thy Wounded Feet above. Amen

spiritual warfare

Spiritual Warfare in the Life of St.Anthony The Abbot

Anthony was born in Coma, Egypt, located off the shores of the Nile, around the year 250. He is considered one of the founders of eastern monasticism.

After the death of his parents he distributed all of his belongings to the poor and in 270 he retreated to the Theban desert where he began a life of penitence. There many disciples reached him and thus he founded various ascetic communities in Egypt. He sustained the martyrs in the persecution of Diocletian and he adopted many against the Arian heresy helping Saint Athanasius in his battles. This same Saint Athanasius wrote the biography of Saint Anthony. In spite of him leading a hard life full of deprivation, Anthony was very long-lived: in fact death took him at the age of 105 years old, on January 17, 355, in his hermitage on Mount Qolzoum.

It was one of the most rigorous hermitages in all of ancient Christian history.

In his first year as a hermit the devil tried to displace him from the ascetics inspiring him with the memory of riches, the thought of reuniting with his sister, his love for his relatives, the pleasure of food, the love of money, the desire and glory and every joy of life. Then he tempted him with the sin of sloth. He suggested the bitterness of virtue and the work it requires and he put before him long periods of physical weakness trying to show him that he could not tolerate his whole life continuing on this path of ascetics. Satan tempted him assuming the appearance of a woman with the sole intent of seducing him.In spite of these provocations Anthony began to dedicate himself always with more intensity to the ascetics. He kept himself in a cave very far from the villagers ordering a friend to bring him bread at long intervals.

The second phase began like this, the most difficult battle with the demon.One night the devil entered into his cave with a multitude of demons and they beat him to the point of leaving him lying across the ground unable to speak. This time the suffering was very great so much so that not even an army of soldiers would have been able to create such a torment.

Thanks to the help of a friend he got back to his cave and returned to his life of prayer.

The devil did not give up and started to torment him again. However, he did not manage to tempt him not even when he surrounded him with dogs, lions, wolves, bulls, snakes and giant spiders.

During these attacks Anthony felt even more atrocious physical suffering: “If you have any strength and power, attack me still, but for us the faith in our Father is our seal and wall of defense”: said Anthony and the beasts were grinding their teeth. But the Lord did not leave him. Anthony saw the ceiling open and a ray of light came down to him. The demons suddenly disappeared and immediately his physical pain ceased.

spiritual warfare

Spiritual Warfare in the Life of St.Anthony the Abbot

Anthony was born in Coma, Egypt, located off the shores of the Nile, around the year 250. He is considered one of the founders of eastern monasticism.

After the death of his parents he distributed all of his belongings to the poor and in 270 he retreated to the Theban desert where he began a life of penitence. There many disciples reached him and thus he founded various ascetic communities in Egypt. He sustained the martyrs in the persecution of Diocletian and he adopted many against the Arian heresy helping Saint Athanasius in his battles. This same Saint Athanasius wrote the biography of Saint Anthony. In spite of him leading a hard life full of deprivation, Anthony was very long-lived: in fact death took him at the age of 105 years old, on January 17, 355, in his hermitage on Mount Qolzoum.

It was one of the most rigorous hermitages in all of ancient Christian history.

In his first year as a hermit the devil tried to displace him from the ascetics inspiring him with the memory of riches, the thought of reuniting with his sister, his love for his relatives, the pleasure of food, the love of money, the desire and glory and every joy of life. Then he tempted him with the sin of sloth. He suggested the bitterness of virtue and the work it requires and he put before him long periods of physical weakness trying to show him that he could not tolerate his whole life continuing on this path of ascetics. Satan tempted him assuming the appearance of a woman with the sole intent of seducing him.In spite of these provocations Anthony began to dedicate himself always with more intensity to the ascetics. He kept himself in a cave very far from the villagers ordering a friend to bring him bread at long intervals.

The second phase began like this, the most difficult battle with the demon.One night the devil entered into his cave with a multitude of demons and they beat him to the point of leaving him lying across the ground unable to speak. This time the suffering was very great so much so that not even an army of soldiers would have been able to create such a torment.

Thanks to the help of a friend he got back to his cave and returned to his life of prayer.

The devil did not give up and started to torment him again. However, he did not manage to tempt him not even when he surrounded him with dogs, lions, wolves, bulls, snakes and giant spiders.

During these attacks Anthony felt even more atrocious physical suffering: “If you have any strength and power, attack me still, but for us the faith in our Father is our seal and wall of defense”: said Anthony and the beasts were grinding their teeth. But the Lord did not leave him. Anthony saw the ceiling open and a ray of light came down to him. The demons suddenly disappeared and immediately his physical pain ceased.

Angels, guardian angels, spiritual warfare, Stories of the Supernatural

Spiritual Warfare and the Assistance of the Guardian Angel in the Life of Venerable Mary of Agreda

Maria was born in Agreda (Spain) in 1602. Her parents, of noble origins, had 4 children.In 1618, when Maria was only 16 years of age, the entire family decided to embrace the religious life.

The father and 2 sons entered the Franciscan Order.The mother and 2 daughters entered the Order of the Immaculate Conception which was under the jurisdiction of the Friars Minor (Franciscans). From the beginning of her religious life, Maria was blessed with many extraordinary graces. In 1627, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her and recounted her life and charged her with putting it in writing. The book was entitled “The Mystical City of God”. The first printing was burned by her confessor who did not believe her divine revelations. The nun was at the point of giving up when in 1655, the Lord appeared in the company of two Seraphim and, promising her His special protection, urged her to begin the work again. As soon as Maria sat down at the desk to begin again, the devil appeared to pester and annoy her by spilling the ink on the desk. Patiently, the nun put everything in order and began to write, confident in the divine help. As soon as she began again, the devil appeared again to distract her. But the Seraphim immediately intervened and cast him off. Sister Maria was thus able to complete her work.

One of the interesting chapters in “The Mystical City of God” has the Madonna instructing her about the powers of hell: “My daughter, be careful and very cautious – because you must be aware of the sinister forces that surround so many people, unaware of their eternal salvation and not knowing the danger they find themselves by the constant harassment that the demons wage for their destruction. Men and women sleep, rest and carry on without any awareness of these powerful and restless enemies. This frightening ignorance is a result of two conditions. The first is that people are so concerned with earthly affairs that are physical and sensuous that they concern themselves only with dangers to their physical well-being. They think that anything concerning the spirit or interior life will not harm them. The other reality is that the powers of darkness are invisible and defy the physical senses. Since the senses do no touch, see or hear them, they forget to fear them. It is precisely because the enemy is so invisible that they should be more attentive and aware. The enemy is thus so much more cunning and capable of such treachery. This danger is real and more subtle; the harm that is inflicted is more deadly than can possibly be imagined.Be aware, then, that no intellect, no words, human or angelic, can express the rage and the furious anger that Lucifer and his demons harbor against humans simply because they are made in the image of God and thus capable of eternally enjoying His presence. A few years after her death in 1665, Maria was declared Venerable in 1679.

Pictured is the Incorrupt Body of Venerable Mary of Agreda

Pious Devotions, Preparation For Death, Preparation for Heaven, Spiritual Direction, spiritual warfare, Visions of the Saints

The Efficacious Devotion of the Three Hail Marys

One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori:  “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” The chief thing is to persevere faithfully until death in this devotion.

Numerous examples show how agreeable the three Hail Marys Devotion is to the Divine Mother and what special graces it draws, during life and at the hour of death, on those who never omit it for a single day.

Many great saints have practiced and recommended the devotion of the “Three Hail Mary”. Here are the names of but a few of them: St. Leonard of Port Maurice, St. Bruno, St. Bonaventure, St. John Berchmans, St. John Baptist Mary Vianney (Cure of Ars), St. Anthony of Lisbon and of Padua, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, St. John Joseph of the Cross, St. John Baptist de Rossi, St. Gerard Majella, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Marcellinus Champagnat, and, above all, the great Marian doctor St. Alphonsus Liguori who, in his writings recommended this devotion about twenty times.

This practice was revealed to St. Melchtilde while she was beseeching Our Blessed Mother to assist her in her hour of death. Our Lady appeared to her and said: “I will, certainly. But I also want you to say three special Hail Marys to me every day.

“The first Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Father, Whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you.”

“The second Hail Mary will be said in honor of the Son of God Who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled.”

“The third Hail Mary will be in honor of God the Holy Ghost Who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight.”

Our Blessed Mother also revealed to St. Gertrude the Great: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly consolation.”

St. Leonard of Port Maurice, the celebrated missionary, had the Three Hail Marys recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or night; moreover he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice. He gave this devotion of Three Hail Marys as a penance in the confessional, especially for those who were struggling with sins of impurity.

Astonishing conversions, increase in virtues, cure of the sick, temptations conquered, business difficulties solved, holy death.and salvation.” 

– the promise made by the Blessed Virgin to St. Mechtilde.

The “Three Hail Marys”, are in the words of St Alphonsus Maria Liquori: “the best safeguard for chastity”

-This statement was recorded and attributed to St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori by St. Pius X; “that it is true, has been confirmed by our experiences as well as those of many missionaries” (according to Frassinetti). Even the number of graces and favors obtained through the practice of this devotion show us just how pleasing it is to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Here is the personal testimony of a sinner who used the devotion with good results: “For the last three years, I have been the slave of a bad habit against the virtue of purity. How could I get rid of this terrible passion? I tried every means available, but all proved useless. I used to give in to very serious sins and even to sacrileges. This was most disheartening. “Then, one day, someone recommended to me the devotion of the “Three Hail Marys”. And now, it is not yet quite one month since I started to pray the “Three Hail Marys” every morning and every night without fail. I cannot explain what has happened within me, but I do know and can assure you that, since the very first moment, it has produced wonderful results within me: I have not succumbed to the impure temptations since then. When I have been weak and just about ready to succumb, something or another has happened which has stopped me from giving in; and, indeed, I do know that it was something stronger than my desire of sinning.”

According to St. Gertrude (1256–1301), the Blessed Virgin Mary promised the following: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys I will appear at the hour of death in a splendor of beauty so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with Heavenly consolation.”

Later on, St. Leonard of Port Maurice, “had the three Ave Marias recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or and night; moreover, he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696–1787) adopted this pious practice and highly recommended it. He told parents to train their children to acquire the habit of saying three Hail Marys in the morning and evening. After each Hail Mary, he advice that the following prayer be said: “By thy Immaculate Conception, O Mary, make my body pure and my soul holy.”

According to the St. Martha Catholic Church of the Pallottine Fathers, after Night Prayers, “Many Saints have had the practice of adding three “Hail Mary’s” here in honor of Mary’s purity for the grace of a chaste and holy life.”  Thus, it has been recommended as a daily practice for people who have received confirmation that they pray the Three Hail Marys for “purity of mind, heart and body” after examination of conscience.

Practice: Recite morning and evening, three Hail Marys in honor of the three great privileges bestowed upon Our Blessed Mother by the most Blessed Trinity with this invocation at the end: for the morning: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this day.” For the evening: “O my Mother preserve me from mortal sin during this night.”

(Pope St. Pius X gave his Apostolic Blessing to this practice and the devotion was raised to an Archconfraternity by Pope Benedict XV.)

spiritual warfare, Visions of the Saints

The Fury of the Devil at the Loss of Souls

SISTER JOSEFA MENENDEZ WITNESSES THE RAGE OF SATAN AT LOSING THREE SOUL’S

From the Diary of Sister Josefa Menendez, From the Book The Way of Divine Love

These are a few notes of Sister Josefa’s about Hell. She wrote with great reticence on this subject. She did it only to conform to Our Blessed Lord’s wishes, Our Lady having told her on Oct. 25th, 1922: “Everything that Jesus allows you to see and to suffer of the torments of hell, is so that you may make it know to your Mothers. (who eventually published it for the world after Josefa’s death.) So, forget yourself entirely, and think only of the glory of the Heart of Jesus and the salvation of souls.”

More than once Sister Josefa witnessed the fierce struggle of the devil to wrestle from divine mercy souls that he already believed his. Then the sufferings of Josefa enter, as it seems, into God’s plans, as a rescue of these poor souls, who will owe her the last and definitive victory, at the moment of death.

“The devil was very angry because he wanted three souls to be lost … He was screaming with anger: Let them not escape … they are leaving … Strong … strong!” This way, without ceasing, with shouts of rage that answered, by far, other demons. For several days I witnessed these struggles.

“I begged the Lord to do whatever He wanted, as long as these souls did not get lost.” I also went to the Virgin and She gave me great peace of mind because she left me willing to suffer everything to save them, and I believe that She will not allow the devil to come out victorious. ”

“The devil shouted a lot: Do not let her … be alert to everything that can disturb you … Do not let her escape … make her despair … The confusion was tremendous of screams and blasphemies, then I heard him say furiously: It does not matter, I still have two left … Take away their confidence … I understood by those words that one had escaped, that it had already passed into eternity, because I was shouting: Soon … Hurry … Let these two not escape … Take them, let them despair … Soon, they are going away.

“Immediately, with a grinding of teeth and a rage that can not be said, I felt those tremendous cries:

Oh God’s power that have more strength than me …! I still have one …, and I will not let you take it …! Hell all was no more than a scream of despair, with a great disorder and the devils screamed and complained and blasphemed horribly. I knew with this that the souls were saved. My heart jumped with joy, but I was unable to make an act of love. I still feel in the soul the need to love … I do not feel hatred towards God like these other souls, and when I hear that they curse and blaspheme, it causes me great sorrow; I do not know what I would suffer to prevent Our Lord being insulted and offended. What hurts me is that spending time eternity here, I will be like the others. This makes me suffer a lot, because I still remember that I loved Our Lord and that He was very good to me. I feel a lot of torment, especially these last days. It is as if a river of fire enters my throat and passes through my entire body, together with the pain I have said before. As if they were pressing me from behind and ahead with burning plates …

I can not say what I suffer … it is so much pain … It seems that the eyes are out of place and as if they were pulling to tear … The nerves are very tight. The body is bent, you can not move a finger …

The smell that is so bad, you can not breathe, but all this is nothing in comparison to the soul, that knowing the goodness of God, is forced to hate him and, above all, if he has known and loved him, suffers much more … “

Hell, spiritual warfare, Stories of the Supernatural

St.Teresa of Avila’s Visions of Souls in Mortal Sin

St.Teresa of Avila’s Visions of Souls in Mortal Sin

Volume 1 of The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Chapter 38, parts 23 & 24 & 25:

“Once, while approaching to receive Communion, I saw with my soul’s eyes more clearly than with my bodily eyes two devils whose appearance was abominable. It seems to me their horns were wrapped around the poor priests’s throat, and in the host that was going to be given to me I saw my Lord with the majesty I mentioned placed in the priest’s hands, which were clearly seen to be His offender’s; and I understood that that soul was in mortal sin. What would it be my Lord, to see Your beauty in the midst of such abominable figures? They were as though frightened and terrified in Your presence, for it seems they would have very eagerly fled had You allowed them. This vision caused me such great disturbance I don’t know how I was able to receive Communion, and I was left with a great fear, thinking that if the vision had been from God, His Majesty would not have permitted me to see the evil that was in that soul. The Lord Himself told me to pray for him and that He had permitted it so that I might understand the power of the words of consecration and how God does not fail to be present, however evil the priest who recites them, and that I might see His great goodness since He places Himself in those hands of His enemy, and all out of love for me and for everyone. I understood well how much more priests are obliged to be good than are others, how deplorable a thing it is to receive this most Blessed Sacrament unworthily, and how much the devil is lord over the soul in mortal sin. It did me a great deal of good and brought me deep understanding of what I owed God. May He be blessed forever and ever.”

“At another time something else happened to me that frightened me very much. I was at a place where a certain person died who for many years had lived a wicked life, from what I knew. But he had been sick for two years, and in some things it seems he had made amends. He died without confession, but nevertheless it didn’t seem to me he would be condemned. While the body was being wrapped in its shroud, I saw many devils take that body; and it seemed they were playing with it and punishing it. This terrified me, for with large hooks they were dragging it from one devil to the other. Since I saw it buried with the honor and ceremonies accorded to all, I reflected on the goodness of God, how He did not want that soul to be defamed, but wanted the fact that it was His enemy to be concealed.

I was half stupefied from what I had seen. During the whole ceremony I didn’t see another devil. Afterward when they put the body in the grave, there was such a multitude of them inside ready to take it that I was frantic at the sight of it, and there was need for no small amount of courage to conceal this. I reflected on what they would do to the soul when they had such dominion over the unfortunate body. May it please the Lord that what I have seen -a thing so frightful!-will be seen by all those who are in such an evil state; I think it would prove a powerful help toward their living a good life. All of this gives me greater knowledge of what I owe God and of what He freed me from. I was very frightened until I spoke about it to my confessor, wondering if it was an illusion caused by the devil to defame that soul. Although it wasn’t considered to be the soul of someone with a very deep Christian spirit. Truly since the vision was not an illusion, it frightens me every time I think of it.”

The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Volume 1, Chapter 31,

A person came to me who had been in mortal sin for two and a half years. It was one of the most abominable I’ve heard of, and in all this time he hadn’t confessed or made amends; and he was saying Mass. Although he was confessing other sins, of this one he asked how he could confess something so ugly. He had a great desire to give it up, but he wasn’t able to help himself. He made me feel great pity, and my seeing that he offended God in such a way caused me deep sorrow. I promised him I would beg God very much to liberate him and that I would beg God very much to liberate him and that I would get others better than myself to do the same, and I wrote to him through a certain person he told me I could give the letters to. And so it happened that after receiving the first letter he went to confession. For God desired (through the many very holy persons to whose prayers I recommended him) to grant this soul that mercy; and I, although miserable, did what I could with great care. He wrote to me that he was so much better that for days he had not fallen into the sin, but that the torment the temptation gave him was so intense it seemed from what he suffered he was in hell; he asked me to commend him to God. I in turn recommended him to my sisters through whose prayers the Lord must have granted me this favor, for they took the matter very much to heart. No one could guess who the person was. I begged His Majesty to mitigate those torments and temptations and that those devils would come to afflict me, provided that I would not offend the Lord in anything. As a result, for a month I suffered severe torments; it was during this time that these two things I mentioned happened.

The Lord was pleased that they leave him; this he wrote to me, for I told hm what I was going through during that month. His soul was fortified, and he was left completely free. He didn’t have enough of thanking God and me as though I had done anything. But the reputation I had from the fact that the Lord granted me favors benefitted him. He said that when he found himself very distressed he read my letters, and the temptation left him. He was very impressed by what I had suffered and how he had been freed. Even I was amazed, and I would have suffered many more years to see that soul free. May the Lord be praised for everything, for the prayer of those who serve Him (as I believe do these sisters in this house) can do much. But since I sought these prayers, the devils must have been more angry with me; and the Lord on account of my sins permitted this.

Also one night during this time I thought they were choking me; after much holy water had been sprinkled around, I saw a great multitude of them go by, as though they were being thrown down a precipice. There are so many times that these cursed creatures torment me, and so little is the fear I now have of them, seeing that they cannot stir unless the Lord allows them, that I would tire your Reverence and tire myself if I told about all these instances.

May what was said be of help that the true servant of God might pay no attention to the scarecrows the devils set up in order to cause fear. We should know that each time we pay no attention to them they are weakened and the soul gains much more mastery. Some great benefit always remains, which I won’t go into so as not to enlarge. I shall only mention what happened to me on the night of All Souls: while I was in the oratory after having recited a nocturn and while saying some very devotional prayers that come at the end, a devil appeared on the book so that I couldn’t finish the prayer. I blessed myself, and he went away. When I began again to recite the prayers, he returned. I believe it was three times I began, and until I threw holy water at him I couldn’t finish. I saw that some souls left purgatory at that instant; little must have been lacking to their freedom, and I wondered if he had aimed at preventing this.

A few times I’ve seen him in physical form, but many times with no physical form-as for instance in the vision mentioned above in which without seeing any form one knows he is there.

I also want to tell the following because it frightened me a lot: one day on the feast of the Trinity, being in the choir of a certain monastery and in rapture, I saw a great battle of devils against angels. I couldn’t understand what that vision meant. In less than fifteen days it became easily understandable on account of a certain conflict that arose between people of prayer and many who were not, and a lot of harm was done in the house in which it took place. It was a battle that lasted a long time and caused much disquiet.

At other times I saw a large multitude of devils around me, and it seemed that a great brightness encircled me, and this prevented them from reaching me. I understood that God was watching over me so that they could not get to me in order to make me offend Him. From what I sometimes saw in myself, I understood that it was a true vision. The fact is that now I have understood so well the little bit of power he has provided I’m not against God, that I have almost no fear . The powers of devils are nothing if these devils do not find souls cowardly and surrendered to them: it is with such souls that they show their power. Sometime, in the temptations I already mentioned, it seemed to me that all the vanities and weaknesses of the past were again awakening within me; I had really to commend myself to God. At once the torment came of thinking that since those thoughts arose in me the favors I experienced must all be from the devil. It seemed to me that there shouldn’t have been even the first stirrings of a bad thought in one who was receiving so many favors from the Lord. But then my confessor put me at peace.