humble you; (3) because the wicked demon may doubt at first whether you have reallyrenounced him and the test of temptation will convince him of your total desertion; (4) to confirmyou, who are now stronger and steadier than iron; (5) to give you clear evidence of the treasurecommitted to you. The devil would not have attacked you if he had not seen that you have beenraised to a position of great honor.”• St. Cyril of Alexandria: “Christ, knowing Satan’s plan, neither made the change [of the stones]nor said that he was either unable or unwilling to make it. Rather, the Lord shakes him off asannoying and meddlesome.”• St. Hilary: “The temptations of the devil assail those principally who are sanctified, for hedesires above all to overcome the holy.”• St. Thomas Aquinas: “Christ willed to be tempted: (1) that he might strengthen us againsttemptations; (2) so that we might be warned that none, however holy, may think himself safe orfree from temptation; (3) to give us an example so that he might teach us how to overcome thetemptations of the devil; (4) in order to fill us with confidence in his mercy.”• “The word is near you” Origen: “By this Paul indicates that Christ is in the heart of all people byvirtue of his being the Word of reason [logos] embedded in all things by sharing in which all menare rational.”• “If you confess…that Jesus is Lord” St. Augustine: “The creed builds up in you what you oughtto believe and confess in order to be saved.”5.
Examples from the Saints and Other Exemplars
• Mother Teresa: “Hidden from all eyes, hidden even from those closest to her, was her interiorlife marked by an experience of a deep, painful and abiding feeling of being separated from God,even rejected by Him, along with an ever-increasing longing for his love. She called her innerexperience, ‘the darkness.’ The ‘painful night’ of her soul, which began around the time shestarted her work for the poor and continued to the end of her life, led Mother Teresa to an evermore profound union with God. Through the darkness she mystically participated in the thirst ofJesus, in his painful and burning longing for love, and she shared in the interior desolation of thepoor.” (from the Vatican biography)• St. Therese of Lisieux: “I believe the demon has asked God permission to tempt me with anextreme suffering, to make me fail in patience and faith…. If I had not had faith, I would havecommitted suicide without an instant’s hesitation.” (from
Her Last Conversations
)• St. John of the Cross - who was held prisoner in a stifling cell by his own community for ninemonths: “The reason trials are necessary in order to reach an advanced state is that highestunion cannot be wrought in a soul that is not fortified by trials and temptations and purified bytribulations, darknesses, and distress, just as a superior quality liqueur is poured only into asturdy flask which is prepared and purified. God allows souls to be tempted in order to elevatethem as high as possible, that is, to union with the divine wisdom…The combat of trials, distress,