There was an anchorite who was able to banish the demons; and he asked them, “What makes you go away? Is it fasting?”
They replied, “We do not eat or drink.”
“Is it vigils?”
They replied, “We do not sleep.”
“Is it separation from the world?”
“We live in the deserts.”
“What power sends you away then?”
They said, “Nothing can overcome us, but only humility.”
Do you see how humility is victorious over the demons?
After praying that God would take away his passions that he might become free from care, Abba John the Dwarf went and told an old man; “I find myself in peace, without an enemy.”
The old man said to him, “Go beseech God to stir up warfare so that you may regain the affliction and humility that you used to have, for it is by warfare that the soul makes progress.”
So he sought God and when warfare came, he no longer prayed that it might be taken away, but said “Lord, give me the strength for the fight.”
(Quotes with thanks to The Ecumenical Benedictines of Heartsong Hermitage)
I wonder if this has not something to do with the difficulty I find myself in when I am blessed by God? I pray God will teach me how to live truly in Christ’s own humility this Lent – for it is only so that I will be able to serve him as I am called to do, of that much I am sure!