Protection Against the Devils

by Antoine Richard, 1877

Prelude: An immense plain stretches itself before us, and the entrances are guarded by ferocious enemies, but an angel marches at our side.

Meditation: "Our whole life," says St. Bernard, "is but a temptation," and this great doctor had borrowed the thought and the doctrine from our holy books. Temptation from outside, from creatures, from within, from our equals, from ourselves. It is strange that we should be such dangerous enemies to ourselves, that we are obliged to be on our guard, and to be afraid of ourselves, since our loss, according to the prophet, comes from ourselves, who often work with all our might for our ruin; but we have other combats to wage against enemies powerful by their strength, cruel in their rage, terrible by their stratagems, innumerable in their multitude, and untiring in their pursuits. Add to this, that our enemies are purely spirits, who strike without being seen, who enter everywhere, who remain invisible, and watch everything that we do; who fight against weak souls, walking in the midst of dark night, advancing by slippery paths, where they can hardly stand, surrounded on all sides by fearful precipices, and threatened with evils which are endless, and terrible in their intensity.

O, if men meditated well these great truths, if they would see the supernatural light, how they would change their lives! then, indeed, they would serve God in holy fear, and their hearts would be rent with terror at the frightful evils to which we are exposed, and alas! we think so little. This meditation must renew our gratitude and affection to the holy angels, for it is especially here that their power and protection shines in all its splendor.

Resolution: Have recourse to the holy angels in temptations.
Aspiration: "Then the angel Raphael took the devil and bound him." 
(Tobias, viii. 3.)
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