Perseverance: Part III
Let him have a fixed determination not to allow himself to be beaten, for, if the devil sees that he has firmly resolved to lose his life and his peace and everything that he can offer him rather than to return to the first room, he will very soon cease troubling him. (Teresa of Avila: Second Mansions)
We drive the devil away when we resolve not to be defeated. Teresa’s counsel of having a “fixed determination” may not impress us as an effective spiritual warfare strategy, but it inflicts catastrophic losses on the power of evil. Teresa expands on this strategy in her book The Way of Perfection: Our determination not only stops the devil from troubling us, but he is afraid of resolute souls. He knows “by experience that they inflict great injury on him, and, when he plans to do them harm, he only profits them and others and is himself a loser.” Our determination can turn the devil’s attack into our victory.
While we can turn the tables on the devil, we must still be watchful because residual spiritual warfare may come through people attempting to deceive us even after the devil has moved on. Teresa says we deal with “treacherous folk, who are great cowards and dare not attack the wary, but, if they see we are careless, will work us great harm. And if they know anyone to be changeable, and not resolute in doing what is good and firmly determined to persevere, they will not leave him alone either by night or by day”.
While our determination doesn’t guarantee positive outcomes, the likelihood of deception falls off dramatically. But the vacillating soul succumbs to the attacks of the devil and is lead astray by the treacherous. I encourage you to persevere in doing good and continue your progress through the Interior Castle. You can do this by seeking divine aid, finding the right mentors, and having fixed determination not to be beaten.
For Perseverance Part I: Click Here
For Perseverance Part II: Click Here
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