I have known people of a very high degree of spirituality who have reached this state (fifth Mansions), and whom, notwithstanding, the devil, with great subtlety and craft, has won back to himself. For this purpose he will marshal all the powers of hell, for, as I have often said, if he wins a single soul in this way he will win a whole multitude. The devil has much experience in this matter. If we consider what a large number of people God can draw to Himself through the agency of a single soul, the thought of the thousands converted by the martyrs gives us great cause for praising God. Think of a maiden like Saint Ursula. And of the souls whom the devil must have lost through Saint Dominic and Saint Francis and other founders of Orders, and is losing them now through Father Ignatius, who founded the Company — all of whom, of course, as we read, received such favors from God! What they do but endeavor that this Divine betrothal (sixth Mansions) should not be frustrated through their own fault. Oh, my daughters, how ready this Lord still is to grant us favors, just as He was then! (Teresa of Avila: Fifth Mansions: Chapter Four)
Question: Why does the devil attack us?
Answer: Because we have the potential to bring healing and renewal to a broken world.
- We have the potential for far-reaching influence and the well-being of many souls depends on us.
- The stakes are high: If the devil can sabotage our spiritual growth “he will win a whole multitude”. Therefore he “will marshal all the powers of hell” to stop us.
- The devil’s deception may not feel like attack. We’ve attained a level of maturity in the fifth Mansions, so he deceives us through “subtlety and craft”.
- While the devil is powerful, God gives us a “thousand interior warnings of many kinds” to keep us from slipping into sin. We must be attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit to avoid deception.
- We underestimate our potential: We can become “great saints” like those mentioned above. But, we do not become “great saints” through excessive “spiritual activity”. We become “great saints” through intimacy with Christ.