Creatures — and the devil, who uses them — do not let themselves be ousted without a struggle.
The life of prayer calls for continuous battles. It is the most important and the longest effort in a life dedicated to God. This effort has been given a beautiful name: it is called the guard of the heart.
The human heart is a city; it was meant to be a stronghold. Sin surrendered it. Henceforth it is an open city, the walls of which have to be built up again. The enemy never ceases to do all he can to prevent this. He does this with his accustomed cleverness and strength, with stratagem and fury. He puts before us such happy thoughts (and occasionally useful ones), pictures so attractive or frightening, and he clothes it all with reasons so impressive that he succeeds all along the line to distract us and entice us away from the divine presence.
We must always be starting again. These continual recoveries, this endless beginning again, tires and disheartens us far more than the actual fighting. We would much prefer a real battle, fierce and derisive. But God, as a rule, thinks otherwise. He would rather we were in a constant state of war. He prefers these ambuscades and snares; these precautions and the need for constant vigilance. He is love, and this continuous warfare calls for more love and develops that love still further.
Dom Augustin Guillerand. "Ousting the Demons." from The Prayer of the Presence of God (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2005).
Reprinted with permission of Sophia Institute Press. This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in July 2014.
Dom Augustin Guillerand (1877-1945) was a French Carthusian monk who entered La Valsainte monastery in Switzerland in 1916. During the tumults of the 20th Century, Dom Augustin would become famous for his calm and peaceful demeanor and his spiritual teachings. He is the author of The Prayer of the Presence of God.Copyright © 2005 Sophia Institute Press
back to top