"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places."--Ephesians 6:12

The Spiritual Combat
by Laurence Scupoli, 1865

"When the Devil holds any one in the bondage of sin, his great concern is to turn his mind from every thought which might lead him to discover his most unhappy condition. And not only does he divert the mind from all thoughts and godly inspirations which may call him to repentance, by instilling thoughts foreign to the subject; but by occasions, ready and prepared for him, he makes him fall into his old sins, or even into worse ones.

Thus, his blindness waxing thicker and denser, he more deeply plunges into a headlong and reckless course of sin, and passing from one stage of darkness to another, and from sin to fouler sin, his wretched life like a wheel runs on even to death, unless God of His grace should provide some means of stopping him.

The remedy for one in this unhappy state, on his side, is to be ready to listen to every whisper and godly inspiration which calls him from darkness to light, crying with all his heart to his Creator, "O my Lord, help me, help me speedily; leave me not any longer in this darkness of sin." Let him never grow weary of repeating this prayer, and of others like it, but cry over and over again.

And, if possible, let him have recourse without a moment's delay to some spiritual father, and ask for counsel and assistance, that he may be delivered from the Enemy. But if this cannot be done at once, let him promptly cast himself before the Crucified, and there prostrating himself at His Sacred Feet, let him cry for mercy, and ask also for the pity and aid of the Mother of God. And be assured that in doing this immediately, lies the victory, as you will learn from the next chapter". . . . --pages 96 - 97.

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