|Two devils (D1 and D2) were conversing with one another, discussing tips on how they can bring down the righteous.
D1: What do you think is the best way to disconnect holy people from God?
D2: First, remind them of all those by whom they have been wronged or offended. Vividly illustrate all the insults, wrongs, injuries inflicted on them by others in the worst possible (and of course highly exaggerated) way. True success in this step is to make it so dramatized in their mind that they believe that it is actually a memory, an undisputed “reality” in their mind.
D1: Ooh, I like that…tell me more
D2: You must then point out their necessity to retaliate and defend their dignity. Demand justice, common sense, self-defence, the greater good. Insist that they feel they are doing this on principles (whether they themselves actually live a principled life is…irrelevant!)
D2 [continues]: Let me ask you a question “How do you break people from their habit of prayer?” I can’t stand it when I see them praying and talking to “HIM”.
D1: I agree, I get terrified seeing them prr-prr-aying. I’ve tried the usual things like distractions, laziness, sleep, food, addictions, going out with friends, binge watching Netflix, Youtube, the ‘gram’, snap chat, tik tok (ahhhh social media has really made our job so much easier now with everything being at their fingertips 24/7).
But what I’ve really found shakes the very foundation of prayer is attacking their ability to show forgiveness and meekness. A person who is full of resentment and doesn’t forgive their neighbours sins is unable to pray properly. When someone is angry, this will 100% dissipate any of their efforts to pray.
Bishop Ignatius said, “It is a well-known fact that forgiveness of wrong doings and offenses, changing condemnation of our neighbours into acts of kindness and mercy, so that we instead blame ourselves, provides the only solid basis for successful prayer.” Let us work on depth and quality of prayer by forgiving others and being humble as we end the first month of 2022.
– Fr David Shehata