“Yahweh … who formed you in the womb”
The story goes that one day the devil got
bored stiff of being the devil
and he decided to close shop!
(If only this was true, I may add!!!)
Anyway, he put all his tools neatly
counter so that he would sell them
Anger, lust, envy, avarice, laziness,
pride… all of them
Amazingly, however, the most expensive
was none of the above
but just a tiny, minuscule device
apparently well used because it was
His simple answer to all queries was
“That is the most potent tool that
When I don’t manage to enter with the
arrogance, resentment, sex, jealousy,
I always find a gap where I can insert
And once I am in, then victory is assured.
That is why its price is so high!”
“So what is this precious tool of yours,
o crafty devil?”
“This is the tool of … discouragement.”
Many times we too find ourselves with
backs against the wall
and we feel like giving up on everything.
We feel demoralized.
Things go wrong,
work that we have invested so much
in just evaporates,
people disappoint us,
our sins seem to increase rather than
The devil comes in, finds an opening
and starts putting a damper on our
it’s no use!
send everyone and everything packing!
He persists insistently… ‘it is all
HOWEVER we have a friend who is more
than our enemy.
Jesus Christ quickly sends his Spirit
to defend us.
Basically He reminds us of two basic
He hands over to us two decisive gadgets.
First of all, He reminds us that God
charge of our life.
He is making our history and
He does not make mistakes.
He is even able to turn our sins and
in our favour.
Our disappointments are God’s appointments.
Paul ended up in jail.
He must have thought that this was
because out of prison he could convert
Yet it was during those two years that
wrote his most beautiful letters,
like the Letter to the Ephesians,
that still nurture us so substantially.
Secondly, the Holy Spirit kindly reminds
that folks have been and will always
- mere and plain human beings.
This is the second defensive tool against
In the Gospel of John we find this
“Jesus Christ knew what there is in
So he did not expect a lot from them.
He knew that humans arrive to a certain
and then they give in.
He was not taken aback when his disciples
when one of his close friends denied
when all his friends abandoned him
just when he needed them most.
Jesus Christ worked with people and
them to the highest degree
but he did not lean on them
nor did he expect much from them.
He kept looking ahead
even when the cross was in sight,
He kept on walking.
And even we can move on.
Because the resurrection exists for
“Job spoke next. He said:
‘Indeed, I know it is as you say:
how could anyone claim to be upright
Anyone trying to argue matters with
could not give him one answer in a
Among the wisest and the hardiest,
who then can successfully defy him?
He moves the mountains, though they
he throws them down when he is angry.
If he passes me, I do not see him;
he slips by, imperceptible to me.
If he snatches his prey, who is going
or dare to ask, ‘What are you doing?’"
(Job 9, 1-5. 11-12)
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright