Daily Thought For January 15, 2017

Confidence In The Midst Of Conflict
   The Christian life is a spiritual battle. The charismatic experience of the Spirit does not place believers above or beyond the reach of this conflict but actually makes it more intense, because it makes us aware of living between two worlds, equally real but always in contention one against the other. The Spirit asks us to live “according to the Spirit” while we are still living “in the flesh.”
     The confidence that we enjoy in the midst of this conflict is such, thanks to the Holy Spirit, that it is not lessened even in the face of defeat. We read in the stories of the Desert Fathers of a certain monk who often, in the dark of night, gave way to sins of the flesh, but for all that he did not give up praying, and prayed with great intensity after every fall. Once, no sooner had he sinned than he got up and started praying the daily office, whereupon the devil, “astonished at his persistent trust,” appeared to him and asked whether he was not ashamed to appear before God in his present condition. The monk answered him, “I swear that I will not tire of asking God to help me against you until you stop your attacks on me, and we will see who wins: you, or God.” The story continues, “And the devil stopped tempting him from that very moment, because he saw that the temptations served only to increase the monk’s crown.”
from Come, Creator Spirit - Meditations on the Veni Creator by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa p.301

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