Quotes - Spiritual Warfare

Keep doing some kind of work, that the devil may always find you employed.St. Jerome

I bind to myself today the power in the love of the Seraphim, in the obedience of the Angels, in the ministration of the Archangels, in the hope of Resurrection unto reward, in the prayers of the Patriarchs, in the predictions of the Prophets, in the preaching of the Apostles, in the faith of the Confessors, in the purity of the holy Virgins, in the deeds of Righteous men. - St. Patrick

There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning, the middle, and the perfection. In the beginning they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle the contests of temptation; and in the end the fullness of perfection. - St. Gregory the Great

And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross. - St. Catherine of Siena

Remember that you will derive strength by reflecting that the saints yearn for you to join their ranks; desire to see you fight bravely, and that you behave like true knights in your encounters with the same adversities which they had to conquer, and that breathtaking joy is theirs and your eternal reward for having endured a few years of temporal pain. Every drop of earthly bitterness will be changed into an ocean of heavenly sweetness. - St. Henry Suso

On Trinity Sunday, in the choir of a certain monastery, and in a trance, I saw a great fight between evil spirits and the angels. I could not make out what the vision meant. In less than a fortnight it was explained clearly enough by the dispute that took place between persons given to prayer and many who were not, which did great harm to that house; for it was a dispute that lasted long and caused much trouble. On another occasion I saw a great multitude of evil spirits round about me, and, at the same time, a great light, in which I was enveloped, which kept them from coming near me. I understood it to mean that God was watching over me, that they might not approach me so as to make me offend Him. I knew the vision was real by what I saw occasionally in myself. The fact is, I know now how little power the evil spirits have, provided I am not out of the grace of God; I have scarcely any fear of them at all, for their strength is as nothing, if they do not find the souls they assail give up the contest and become cowards; it is in this case that they show their power. - St. Teresa of Ávila

But the devil comes with his artful wiles, and, under the color of doing good, sets about undermining [the soul] in trivial ways, and working it in practices which, so he gives it to understand, are not wrong; little by little he darkens its understanding and weakens its will, and causes its self love to increase in one way or another he begins to withdraw it from the love of God and persuade to indulge its own wishes. - St. Teresa of Ávila

I know by frequent experience that there is nothing which puts the devils to flight like holy water. They run away before the sign of the cross also, but they return immediately: great, then, must be the power of holy water. As for me, my soul is conscious of a special and most distinct consolation whenever I take it. Indeed, I feel almost always a certain refreshing, which I cannot describe, together with an inward joy, which comforts my whole soul. - St. Teresa of Ávila

The temptation of the devils... is stronger than those of the world and the flesh, because the devils reinforce themselves with these other two enemies, the world and the flesh, in order to wage a rugged war. - St. John of the Cross

After you have made a decision that is pleasing to God, the Devil may try to make you have second thoughts. Intensify your prayer time, meditation, and good deeds. For if Satan's temptations merely cause you to increase your efforts to grow in holiness, he'll have an incentive to leave you alone. - St. Ignatius of Loyola

Make friends with the angels, who though invisible are always with you. Often invoke them, constantly praise them, and make good use of their help and assistance in all your temporal and spiritual affairs. - St. Francis de Sales

Remember that the Devil doesn't sleep, but seeks our ruin in a thousand ways. - St. Angela Merici

Do you want to outwit the devil? Never let him catch you idle. Work, study, pray, and you will surely overcome your spiritual enemy. - St. John Bosco 

The usual snare with which the devil catches the young is to fill them with shame when they are about to confess their sins. When he pushes them to commit sins, he removes all shame, as if there were nothing wrong with it, but when they are going to confession, he returns that shame magnified and tries to convince them that the priest will be shocked by their sins and will no longer think well of them. Thus the devil tries to drive souls to the brink of eternal damnation. Oh, how many lads does Satan steal from God  sometimes forever by this trick. – St. John Bosco 

The Devil never runs upon a man to seize him with his claws until he sees him on the ground, already having fallen by his own will. - St. Thomas More

Be prepared My child. The Devil, at my bidding, will be the one who, by the war he will rage against you, will give the last touch to the work that I will accomplish in you. - Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

First, do not fight against a temptation by yourself, but disclose it to the confessor at once, and then the temptation will lose all its force. Second, during these ordeals do not lose your peace; live in My presence; ask My Mother and the Saints for help. Third, have the certitude that I am looking at you and supporting you. Fourth, do not fear either struggles of the soul or any temptations, because I am supporting you; if only you are willing to fight, know that the victory is always on your side. Fifth, know that by fighting bravely you give Me great glory and amass merits for yourself. Temptation gives you a chance to show Me your fidelity.  - Jesus to St. Faustina

On Friday, when I was at Ostra Brama to attend the ceremony during which the image was displayed, I heard a sermon given by my confessor. This sermon about divine Mercy was the first of the things that Jesus had asked for so very long ago. When he began to speak about the great mercy of the Lord, the image came alive and the rays pieced the hearts of the people gathered there, but not all to the same degree. Some received more, some less. Great joy filled my soul to see the grace of God. Then I heard the words, You are a witness of My mercy. You shall stand before My throne forever as a living witness to My mercy. When the sermon was over, I did not wait for the end of the service, as I was in a hurry to get back home. When I had taken a few steps, a great multitude of demons blocked my way. They threatened me with terrible tortures, and voices could be heard: “She has snatched away everything we have worked for over so many years!” When I asked them, “Where have you come from in such great numbers?” the wicked forms answered, “Out of human hearts; stop tormenting us!” Seeing their great hatred for me, I immediately asked my Guardian Angel for help, and at once the bright and radiant figure of my Guardian Angel appeared and said to me, “Do not fear, spouse of my Lord; without His permission these spirits will do you no harm.” Immediately the evil spirits vanished, and the faithful Guardian Angel accompanied me, in a visible manner, right to the very house. His look was modest and peaceful, and a flame of fire sparkled from his forehead. - St. Faustina

Temptations are the sure sign of divine favor and the fact that you fear them is the clearest proof that you do not yield to them. The more violently the enemy attacks you the more you must abandon yourself to the Lord, confident that he will never allow you to be overcome. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Let us always bear in mind that at our baptism we became temples of the living God and that every time we turn our minds to worldly things, to the devil and the flesh which we renounced at baptism, we are profaning this sacred temple of God. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Jesus is always with you, even when you don’t feel his presence. He is never so close to you as he is during your spiritual battles. He is always there, close to you, encouraging you to fight the good fight; he is there to ward off the enemy’s blows so you won’t be hurt. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Have courage and do not fear the assaults of the Devil. Remember this forever; it is a healthy sign if the devil shouts and roars around your conscience, since this shows that he is not inside your will. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

When it is not a question of real and definite temptations but more of physical dispositions favorable to temptations it is better to not fight against them or to remove them positively, but distract yourself or occupy yourself with something.   Attending to it is harmful because it increases the feeling and consequent anxiety through suggestion.  Since you yourself see it as foolish nonsense, do not pay attention and treat it with contempt. Have recourse to the expedients alluded to. Fix your gaze in the distance, or look back, etc., this saves you from the sensible impression because it distracts your attention.  You may have other tactics that may seem ridiculous and insignificant, but who cares, even pins can be useful in time of war. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Unfortunately, temptations against the Faith are the most frightening. In the others there is God in whom we believe, invoke and to whom we cling; but in this temptation we feel a complete void and we are denied the resource of weeping and hoping in the Supreme Good.  Do not think though that it is easy to consent to it. The very fear is an obstacle to the consent. All I ask is that you do not argue with Satan. He knows more than you do and he is such a clever and terrible Sophist that you cannot imagine. In the frequent attacks, make a supreme effort to gather your intelligence, will and sentiment and say: "I believe, what I have always believed and will always believe with the holy Church."  Then console yourself by persuading yourself that this kind of temptation does not usually last long. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

The best method to defend yourself against temptations of impurity are: 1) guard your senses to protect them from bad impressions; 2) avoid vanity; 3) do not let your heart receive impressions; 4) convince yourself of the baseness of these satisfactions; 5) avoid idleness; 6) pray detachedly when the passions are tempted. As for corporal mortifications, the fasts and abstinences ordered by Holy Mother Church are enough. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Vanity makes the heart frivolous and more easily carried away by the aura of temptation. - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

To be occupied is to not give the enemy the time and ease to display his base wares and attract your attention. Consequently Saint Bernard suggests, amongst other things, to flee idleness to triumph and save oneself from these dangers.  But the best weapon to resort to often is prayer. When the fascination has been transmitted and the fire blazes, reflections and intentions will be of no use if the One who is stronger than nature and Satan does not intervene. Indeed, arm yourself in advance against the feared attacks invoking the customary alliance saying: "Lord, you well know my weakness, either remove or mitigate the attacks." - St. Pio of Pietrelcina

In the inner heart of every person the voice of God and the insidious voice of the Evil One can be heard. The latter seeks to deceive the human person, seducing him with the prospect of false goods, to lead him away from the real good that consists precisely in fulfilling the divine will. St. John Paul II

There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not alreasy borne for us, and does not now bear with us. - St. John Paul II

"Spiritual combat" is another element of monastic life which needs to be taught anew and proposed once more to all Christians today. It is a secret and interior art, an invisible struggle in which monks engage every day against the temptations, the evil suggestions that the demon tries to plant in their hearts; it is a combat that becomes crucifixion in the arena of solitude in the quest for the purity of heart that makes it possible to see God (cf. Matthew 5:8) and of the charity that makes it possible to share in the life of God who is love (cf. 1 John 4:16). More than ever in the lives of Christians today, idols are seductive and temptations unrelenting: the art of spiritual combat, the discernment of spirits, the sharing of one’s thoughts with one’s spiritual director, the invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus and of his mercy must once more become a part of the inner life of the disciple of the Lord. This battle is necessary in order not to be distracted or worried (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:32,35), and to live in constant recollection with the Lord. - St. John Paul II