Apr 14, 2014
There are facts that cannot be denied, and yet, are likely to shock some of us as “unfair.” Why is it so easy for Satan to make us trip and fall? Man (homo) has been given intelligence; alas, he keeps forgetting that not only is his intelligence limited, but that moreover, it has been affected by original sin. As soon as he loses sight of these two undeniable facts, he is likely to become an easy prey to Screwtape, whose intelligence is so superior to ours and whose keenest diabolical satisfaction is to set traps on the path of human Pinocchios.
Even though all of us – except the Blessed one – have been wounded by original sin, we do not all have the same weaknesses. One thing is certain: if there are sins we have never committed, it is certainly because we have never been tempted.
Satan is a keen observer. Already in small children, he will notice that one is inclined to anger; another one to gluttony, another one is, from his very cradle, tempted by jealousy. In his Confessions, St. Augustine writes “…it was not yet able to speak, but was pale and bitter in face as it looked at another child nursing at the same breast.” (I, 7) Alas, there are children who enjoy being cruel. It is heart-breaking to know that some boys enjoy torturing helpless animals. Some are incredibly heartless toward their peer, mercilessly making fun of any defect they detect in others’ faces. Some children pick up the “art” of lying at a very young age. Vanity seems to be born with us: there are very young little girls who get upset when another child’s beauty or grace is praised. Some boys turn green from rage when defeated at a game or in a fist fight.
Once the Evil one has properly diagnosed our particular weakness, he delights in placing us in situations (real or sometimes even imaginary) which will lead us to defeat.