difficult situations and wrong choices conspire to trap us in hopelessness.
There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence, the other is to believe and to feel an unhealthy interest in them!
The real trouble is that ‘kindness’ is a quality fatally easy to attribute to ourselves on quite inadequate grounds. Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment. Thus a man easily comes to console himself for all his other vices by a conviction that ‘his heart’s in the right place’ and ‘he wouldn’t hurt a fly,’ though in fact he has never made the slightest sacrifice for a fellow creature. We think we are kind when we are only happy: it is not so easy, on the same grounds, to imagine oneself temperate, chaste, or humble.
We see ourselves as self-sufficient, self-important, and self-sustaining. God sees us as dependent, self-centered, and self-deceived.
There is a false sense of self-protection in harboring an offense. It keeps you from seeing your own character flaws, because the blame is deferred to another.
Evil is real – and powerful. It has to be fought, not explained away, not fled. And God is against evil all the way. So each of us has to decide where we stand, how we’re going to live our lives. We can try to persuade ourselves that evil doesn’t exist; live for ourselves and wink at evil. We can say that it isn’t so bad after all, maybe even try to call it fun by clothing it in silks and velvets. We can compromise with it, keep quiet about it and say it’s none of our business. Or we can work on God’s side, listen for His orders on strategy against the evil, no matter how horrible it is, and know that He can transform it.
The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
Anyone who tries self-sufficiency in the spiritual life soon falls prey to illusion.
You are deceived if you believe that you are free to live your life unnoticed by God and the enemy of our souls