My son, if you come to serve the Lord, prepare your soul for temptation.
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When the merits of the elect increase, the envy of the ancient enemy also immediately increases. It seeks either imperceptibly by himself, or openly through people who are subjected to his wickedness, to suffocate the incipient seeds of piety. Therefore, after having promised to the disciples the courage to preach, the Lord reveals the persecutions that would come on the part of those who would resist their preaching. In fact, he adds, "I have said this so you will not be shocked. They will chase you out of the synagogues." Their loving Master wanted his disciples to know in advance the future hostility of the wicked, so that when it appeared it would cause them less harm, given that usually we more easily endure the adversities that we can foresee. The evils that happen to one who is not prepared and does not know what is coming often cause a more precipitous fall from their state of security. Here is the warning Solomon provides: "Son, when you come to the service of God, stand firm ...
A monk who truly sets out to serve God, according to Wisdom, must prepare his soul against temptation lest he might at any time become separated from God or be overwhelmed by what happens to him. He must also believe that nothing happens without the providence of God. And since, in the providence of God, everything that happens is surely good and for the advantage of the soul, everything that happens is for our good and happens because God loves us and protects us. And we should, as the apostle says, "give thanks in all things for his goodness to us" and not drag ourselves down or lose heart about what happens to us but accept the events convinced, as I have said, that all those things that God does to us, he always does out of goodness because he loves us. And what he does is always right. Indeed, it would be impossible for things to go well otherwise except for this mercy of God. - "Spiritual Instructions 13.138"
As soon as the soul starts to love the heavenly realities, as soon as it concentrates with full intensity in view of that intimate peace, then that ancient adversary that was hurled down from heaven senses envy and begins to multiply the pitfalls. He advances temptations more relentless than normally, so that most of all he tempts the soul that resists, as he had never tempted it before when he possessed it. Therefore it is written: "My son, if you present yourself to serve the Lord, stand firm in justice and in fear, and prepare yourself for temptations." And so also the possessed, who is cured by the Lord, is strongly shaken by the demon that leaves him, as it is written: "Screaming and shaking strongly, he leaves." What does it mean that when the old enemy leaves, he strongly shakes the possessed who before had not shaken when he possessed him, if not that when he is expelled from the heart, he provokes in him temptations that are much more relentless than before when he possessed h...