Driving Out Demons
“The devil is a great liar, as Jesus warns, which means that his primary target is our intelligence. His effort is to work his whisper within the quiet of the mind without detection, unknown until the damage is done.
One observation would seem undeniable. With fixed, persevering intent, he seeks to undermine a soul’s attraction for the attainability of truth. He wants to replace a hunger for spiritual truth with an acquiescence to permanent uncertainties and confusion. The truth of Christianity is of course the primary concentration of his attack. A soul’s conviction in faith is the ultimate prize he pursues. In subtle whispers, he poses objections, raises doubts, insinuates the likelihood of false, unreasonable assumptions. He exaggerates and distorts what is sometimes called the irrationality of religious belief.
He has a special love for useless questioning that has no end point, for reflections that veer off into idiosyncratic byways and tangents. His deceptions are often couched in commonsense logic. Other times he provokes hyperrational brooding and strained complications of argument. He loves to bait a soul with a remembrance of its native intelligence and a need to think independently, without reliance on any authority for truth other than a personal determination of truth.
What can be surprising is that no contemplative soul is immune from these efforts of the Evil One. It is a form of his disrespect for God that he does not consider the contemplative beyond the pale of his possible victory.”
—Father Donald Haggerty, Contemplative Provocations