The Capuchin friar had some important things to share about the Devil’s cunning ways.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina had many personal battles with the devil (and even devils) in his lifetime. His dealings with Satan were so prolific and disturbing that he often wrote about him in letters. A perfect example is one occasion when a demonically possessed woman came and tried to assault Padre Pio.
These encounters had a profound effect on the humble friar. He often used his experiences to advise those under his spiritual care, and his thoughts on how to confront the devil are just as relevant today as they were when he spoke about them in the last century. In our own daily lives, whether at work, at home, or out with our friends, we face battles as we are confronted by sin and temptation.
Here are just a few words of wisdom from Padre Pio on the devil and temptation that we should all take into consideration in such moments:
The human soul is the battlefield between God and Satan.”
“The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone. And you: keep at a distance. If you approach too near, you let yourself be caught.”
“The Devil does not want to lose this battle. He takes on many forms. For several days now, he has appeared with his brothers who are armed with batons and pieces of iron. One of the difficulties is that they appear in many disguises…”
“Don’t let the many snares of this infernal beast frighten you. Jesus, who is always with you, and who will fight with and for you, will never permit you to be tricked and overcome.”
“The demon has only one door by which to enter into our soul: the will; there are no secret doors. No sin is a sin if not committed with the will. When there is no action of the will, there is no sin, but only human weakness.”
“Remember this: if the devil makes noise, it is a sign that he is still outside and not yet within. That which must terrify us is his peace and concord with the human soul. That which comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm, indifference and apathy.“
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.”
Back in 2018, Pope Francis spoke about Padre Pio’s battles with the devil. He drew important lessons from the great saint that he encouraged us to apply in our own battles with sin and temptation. Pope Francis said:
You have a problem, you are sad, you are sick — abandon yourself to the arms of Jesus. And this is what [Pio] did. He loved Jesus and he trusted in Him.
The Pope urged us to turn to prayer and the sacraments, as Padre Pio did:
Padre Pio immersed himself in prayer to adhere ever better to the divine plans. Through the celebration of Holy Mass, which constituted the heart of his day and the fullness of his spirituality, he reached a high level of union with the Lord. During this period, he received special mystical gifts from above, which preceded the manifestation in his flesh of the signs of the Passion of Christ.
So let’s remember, we are not alone in our struggles with the devil — we have Jesus, the sacraments, and friends like St. Pio to aid us!