When the devil is in the heart, then the person feels an unusual weight on him, a painful fire to burn his chest. Then his soul is too afraid, disturbed by the words and behavior of others, deprived of the right judgment, sees bad intentions everywhere, and is overwhelmed by revenge…
When hatred against someone ignites in your heart, then believe that the devil acts inside you. Immediately dismiss both devil and his work. Do not consider hatred your own, do not accept it. Face the other passions in the same way.
We have a duty to pray for other people who are enslaved to passions. In them, as in us, the enemy acts.
The Lord wants to unite them all. On the contrary, the devil wants to separate them all. The devil tries to break the unity of the members of the family, the village, the city, the state, the fraternities. The devil fights those who profess the Orthodox faith and incites persecution against the Church…
Devil’s purpose is to infect man, to alienate him from God and his neighbor, to extinguish love, to eliminate every virtue, to revolt the soul against God and the Church, and, finally, to lead man captive to hell.
Our soul receives not only the inspirations of God and the angels of light but also the influence of the dark demons. Thus it becomes a battlefield between good and evil.
Our life on earth is a war, an uninterrupted war. Our imaginary enemies are relentlessly fighting us with various passions… Almost every good thought, every good feeling, I have to defend it with a fight… The predatory multitude of evil spirits act inside me morning and night, night and day, even in dreams!
What a cave of imaginary robbers is my soul! How infected is my heart! How distorted is the image of God within me! What storms stir up my passions!
Lord, help me in my struggle! Strengthen, Almighty Lord, Your soldiers! Without You, we can do nothing.
Saint John of Kronstadt
From the book: Spiritual Anthology from the lives and speeches of the Saints of Russia. Holy Monastery of Parakletos, Oropos, Attica 2018, p. 67, 68, 70.