Recently, I watched an old movie (The Ninth Gate) about people who wished to be with the Devil, specifically Lucifer, because they wished to be given infinite power. To be with the Devil, they had to do a ritual which could be deciphered according to the symbols from a book supposedly written by Lucifer himself.
I thought, ‘Why would anyone go through those lengths to be with the Devil? He is right here beside us. We only need to call on him to be with him.’
I don’t mean that in the ‘horror movie’ kind of way. What I mean is this: temptation is always around us and we only need to give in to it to be with the Devil. And yes, we can gain infinite power through the help of the Devil, but that power will only be in this world. It will also not be infinite in the true sense, rather it will be infinite in a finite amount of time, e.g. a sinful billionaire may be said to have infinite power but only as long as his billions exist.
I had a chance to see the Devil at work through my temptation to deliberately and completely reject God. What possible worldly gain could I get out of this? As someone who does not desire worldly riches like money and glory for glory’s sake, the Devil had little chance to tempt me, but he knows it is difficult to remain in a relationship with God when the going gets tough. There are times when I wanted to reject everything I’ve realized and experienced since my conversion as simply coming from my imagination.
I was hanging up the laundry when the Devil came. I felt a darkness come over me and heaviness like a hole inside me that cannot be filled by anything. (Looking back, I think that is what Hell feels like.) It literally felt like God had completely abandoned me during that split-second in order for the Devil’s message to be heard loud and clear.
‘Reject all this!’ the Devil said, ‘because it is all in your imagination.’
The Devil used my past to tempt me. I used to be a non-religious theist, a deist. I believed in the existence of God, but also thought that I can succeed on my own. If God wished to help me, then I am lucky; but if not then I can manage.
At that moment I felt a strong desire to go back to my old beliefs, but it was accompanied by the knowledge that if I choose to do so, that darkness and heaviness would remain in me forever.
So I replied to the Devil, ‘I can’t, because I don’t want that darkness.’
It was the scariest split-second I have experienced in my life so far. Some of you might be rolling your eyes by now, but I am not making this up.
Why did God allow me to experience that, and why did He leave me? I think He knew I would not side with the Devil and that it was safe to leave me completely in the Devil’s hands; otherwise He would never allow me to experience that horror.
Since then I have not felt the Devil come back with that same intensity (and I hope he never does!); but every time I feel tired from God’s challenges, I feel him lurking around. To fight against weakness, I continue to pray and attend daily mass.
So, if you want to be with the Devil, know that he is always around. He’s right there beside you, like harmful bacteria or virus, like a disease waiting to attack the soul when its defenses are down. Meanwhile, the Sacraments are like proper health habits which make us resilient to the Devil’s antics.
On a further note, to all my readers, please pray for your priests and for all the priests in the world. (If you are not Catholic, then pray for your religious leaders.) Without priests, there would be no one to administer the Sacraments. For me, that is the scariest possibility because I know that without the Eucharist I would not have succeeded in the Devil’s challenge. Of course, God would not have allowed it to happen if I am not strong enough, but my point is the sacraments make our souls stronger to enable us to do what God wishes us to accomplish on this Earth.