Sunday, November 15, 2015

Satan's Most Worn Tool: Discouragement

There is a story that one day satan had a yard sale with his tools.  He had many tools: pride, laziness, arrogance, hate, envy, jealousy.  There was also a tool off to the side in a tool box.  It was very worn and had a price higher than anything else there.  When asked why this old tool had such a high price satan answered.  This tool is discouragement.  It is more useful to me than all the others.  I can pry open and get into a man's heart with it, when I cannot get near him with any other tool.  It is worn well because I use it on everybody I can, and few people even know it belongs to me.

Recently in speaking to one of the Children's Rosary group leaders she shared this little story with me.  It was something she had heard years ago but it had stayed with her as the sentiment seemed to ring true.  

Discouragement indeed is not from God.  He is supportive and loving.  Yet few ever consider discouragement as being a tool of satan.  Yet how many good intentions never come to fruition because one becomes discouraged.

So many may consider starting a Children's Rosary prayer group but then discouragement and doubt creep in. What if no one shows up? I would not be good at running a Children's Rosary prayer group.  Maybe I will wait until next year possibly during May.  The list goes on.  Every effort is made to convince the soul not to throw the pebble into the pond.  To begin a group albeit even tiny will create a ripple of prayer and blessings in the world.  This should be avoided at all cost.

But what if the soul does take the step and begins a group.  The tool is still very useful.  Over and over the thought may come.  Is this really worth it?  Should I give up?  There are other groups, no one will miss my tiny little group.  Sometimes no one comes.

Does this sound familiar?  Sure it happens to all of us.  The worst is that we start to blame ourselves that we must not be good at this and it is somehow our fault.  We begin to think that to continue inviting children to come together in prayer while noble is meant for others.  

It is at these times when a simple question could be asked.  What is the worst thing that could happen?  One holds a Children's Rosary prayer group and no one shows up and you pray the Rosary alone.  You thirst with Our Lord for souls and share this time with Him.  Most would laugh and say they would be happy to take such a risk when it is phrased in that way.  Yet evil would twist things and make the soul feel bad or a failure if no one were to respond to the invitation to come and pray.

It is important that we all recognize these moments of discouragement and think about where they come from.  Even to just identify the source of the thought renders the tool less effective.  Then to protect ourselves even more we should follow the example of the children and have a child-like confidence in Our Lord.  We should look at these moments of temptation as help on our road to sanctity.  Many saints speak about this.

"Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife." -St. Leo the Great

"It is the nature of our enemy to become powerless, lose courage, and take to flight as soon as a person who is following the spiritual life stands courageously against his temptations and does exactly the opposite of what he suggests" -St. Ignatius of Loyola

"The longer the trial to which God subjects you, the greater the goodness in comforting you during the time of the trial and in the exaltation after the combat."- St. Pio of Pietrelcina

"Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.  The gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase." -St. Rose of Lima

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
EWTN Interview about the Children's Rosary
Praying with the Saints and Angels

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. I feel like it was written for me! I have had this on my mind since August, but have been discouraged. I ordered my books today and am planning a meeting with my pastor. I will be in touch when we are ready to begin. Thank you again!
    ~ Gina