John of Ávila on Strength From Heaven

It seems that I must return to reading the Saints daily. There are so many things that I’ve never known, and yet that mountain can barely be seen because it is blocked by the more immediate pile of truth that I once knew but have forgotten.

Many times [the Lord] leaves [his own] in situations of such danger that they find no place to stand and do not find within themselves one hair of strength on which to depend.  They are not able to benefit from favors they received from God in times past.  They remain as though naked and in deep darkness, handed over to the persecution of their enemies.  But suddenly, when they are not expecting it, the Lord visits and frees them.  He leaves them stronger than they were before and puts their enemies under their feet.

The soul, though naturally weaker than the demon, senses within itself strength so powerful that it seems to tear the demon to pieces, like something very weak and without resistance.  It would dear to fight with a great number of devils, not only with one.  Such is the strength that the soul feels has come to it anew from heaven, that not only defends itself, but it also says like David: “I will pursue my enemies and will overtake them, and I will not return until they are overcome.  I will break them and they shall not be able to stand, and they shall fall beneath my feet” (Ps 18:38-39).                                   -John of Ávila in Audi, filia



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