The devil often tempts us to defer our repentance to the unforeseen future

September 1, 2021 • 2 min

From The Spiritual Combat, page 109
By Dom Lorenzo Scupoli

The inventions of the Devil to prevent the entire Conversion of such, as, convinced of the bad state of their conscience, have some thoughts of amending their lives. How it happens that their good designs are frequently ineffectual.

Those who are sensible of the wretched state of their souls, and are willing to put a stop to it, are often deluded by the Devil, who endeavours to persuade them they have a long time to live, and consequently may safely defer their conversion.

He represents to them that such an affair or lawsuit must first be ended, such a business finished, before they can sufficiently extricate themselves, in order to follow a life of devotion, and peaceably perform the several exercises of it.

This snare has and does daily entangle many. But they may all justly attribute its success to their own supine negligence in an affair wherein the glory of God and their own salvation ought only to be considered.

Let all such, instead of saying to-morrow, to-morrow, cry out now, now. And why to-morrow? How can I be sure of living till it comes? Even were I sure of it, would it look like saving my soul if I deferred my repentańce? Would it look like aiming at victory, if I exposed myself to fresh wounds?

It is, therefore, past all dispute, that a ready compliance with the inspirations of Heaven, is the only means of escaping this illusion, as well as that mentioned in the preceding chapter.

When I say ready compliance, I would not be understood to mean mere desires, or feeble and barren resolutions, by which so many are deceived, for the following reasons:

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