The devil stirs up heretics to attack the Church, says St. Augustine, but God turns those attacks into good. When we Christians are attacked, we have the opportunity to exercise our Christian virtue.
But the devil, seeing that the temples of the demons are deserted, and humanity is running to the name of the liberating Mediator, has incited the heretics to resist the Christian teaching while keeping the Christian name.
Even so, by their wickedness they benefit the true Catholic members of Christ. God makes good use of the wicked as well, and all things work together for good to those who love him.
For all the enemies of the Church, whatever error blinds them or malice perverts them, exercise her patience if they are given power to hurt her bodily. If they only oppose her by wicked thought they exercise her wisdom. At the same time, if these enemies are loved they exercise her benevolence, or even her generosity, whether she deals with them by persuasive doctrine or fearful discipline. Thus the devil, the prince of the impious city, is not allowed to harm the city of God that sojourns in this world, even when he stirs up his own vessels against her.
–St. Augustine, City of God, 18.51
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
When people do bad things to me, do I meditate revenge, or do I seize the opportunity to grow as a Christian?
Lord, grant me to find a way to withstand all temptation to heresy, for you have put all the power of the Enemy under our feet.
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