Last night I was reading through a collection on the sayings of the desert monastics. I came across this interesting quote (which relates to Brian’s post on demons):

One of the brothers asked Isidore, the priest of Scetis, ‘Why are the demons so afraid of you?’ He said, ‘Ever since I became a monk, I have been trying not to let anger rise as far as my mouth.’ He also said that though he felt impulses towards the sins of concupiscence or of anger, he had not consented to them for forty years.1

Self-control is among the fruit of the Spirit; the Christian who exhibits self-control bears the fruit of the Spirit well. A Christian should not fear the demons. But the demons should fear the one who exercises self-control in by the Spirit.

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1 Isidore, Sayings 22 and 23, in The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks, trans. Benedicta Ward (London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd, 2003), 23.[Back]