The Power of Humility

The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil, is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it. -St. Vincent de Paul

When Macarius was returning, one day, to his cell, he met the devil, who, with a scythe in his hand, tried to cut him in pieces. But he could not do it, because, as soon as he came near, he lost his strength. Then, full of rage, he said, “Great misery do I suffer from thee, O Macarius; for, though I wish so much to hurt thee, I am not able. It is strange! I do all that thou doest, and even more; thou dost fast sometimes, and I never eat; thou sleepest little, and I never close my eyes; thou art chaste, and so am I. In one thing only thou surpassest me.” “And what is that one thing?” inquired Macarius. “It is thy great humility,” replied the demon. Saying this, he disappeared, and was seen no more.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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