─Hermas: The Pastor (or "The Shepherd") Bk. II, Commandment 12, Ch. 3.
I say to him, “Sir, listen to me for a moment.” “Say what you wish,” says he. “Man, sir,” say I, “is eager to keep the commandments of God, and there is no one who does not ask of the Lord that strength may be given him for these commandments, and that he may be subject to them; but the devil is hard, and holds sway over them.” “He cannot,” says he, “hold sway over the servants of God, who with all their heart place their hopes in Him. The devil can wrestle against these, overthrow them he cannot. If, then, you resist him, he will be conquered, and flee in disgrace from you. As many, therefore,” says he, “as are empty, fear the devil, as possessing power. When a man has filled very suitable jars with good wine, and a few among those jars are left empty, then he comes to the jars, and does not look at the full jars, for he knows that they are full; but he looks at the empty, being afraid lest they have become sour. For empty jars quickly become sour, and the goodness of the wine is gone. So also the devil goes to all the servants of God to try them. As many, then, as are full in the faith, resist him strongly, and he withdraws from them, having no way by which he might enter them. He goes, then, to the empty, and finding a way of entrance, into them, he produces in them whatever he wishes, and they become his servants.”
─Hermas: The Pastor, Bk. II, Commandment 12, Ch. 5
Regarding the devil and his angels, and the opposing influences, the teaching of the Church has laid down that these beings exist indeed; but what they are, or how they exist, it has not explained with sufficient clearness. This opinion, however, is held by most, that the devil was an angel, and that, having become an apostate, he induced as many of the angels as possible to fall away with himself, and these up to the present time are called his angels.
─Origen: On First Principles, Preface, ("De Principiis," Proem.) 6.
The devil’s snare does not catch you, unless you are first caught by the devil’s bait.
─St. Ambrose: Explanation of Psalm 118, 14, 37.
The devil rules over lovers of temporal goods belonging to this visible world, not because he is lord of this world, but because he is ruler of those covetous desires by which we long for all that passes away.
─St. Augustine: The Christian combat ("De Agone Christiano"), Bk. 1, Ch. 1.
For there is more than one way in which men sacrifice to the fallen angels.
─St. Augustine: Confessions, Bk. 1, Ch. 1
|Fall of the Rebel Angels, by Domenico Beccafumi. |
Oil on wood, c. 1528; San Niccolò al Carmine, Siena.