Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In today's Gospel Reading the Devil attacks Christ directly as he know that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Messiah. Plus, had the Devil gone with the intent to tempt Christ secretly, Christ being God incarnate, who had created all things including the devil before his fall from Heaven, would have looked right at the devil and the devil would have had no to place to hide. But with us, the devil and or his demons, comes in secret and uses deceit to trick us into sin. He doesn't come to us and address us by name and say, why don't you try this or that? Instead he, or one of his demons the fallen angels, comes and whispers in our ear in our own voice, impersonating us as if it were one of our own logismoi or thoughts. The devil tricks us, never presenting sin as it really is, but disguises it to look like something fun. Or he points out the mistakes of other people, and in our own voices criticizes them and tricks us into anger. We think it is us thinking these things but but it isn't. The devil also doesn't just attack us by whispering to us bad thoughts, but also with good thoughts. We go to pray, and he will remind us of good things we need to do. He does this so we do not prayer. And if that fails, he will make us sleepy. The devil does all of this because he is jealous, what we received at our Baptisms is what he lost when he fell from Heaven.
But we should take courage, with us we always have the Divine Grace of God, we receive at our Baptisms and extremely powerful heroic Guardian Angel, who was also assigned to us at our Baptisms, to protect us.
We are at war with the devil and his demons, as St. John Chrysostom tells us in his sermon on today's Epistle reading from St. Paul to the Ephesians. But like St. Paul, St. John Chrysostom urges in response we ought to put on the Armor of God.
What is this Armor of God? This is what St. John Chrysostom calls our invincible ally, the Grace of the Holy Spirit-- which is God's own Uncreated Light. In the Garden of Eden, before the fall of humanity, Adam and Eve the first humans, did not know they were naked because they glowed with the Uncreated Light. We see this in the Icons of the Saints, they have halos the glowing circles of Divine Light around their heads. If we frequently participate in the Sacramental Life of the Church, this is what happens to us and we become protected by Divine Grace. We then in speaking Truth, have it as an armored belt. If we become close to Christ who is the only true Righteous One, then we have Righteousness as a chest plate of armor. Our steps in this life are also protected by the Gospel of Peace. If we become close to God the Holy Trinity, we will love Him and trust Him, and we will have Faith as a Shield. And above all we will have Words of God as our Sword. This is only made possible by living a Sacramental Life in communion with Christ God in the Church.