SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Which should I fear more, the devil, or my own venial sins?

August 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Meditations, Saints and Blesseds, Sin, Teresa of Avila

Fear the Devil or My Own Venial Sins?

Dear Saint Teresa, which should I fear more, the devil, or my own venial sins?

The Devil

The Devil

If this Lord is powerful, as I see that He is and I know that He is, and if the devils are His slaves (and there is no doubt about this because it's a matter of faith), what evil can they do to me since I am a servant of this Lord and King? Why shouldn't I have the fortitude to engage in combat with all of hell?

May it please His majesty that we fear Him whom we ought to fear and understand that more harm can come to us from one venial sin than from all hell together – for this is so.

From Saint Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church, in The Book of Her Life, Chapter 25


Art: Teresa of Avila, François Pascal Simon Gérard, 1827, PD-US copyright term of life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons.


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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of SpiritualDirection.com, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, the High Calling Seminary Preparation Program, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. In 2018, he launched the annual Avila Summit held at Hanceville, Alabama. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband, father of four, and grandfather of one, the President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc., a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer, speaker and pilgrimage director who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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