Identifying where you are along this spectrum is important to know what needs to be done.
The categories, again:
deep bondage: a person who thinks not of living in holiness, stuck in sin.
sloth: a person who would like to live in holiness, but without the energy to do anything about it.
delusion: a person who is thinks they are living in holiness, but is far from it.
front lines: a person who has entered into the full battle, and has a great deal at stake.
This chapter deals with those in deep bondage. They go from sin to sin and are mixed up in all sorts of unholy behavior. They don’t have a clue about living for Jesus, or, if they do, they don’t have a care about it. The devil is having a hay day with this soul.
Is this person destined for ruin? Left to their own devices, yes. Yes they are. The only hope for this person is for the direct intervention of the Lord. In that moment of grace, they must grab it with all they have. They must fly to God with deep cries of “HELP.”
Also, if this moment of grace appears, it is helpful to cry for help to another, someone who will enter this battle with and for them.
Finally, calling on the helpers of Heaven will be of great help for this one who is stuck in the mire of sin.
The key word for the one in this category is the ever difficult but absolutely necessary cry: HELP! This is a word that the devil does not understand, and cannot stop.
Read the Spiritual Combat online here.
Read all of chapter 28 below.
To read previous posts on the Spiritual Combat, click here for the whole series.
Coming up next, chapter 29: The Devil’s Devices III of VI
all of chapter 28:
When the devil holds a man in the bondage of sin, his chief care is to blind his eyes more and more, and to avert from him everything which might lead to a knowledge of his most wretched condition.
And not only does he, by instilling contrary thoughts, drive from him all reflections and inspirations which call him to conversion, but, by affording him ready opportunities, he makes him fall into other and greater sins. Hence, the thicker and darker waxes his blindness, the more desperate and habitual becomes his course of sin; and thus, from blindness to deeper blindness, from sin to fouler sin, his wretched life will whirl on even unto death, unless God, by His grace, should intervene to save him. The remedy for one in this unhappy condition is, to be ready to give diligent heed to the thoughts and inspirations which call him from darkness to light, crying with all his heart to his Creator, “O Lord, help me; help me speedily; leave me not any longer in the darkness of sin.” And let him not fail to repeat this cry for mercy over and over again in these or the like words.
If possible, let him have immediate recourse to some spiritual guide, and ask aid and counsel, that so he may be delivered from the power of the enemy.
And if he cannot do this at the moment, let him fly with all speed to the crucifix, prostrating himself before it; and asking mercy and aid also from the Mother of God.
On this speed does the victory depend, as you will learn in the next chapter.