“We must behave as people do in a besieged city: they watch where the attackers are strongest and the defenses weakest. If they fail to do this, the city is lost. In the same manner we should keep our eyes carefully on the point where the devil most often attacks us, where human nature is weakest, where our frailties lie, and there we should keep guard most vigilantly.”~ Johannes Tauler
Johannes Tauler was a German Dominican mystic of the 14th Century who greatly influenced the later writings of St. John of the Cross. Yet, the imagery used by Tauler most reminds me of a 1234 incident involving St. Clare of Assisi. That year, Assisi, and her Franciscan monastery, was besieged by the secular forces (Saracen mercenaries) of Frederick II. When she realized what was happening, St. Clare took the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle and raised it against the invading army, immediately: they fell back and retreated. This moment enacts very simply what Tauler describes: vigilance, speed, and action when confronted. For instance, if we understand that our sinful proclivities stem form an addiction to porn or reliance upon the homosexual inclination: we must always be wary of any object, thought, or situation that may bring us to the point of temptation. Therefore, with regards to those issues – you can never afford to be lackadaisical, such as: watching questionable films or television programs, aimlessly surfing the internet, or keeping bad company. And, because of careful observation on their part: satan and the demonic forces of hell already know your secrets. Consequently, if they witness us allowing our guard to drop – they will instantaneously mount an assault. Then, the battle begins. But, as the Saints recommend – it’s better to keep your forces alert, prevent an all-out invasion, and remain secure behind the shield of Christ.