Monday, August 17, 2009

Q114 A5: Whether a demon who is overcome by man, is for this reason hindered from making further assaults?

Yes. Once a demon has been overcome, he can tempt others, but not the same man, because the devil does not tempt man for just as long as he likes, but for as long as God allows; for although He allows him to tempt for a short time, He orders him off on account of our weakness.

Daemon superatus potest alios tentare, sed non eundem, quia non tandiu homines Diabolus tentat, quandiu vult, sed quandiu Deus permittit; quia etsi permittat paulisper tentare, tamen repellit, propter infirmam naturam.

The other reason is taken from the astuteness of the devil. As to this, Ambrose says on Luke 4:13: "The devil is afraid of persisting, because he shrinks from frequent defeat." That the devil does nevertheless sometimes return to the assault, is apparent from Matthew 12:44: "I will return into my house from whence I came out."

Alia ratio sumitur ex astutia Diaboli, unde Ambrosius dicit, super Lucam, quod "Diabolus instare formidat, quia frequentius refugit triumphari". Quod tamen aliquando Diabolus redeat ad eum quem dimisit, patet per illud quod dicitur Matth. XII, "revertar in domum meam, unde exivi".