ASCENSION PRESENTS — The devil can do nothing on his own, but he can use your God-given gifts and talents against you.
The devil is prowling like a lion, looking for something or someone to devour. He does not create, he only corrupts the gifts God has given us. For example, God has given us freedom, and the devil tempts us to use that freedom against what is good.
We see how the devil uses God’s gifts against us when someone becomes judgmental after being given a charism or special knowledge. For instance, friars are given the charism of poverty, but this tempts some of them to judge those who indulge in riches. Or a student may be given great knowledge in a certain discipline, and this may tempt them to judge those who do not have that knowledge. In the same way, if you have not been already, you’re going to be tempted to weaponize the gifts God has given you.
This is a two-part strategy for the devil. In one sense, he aims to cut down the effects of the gift, but he also intends to corrupt our souls in the process.
If you’re in a community of faith, others are watching. They want to see how this new life of faith affects you. If you misuse the gifts, the example you set in turn sets a bad example for the Church and pushes people away. This also serves the devil’s purposes.
So how do we fight this temptation to judge others? Our Lady never fell into the temptation because she was steeped in gratitude. She was full of grace, so there was no crack in her armor where the devil could get in. So thank God for whatever gifts he has given you. Not only will this help you enjoy them more. It will also help keep the devil away from them.