The Devil Made Me Do It

by Timothy Lusch

Why Do We Let Him?

The Art, Visions, and Writing of St. Hildegard of Bingen 

The Devil, cunning as he is, doesn’t mind being an excuse.  It gives him credit for being the source of evil. A point of pride for the Wretched One. The Devil tempts, but it is we who choose to fail. That is the damnable misery of free will. We get to make choices.  Following our own light inevitably leads to darkness. Hildegard of Bingen (1090-1179), saint, visionary, mystic, theologian, abbess, and advisor to the powerful, reminds us there is One Light.  It illuminates all of life and will never be extinguished.

The devil keeps man from good with a thousand machinations spewed from his belly, so that when a person sighs to do good, he pierces him with his shafts; and when he desires to embrace God with his whole heart in love, he subjects him to poisonous tribulations, seeking to pervert good work before God. And when a person seeks the viridity of virtue, the devil tells him that he does not know what he is doing, and he teaches him that he can set his own law for himself.