Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Resist the “sadness of the devil” with these two habits



Philip Kosloski - published on 10/26/20

St. Francis of Assisi believed purity of heart and a healthy prayer life were keys to maintaining happiness.

All of us want to be happy. It is a natural human desire, one that often eludes us. We might feel we do everything the world tells us to do to be happy, but discover that the world’s recipes fail to satisfy our souls.

St. Francis of Assisi has some powerful advice, going so far as to say that sadness belongs to the devil. He relates his thoughts in a series of Conferences that are attributed to him.

It is only the devil and his followers who ought to be sad; we, on the contrary, should always rejoice in the Lord.

He then expands on his thoughts, suggesting two habits that will combat the devil’s sadness.

Always, my beloved Brethren, have a holy joy in God, both interior and exterior. If the servant of God endeavors to have and to keep spiritual joy, which springs from a pure heart, and is acquired by devout prayer, then the devils cannot harm him; they are forced to say: “Since this servant of God rejoices alike in tribulation and prosperity, we cannot find an entrance into his heart, and are unable to injure him.”

St. Francis believed that the devil would do all that he could to prevent us from having a holy joy.

Read more:
What is the spiritual meaning of the heart?

If we want to combat that sadness, we need to focus on prayer and purity of heart.

Therefore, my beloved Brethren, as this holy joy comes from cleanness of heart, and the purity of continual prayer, we must principally endeavor to acquire these two virtues, that thus we may have this joy both exterior and interior, which I desire so greatly, and love so much to see and feel, both for myself and you.

The devil and the world cannot provide this type of happiness. It is a joy that can endure any trial, for it is a joy that is found only in God.


Read more:
Pope says Blessed Carlo Acutis shows youth where to find happiness

Holy Spirit

Read more:
Why the key to happiness is spiritual peace

SaintsSpiritual Life

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.