“Humility Destroys the Devil” from “With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man” by St. Paisios of Mt. Athos (1924-1994)
Humility has great power and destroys the devil. It is the strongest shock that we can give him. Where there is humility, there is no room for the devil. And where there is no devil, there are, of course, no temptations. Once an ascetic pressed a devil to recite: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. The devil said, Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, but he would not say, “Have mercy on us.” The ascetic insisted, “Say, ‘have mercy on us’.” But to no avail! Had the devil complied, he would have become an angel again. The devil will say anything except have mercy on me, because this requires humility. In every have mercy on me there is humility and the soul that utters these words receives what she is seeking: God’s great mercy.
No matter what we do, we need humility, love and nobility. It is very simple to acquire these things, but we make it complicated and difficult. Every chance we get, we should do what is difficult for the devil and easy for human beings. Love and humility are hard for the devil and easy for us. Even a sickly person who cannot become an ascetic can defeat the devil with humility. In just one second, we can turn into an angel or a devil. How? We can choose pride or we can choose humility. Do you think that it took hours for Lucifer to turn from an angel into a devil? It all happened in seconds! The easiest way for us to be saved is through love and humility. That is why we must start with love and humility, and then go to the rest.
Pray that we may always give joy to Christ and distress to the devil, since the devil likes hell so much that he does not want to repent.