(CEV) “The Notebooks 1944”, p. 561
Jesus says: “Lucifer is very intelligent, in addition to being astute. He uses astuteness to lay snares, but uses intelligence to consider if and when and how he can cause Me affliction and ruin a creature. Believe, too, that he never wastes his time to no purpose.
Consequently, since, though he is omnipresent on earth, he has so much to do among the many men inhabiting the globe and, though man’s limited attention and scanty desire for good make Lucifer’s power truly great -nearly an omnipotence over creatures- he must, I tell you, calculate his time carefully and not waste an instant to work to his profit. His iniquitous profit, which consists of stuffing his infernal coffers with treasures stolen from God -souls.
He is truly a tireless worker. Above, the Tireless One works good for you. Below, the tireless one works evil for you. And in truth I tell you that he is more fortunate than God. His conquests are more numerous than mine.
But, as you can well understand from the introduction, in being astute, intelligent, and busy, he cannot afford to occupy himself with everyone to the same degree. And he does not. Oh, in his evil he is an ascetic regarding the idea he pursues, entirely devoted to it, and he does not get distracted or consent to compromises, weariness, or postponements! If only you, men, were in good what Satan is in evil! But you are not.
Lucifer, as a creature moves towards intelligence, pays very little attention to him at first, limiting himself to observing him and sizing him up as a probable future goat in his infernal flock. As a creature acquires the ability to will and to think -that is, beyond seven years of age- he increases his attention and begins his teaching.
The angelic ministry instructs and leads spirits with words of light. The Satanic ministry instructs and instigates spirits with words of darkness. It is a never-ending struggle. One will be the winner, and the other, the loser. The angel of light and the angel of darkness battle around a spirit until the final mortal hour, each trying to tear the prey away from the other, so that the former may hand it back to the Lord, in the light, after having kept it under protection throughout the earthly day and the latter can drag it off with him into darkness if his was the last victory.
Between the two who battle, however, there is a third one, who, at heart, is the most important personage. There is the man the two are battling over. Man, free to follow his will and endowed with intelligence and reason, furnished with the incalculable power of Grace, which Baptism has restored to him and the Sacraments maintain and increase.
Grace, as you know, is the union of the soul with God. It should thus give you so much strength as to make you impregnable and incorruptible in the face of Satan’s snares and corruption, for union with God ought to make you demigods. But to remain as such one must want to. One must say to Satan and to oneself, ‘I belong to God and want to belong only to God.’
Obedience to the precepts and counsels, then; a continuous effort to follow and pursue and conquer good, and an ever-greater good, then; absolute faithfulness and constant vigilance, then; and heroism to overcome oneself and the exterior in the seductions of threefold concupiscence and its multiple faces, then.
Few, very few, too few are able to do these things. And so? And so Satan pays little attention to these, so easy to capture whenever one wants and so slow to flee when they have been taken. He does as the cat does with the mouse, He takes them, throttles them a bit, stuns them, and then leaves them, limiting himself to giving them another clawing and another bite if they show signs of attempting a timid escape. Nothing more. He knows they are ‘his’ and doesn’t waste much time on them, or much intelligence.
But with ‘mine’! Oh, with mine it’s another story! They are the prey that most stimulates his livid hunger. They are the ‘impregnable.’ And Satan, an expert hunter, knows that it is meritorious to capture difficult game. They are God’s `joys.’ And Satan greatly celebrates when he can cause God pain and offense and disappointment.
He lives on hate. As God lives on love. He is Hate. As God is Love. Hate is his blood. As Love is mine. He then multiplies attention and supervision around one of ‘mine.’
To enter a dismantled fortress is child’s play. The cruel king of Hell does not want this. He wants God’s fortresses, the clean, smooth rocks, as clear as crystal, as resistant as steel, which, even in the deepest recesses -indeed, it is from the recesses that it flows forth, like liquid issuing from an interior to the exterior- bears the holiest Name, sculpted everywhere: God. The Name they love, serve, and pronounce, with their worshiping spirits, with every beat of their hearts. To take them, to take you, to tear you away from Me, to cancel that Name out of your threefold being as spirit, flesh, and reason, to make you, flowers in my garden, filth for his hell, and laugh, hurling his blaspheming laughter against the divine throne, to laugh at his victory over man and over God. This is Satan’s joy.
The more you are ‘mine’, the more he obstinately insists on making you his. And since there are assiduous vigilance and will in you, he, the Crafty One, does not follow and pursue you with the method used for the others. But he assaults you treacherously, at longer and longer distances, at the most unforeseeable times and for the most inconceivable reasons. He takes advantage of pain, need, abandonment, and disappointments and leaps like a panther on your amazed, grieved weakness of the moment, hoping to defeat you then to make up for all the times you have defeated him.
The means? Numberless. The method? One alone. That of a benevolent, lying sweetness, of a reasoned, placid word, and of an appearance of friendship which helps, which wants to be helpful. “Have you received assaults? And you still will, and many, and more and more clever. Oh, what acrimony towards Me and you! You will receive them increasingly, and they will be subtle enough to deceive even the shrewdest person. Shrewd in human terms. For smile, soul that I love for simplicity permeated with God and conserving itself as such is impenetrable for all subtlety.
He will wound your exterior. But the honor of the soldier is the scar marking the flesh and saying, “This sign is proof of a manly battle.” And the more a soldier’s flesh is scratched with these signs, the more the world bows to the valiant one.
In spiritual battles the same thing happens. And your wounds, which do not harm the spirit, but make only what is the sheath for the spirit-king livid, are your honor. And because of them you will be honored in Heaven. “In truth, I tell you that you apply the term ‘martyrs’ only to those who perished through the action of tyrants. But all of my saints are martyrs. Because to be saints they had to undergo persecution by Satan and remain faithful. Glory for those who overcome! The heavenly palms are for you.”
Maria Valtorta: The Notebooks