Saturday, May 28, 2022

Saint Andrew the Fool's Vision of the Demons at Work During Divine Services

When the righteous man had given this advice, they stood up and entered the church. The reading began and Epiphanios sat down on one of the benches, while the blessed man sat down on the floor like one of the poor, his body covered by a cheap rag. When those present noticed him sitting on the floor they wondered, "What happened to this demoniac, since he has come in here?" And some said, "Perhaps for a moment he was relieved from the evil spirit that disturbs his mind." Others said, "He happened to pass by and went in to see as if it were an ordinary house, for how could he know that this is a church? May the Lord punish similarly the one who did this to him!"

The righteous man saw the demon of boredom staying there, trying with various tricks to push some worshippers out of the church and make them alien to the reward of the Lord, reminding them of worries and tasks before the dismissal, suggesting, "Leave and do your job! When work is waiting this is no sin."1 With these suggestions the devil, the hinderer of righteousness, persuaded many to leave before the dismissal, because they did not consider the word of the Saviour in the Gospels that says, "Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink or what you shall put on, but seek first the kingdom of God," and so forth. He also noticed that the demon of indifference and drowsiness busied himself there, putting those who sat listening to the Word of God to sleep during the reading. Observing the contrivance of the evil demon the righteous man be¬ came furious with him and said to himself, "You wholly evil and destructive demon, how dare you use the darkness of your futility to make us alien to the reading of the Divine Word by plunging us into the sleep of indifference! But you, Lord of the heavenly powers, pour out your wrath on them and strike them down!" As he said this a flame of fire came out of the sanctuary and burned them up. At once those who had been overwhelmed by sleepiness through the influence of the demons became alert again and listened to the reading.
From the Life of Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ.