Envy of the Devil

Envy of the Devil

pope shenouda iii

In the Holy Mass, we say in the Prayer of Reconciliation “You destroyed the death which was introduced into the world by the envy of the devil.” 

We see that Satan envies every good and successful deed, because goodness and success are against his diabolic plan to resist the Kingdom of God on earth… either in relation to individuals or groups. 

The devil always labours to fight the children of God but his labour is in vain. 

When he finds out that he toiled in vain with no result, his hatred and envy to the children of God increases. His wars become more fierce, and after being waged in secret, they turn out openly and without shame pressing on the children of God without mercy. But God does not allow this “For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous.” (Ps. 125:3). 

Therefore, in every good deed expect the envy of the devils but do not fear them. 

At the ordination of a new monk, a chapter from the Book of Joshua Son of Sirach is recited which says, “Son, if you engage in the service of your God, prepare yourself for all trials. 

We find the same meaning in the words of St. Evagrius to the devoted monk [upon you start the holy prayer, be prepared for whatever comes upon you]. He means be ready for the wars of the devil which he will wage on you because of your holy worship. 

How poor is the devil who spends his life in envy, hatred and fighting!! 

His envy does not harm the children of God, but in fact it harms him and increases his eternal:punishment. Also, such envy causes him more grief, sadness, distress and trouble… Any harm the devil tries to impose on the children of God is external, unreal and does not affect their eternity for God rapidly saves them from it. 

Satan might fight God’s children directly as it happened with the righteous Job, and he might fight them through his human assistants. 

In both ways his envy will end in vain because the grace of God intervenes and stops his evil deeds. The Lord God arises and His enemies are dispersed and all those who hate His holy name flee before His face! 

Even though Satan succeeds in the beginning, he will surely fail at last… 

When Satan envied Job the righteous, it seemed that he succeeded in his plan and triumphed over Job: destroyed his house, killed all his children, struck him with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head and made his friends reproach and disgrace him… But the whole matter ended to the contrary; the Lord restored Job’s losses and gave him twice as much as he had before… 

Satan is tormented by his own envy before the children of God strike him.