The Devil and Saint Dominic
|St Dominic and the Devil by Pietro della Vecchia|
DDon't you just love legends? I mean stories. St. Dominic stories abound. Of course they would. Since Dominic hardly left any writings, or poems, or music--just his life. What we know about him has been passed down like the children's game of telephone. But part of it is true. Let's look at one of my favorite stories about St. Dominic.
It is said that Dominic battled the devil often. Sometimes, the devil would disguise himself, i.e., as an animal, a woman or a man. One time the devil disguised himself as a monkey. He was trying to distract Dominic from scripture reading. St. Dominic wasn't afraid of the devil's nonsense. Dominic grabbed him and ordered him, in the name of Christ, to hold a candle so he could continue to read.
Then Dominic continued his studies. When the candle burned down to a stub, and was burning the monkey's hands, St. Dominic dismissed him.
So what's true?
Well, the fact that we're often distracted in prayer, or study, or anything to do with God -- the devil hates that. When that happens we need to continue and refocus. And we have nothing to fear. Banish that devil and his monkey business.
This story is a parable teaching perseverance. Don't you just love legends?