On Angels and Demons

St. Gregory of Nyssa ca. 335-395

There is a certain opinion, having credence from its having been handed down from the Fathers, which says that when our nature fell into sin God did not leave us without protection in our misery. Rather, a certain angel from among those to whom is allotted an incorporeal nature, was appointed by Himto assist in the life of each man; but contrariwise, too, the corrupter of our nature, destructive of human life, fights against the same by the agency of a certain evil and malicious demon. Between these two, in the middle is man. The goal of each of these companion spirits is directiy opposed to that of the other, their goal being to prevail more effectively over the other. The good offers to man’s consideration the good prospects of virtue, which are viewed aright through hope; the other, material delights, in which there is not the hope of good things but things already present and possessed, visible things enslaving the senses of the very foolish. (The Life of Moses 2)

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