When it comes to poetry, I’m an absolute troglodyte, though a much quoted cliche might be applied in my case: “I don’t know much about art; but I know what I like.”

Was it Mark Twain who said that? Or the vaunted Anonymous? Anonymous is at it again, sending me this beautiful, and I think insightful, reflection on the interior life and spiritual battle.

It begins, incidentally, with a verse from scripture — 1 Peter 5:8-9 — which is prayed during Compline every Tuesday night.

Which hand?

The devil is prowling around like a roaring lion,
looking for someone to eat.
Stand up to him,
strong in faith.

The beast is clever; he knows our weaknesses
and he knows how to push our buttons.
But God is Wisdom; He knows our strengths
and He gives us the grace to overcome temptation.

The beast is full of hate; he wants to trap us
and leave us devoid of hope.
But God is love; He reaches out his Hand
and pulls us out of darkness.

The beast is sadness; he wants to drag us into the pit
and keep us away from light.
But God is joy; He wants our ultimate good
and our presence in His light.

The beast is cunning; he knows how to use us
– our weaknesses, our brokenness, our hopelessness –
to stray.
But God is infinite. He is Truth;
He knows how to use weaknesses for Good,
He uses our brokenness to show Beauty,
He uses our hopelessness to manifest Truth.

The only condition is that we cooperate with Him.

When God reaches out His hand, we decide whether we take it.
When God grants us His grace, we choose what we do with it.
When God gives us His own self, we can take it or we can leave it.

The devil puts out his hand;
So too does God.

To which hand will you hold?
The one that will push you into the pit
The One who will pull you out?