Margaret's life after her conversion was so much like that of an angel that it inevitably made the Devil jealous and angry. He launched a series of terrible attacks against the penitent. First of all he strove to turn her away from her penitential way of living. But being unable to succeed, he transformed himself into an angel of light in order to deceive her more easily. He therefore came to her as though he wanted to console her.
"Why do you treat yourself so cruelly?" he said to her. "Why kill yourself with unwise penances? Many others follow the same Rule as you, and they can give you an example of a real religious life. Are you not giving in to pride in wanting to surpass them and just do what you see them do, and be satisfied with being included among those who achieve salvation. With such mortifications as yours you destroy your body and thus you lose your soul."
But Margaret soon unmasked the Enemy.
"You wretch," she replied, "you would like to get me back under your domination! Tragic experience has shown me to what depths you lead your slaves. What good did I get out of obeying you? What have I from my past besides shame and sorrow? Go away, you scoundrel you will never make me give up the mortifications that Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, has prescribed for me. He is my support and my refuge. It is He Who delivered me from your influence and saved me from your snares."
Finding himself defeated, the Devil tried to terrify her with horrible visions. He began to dance before her, humming lewd songs into which he injected blasphemies, and urged her to repeat them after him.
Margaret became still more watchful and kept her soul unsoiled.
Then, one after another, he took on the appearance of a raging bull or a flamebreathing dragon that dug into the earth with its claws to show Margaret her place in Hell, while with a diabolical snorting it kept repeating: "You are damned! You are damned! You committed suicide!"
One night the dragon was whistling and thrashing around, and it threatened to drag her out of her cell by the hair. Margaret seized a firebrand to drive it awaybut what does Satan care about this world's fire? He did not budge. Then she called on the Holy Trinity and made the Sign of the Cross. The monster vanished as if it had been struck by lightning. But as it went, it squirted its venom into Margaret's face, and her eyes suffered from it for over an hour.
In order to sow confusion in her soul, the Devil then tried to persuade her that the favors which she believed she was receiving from God were nothing but the effects of his deceitful tricks. But the Lord Himself came to His servant's help by appearing to her and reassuring her:
"Know, My daughter," He said, "that the satanic inventor of all illusion who wishes to deceive you, nevertheless is not capable of speaking within your soul as do I Myself, the true Son of the Eternal God ... I have often replied to your thoughts in your heart. The enemy of souls, who seeks to deceive them, cannot detect such thoughts except by outer signs, and even these he can only guess at."
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