It was once announced that the devil was going out of business and would offer all tools for sale to whoever would pay his price.
On the night of the sale they were all attractively displayed, a bad looking lot. Malice, Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Sensuality, and Deceit, and all the other implements of evil were spread out, each marked with its price.
Apart from the rest lay a harmless looking wedge-shaped tool, much worn and priced higher than any of them. Someone asked the devil what it was.
“That’s Discouragement,” was the reply.
“Why do you have it priced so high?”
“Because,” replied the devil, “it is more useful to me than any of the others. I can pry open and get inside a man’s conscience with that when I could not get near him with any of the others, and when once inside I can use him in whatever way suites me best. It is so much worn because I use it with nearly everybody, as very few people yet know it belongs to me.”
It hardly need be added that the devil’s price for Discouragement was so high that it was never sold. He still owns it and is still using it.
Sister Michaela Raphaela TOSF