The three pits of Satan

According to St John Climacus, Satan and his demon-minions attempt to set three pits for us, to make us fall one way or another. Satan and his minions (1) strongly attempt “to prevent good from being done.” If this fails, then (2) they attempt to ensure that things are not done “according to the Will of God.” If this also fails, then (3) they “draw near and attempt to praise us for living a thoroughly godly life . . . [attempting to] bring us down through pride.”

When Satan and his demon-minions manage to make us fall, they then employ different tactics. They attempt to convince us, by any means possible, that the sin/s should remain unconfessed, with a favorite tactic of theirs – which many fall for – being rationalization. Given their preternatural intelligence, Satan and his demons are experts at persuading people to rationalize their sins. Meanwhile, according to John Climacus, “nothing gives the demons and thoughts such power over us as nourishing and hiding them in our heart unconfessed.”


Met. Hierotheos, 2010, The science of spiritual medicine. Levadia, Greece: Birth of the Theotokos Monastery.