`Father, why the devil is called the ruler of the world? Is he indeed?`
`That`s impossible, to have the world reigned by the devil.
When Christ said about the devil the ruler of this world, He didn`t mean that he reigns it, he reigns only the futility, the lie of the world. Woe betide us if God let the devil reign the world. But those who have their hearts attached to the vain, worldly things live under the influence of the ruler of this age. Meaning that the devil reigns over futility, over what belongs to the world. What means world? Doesn`t it mean adornment, vain adorning? Therefore whoever is dominated by futility is under the reign of the devil. The heart which is enslaved by the vain world keeps the soul weak and the mind darkened. Then even if someone sees himself as being a man, he is in reality a spiritual abortion`
My mind tells me that the great enemy of our soul, worse than the devil, is the worldly spirit, because it draws us sweetly and in the end it embitters us forever. While if we saw the devil in person we would be overwhelmed by fear and we would be forced to find our escape in God and in this way we would attain heaven. In our times the world is dominated by a worldly spirit and this will destroy it. The people put inside themselves the `world` and they took Christ out.
`Father, why don`t we understand how much harm the worldly spirit does to us and we are attracted to it?`
`Because the worldly spirit approaches us slowly as the hedgehog entered the den of the hare. At first the hedgehog asked the hare to let him keep his head inside his den so that he would not be touched by rain. Afterwards he put in his feet one by one and in the end he entered completely and with his spines he drew the hare out of his own home.
In the same way the worldly spirit cheats us with small concessions and it slowly makes us addicted to its influence. The evil advances slowly. If it came at once we would not be cheated. If you want for instance to scald a frog, you must pour hot water over it little by little. If you poured it all at once, it jumped and ran away. While if you poured first only a little on its back, will accept it. Then if you pour some more it will stay and it will slowly be scalded without being aware of it. Poor frog, after I poured some hot water over you, you should run away. But it doesn`t run, it swells and it swells and it gets scalded. The devil does the same. He scalds us slowly and in the end we see we got scalded without being aware of that.`
Pious Paisios the Athonite