Chapters have been written and graphic pictures painted about all sorts of temptations that plagued the hermit St Antony while he lived deep in the Libyan desert. The story goes that Satan himself one day went out to check on the progress of his impish students, who were using their entire repertoire of temptations on the saint with very little success. So he huddled them together and explained how they were doing everything wrong, and that he would give them an unforgettable lesson. So Satan decked himself out as a monk, with cowl and all. He approached Antony with a deep bow and with his arms across his heart like a standard archangel, he whispered into Antony’s ear, “Rejoice, my brother, I bring you good news. Your brother, whom you have left behind in the big bad city, a simple monk like you, has just been named patriarch of Alexandria.” On hearing that, immediately a dark frown crept over the usually sunny face of the hermit. For a split second, envy and jealousy almost curled his lips. The first ever reported was sin was the result of jealousy.
The devil was jealous of the privileged position of Adam and Eve. So too the first ever reported murder was due to jealousy – Cain was jealous of his younger brother, Abel. As clearly seen from the story of St. Antony of the Desert, “Jealousy can lead the holiest people into temptation. It is the trump card in the hands of the devil.” It is so deadly, yet it looks so innocuous.