True humility, therefore, is not saying we're worthless slugs capable of nothing, or displaying false modesty when we do something with the talents God has given us. It's realizing that any good we're capable of accomplishing is all due to God's grace, and our cooperation with it. And it's with true humility that we're best prepared for the spiritual combat against Satan and his minions. I believe it was Fr Corapi who said that humility is the atomic bomb in the war against the devil.
Now combine those words of Scupoli with these from The Imitation of Christ (Book III, Chapter 30): "'As My father hath loved Me I also have loved you,' said I to My beloved disciples (John 15:9), whom certainly I did not send to temporal joys, but to great conflicts; not to honors, but to contempt; not to idleness, but to labors; not to rest, but to 'bring forth much fruit in patience.' (Lk 8:15) Remember these words, O my son."
So - it's humility combined with conflicts, contempt, labor. Ready to sign up? It's what the saints did, and if we're to be saints too, then we have to make the commitment.
And it truly is all or nothing. Here's one of my favorite parts from The Spiritual Combat: "The first thing to do when you awake is to open the windows of your soul. Consider yourself as on the field of battle, facing the enemy and bound by the iron-clad law - either fight or die." (from Chapter 16). 100% commitment.
Earlier today I read a great post at Abbey Roads 2: Losing Friends and Influencing People. The post talks about what it means to live a Christian life, about how 100% commitment is required. It means the loss of some friendships (and even the estrangement of family members). But it also means that others will be influenced by how we conduct ourselves, and most of that will happen without our ever knowing it. The post touches on the subject of spiritual combat as well, and he refers to Dr Peter Kreeft's book from 2002 "How To Win The Culture War". Here's a passage from his book that says it much better than my post-long ramblings:
"To win any war, the three most necessary things to know are: (1) that you are at war, (2) who your enemy is, and (3) what weapons or strategies can defeat him.
"You cannot win a war (1) if you simply sew peace banners on a battlefield, (2) if you fight civil wars against your allies, or (3) if you use the wrong weapons..."
"... 2. Our Enemy - Who is our enemy?
"There are two answers....the first answer is almost never mentioned today....Our enemies are demons. Fallen angels. Evil spirits....The second is even more terrifying than the first. There is one nightmare even more terrible than being chased and caught and tortured by the Devil. That is the nightmare of becoming a devil. The horror outside your soul is terrible enough; how can you bear to face the horror inside your soul?
"What is the horror inside your soul? Sin. All sin is the Devil’s work, though he usually uses the flesh and the world as his instruments. Sin means inviting the Devil in. And we do it. That’s the only reason why he can do his awful work; God won’t let him do it without our free consent. And that’s why the Church is weak and the world is dying: because we are not saints."
I may have found a fifth book.