Edited by Christian, Charmed, Innocent Yogo, Rose B and 6 others
Temptation is the desire that results in sins,it is a devil's bait for his trap. No one is safe in temptation, our first parents Adam and Eve failed to obey God and fall into temptation of the devil, even our Lord Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11) but Jesus said to him "Away from me Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only.'"(Matthew 4:10) Jesus Christ defeats Satan because He never bow down on the temptations offered to him by the devil, the prince of darkness left him because he knows Jesus will not worship him. Desires that corrupted our souls and measures our faith to do what is good and to avoid what is evil, an opportunity to show our love and loyalty to the Lord our God.
Temptation of Jesus Christ in the Desert
Saint Jose Maria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei said "To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond … You … what have you done?" Saint Jose Maria Escriva is challenging us to help ourselves in dealing with temptations we are still struggling to resist. Just imagine how Saint Francis of Assisi rolled his self in the snow, the thorn bush that lacerates Saint Benedict skin and freezing pond Saint Bernard plunged, it's like killing their selves just to overcome the temptation. They chose to be hurt than to hurt the Lord, and they know that it is more painful to fall in the fire of hell. How about us finite and weak what are our strategies to fight temptations? Satan will never stop at offering his sweet promises of lies and sins. Every time we are getting closer to God the stronger our struggle become, because the devil is so jealous and will do all his strategies to drag us to sin. He always attacks our weakest part and he knows how to take us down, Saint Francis, Saint Benedict and Saint Bernard was tested in keeping their purity. When temptation appears and the devil starts to work on his plan, opportunity also come for us to prove our loyalty and "Love" for our Lord. If you love someone you don't want to hurt him or her. Yes, obviously we hurt the Lord every time we failed to obey him and failed to fight temptations. We always defend ourselves by saying "I am just a human" yes it is true, but it doesn't mean not to brawl every devil's attempt.
St. Philip Neri said "Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer. When the Lord intends to bestow a particular virtue on us, He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice. Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation to grow in a particular virtue and a promise by God that you will be successful, if only you stand fast." Well guarded gates and thick concrete wall of defense must be built to repel the attack of the enemy. Fight like an army general that is always thirsty in victory, always ready for battle and will never surrender until his last breath.
The devil is working hard to control our thoughts and defy God's will. St. Angela Merici said "Remember that the Devil doesn't sleep, but seeks our ruin in a thousand ways," and it means we should never let our gates off guarded. Not only saints can resist temptations because even they struggle to keep their faith and to prove their Love to the Lord, we are all called to be saints and to be holy, and must respond to this calling. Armor ourselves with knowledge and affection to the Lord that will help us in winning our battle against temptations. A real soldier always aims a victory, they never mind their wounds and never get tired in swinging their sword and parrying themselves against the sword of the enemy. Their reflexes are sharp seeing all attacks of their opponents. In our own battle against the prince of darkness, we must turn ourselves into a real warrior fighting to cease our enemy not only with our own strength but tactics for a sure conquest.
Pray and Ask for Help
Prayer is powerful during the times of temptations, we gained strength and help through prayer. Pray our Lord's prayer commonly known as "Our Father". In Catholic catechism the Lord's Prayer has seven petitions, the sixth petition (And lead us not into temptation) want to teach us how to grow and use temptation to prove our affection and letting us know ourselves. The seventh petition (But deliver us from evil) reminds us not to be afraid because our Father will never leave us and never want to fall into temptation. Blessed Virgin Mary is a great source of help against temptations in purity, pray the holy rosary to cast the demons trying to pollute our thoughts of lust and impurity. Pray also to your guardian angel to protect you from all evil and all of its work. We alone can never resist if we only rely on our own strength, the more help you ask, a sure victory you will have. All we have to do is pray and ask for help.
Turn Your Thoughts Elsewhere
If you feel that temptation is knocking in your thoughts, do not entertain, that is the invitation of the devil. Immediately turn your thoughts into things that is opposite of pleasure or the prize of falling to the desire of sin, the fire of hell. My mentor shared me a great strategy in fighting temptation against purity, I just need to focus on our Lord's passion, how He carries the cross, His wounds and His crucifixion. Nails that pierce on His hands and feet, imagine the pain of our Lord who save us from sins and feel his eyes looking at you while on the cross. Now that you feel the pain, I am sure you defeat the enemy.
Keep Your Self Busy
"An idle mind is the devil's playground." Never let this happen, you just give opportunity to the devil and let your wall unguarded. Keep your mind busy, make yourself more productive because the devil never sleep waiting for this chance to offer his temptation. Negative thoughts and bad ideas are suggestions of satan every time he saw us idle. Things we can do to keep our mind busy during those moments is to pray and talk to God. Grab this opportunity to talk with God and say your prayers instead of playing negative things. Read passages of the Holy Bible and know more about Jesus rather than exploring impure thoughts.
Avoid Occasions of Sin
As long as you never detached yourself on the things that causes you to sin, you are still on a big trouble in dealing with temptations. It might be your phone that contains pornographic materials, websites you visits regularly to watch dirty videos, people you spend your time and places you hang out. In order to win a battle you must remove all heavy things that make you slow. Unload yourself and swing your sword until you cut down the head of the opponent. Detachment on the things that make you happy but causes you to defy our Lord's command is a big step in following our Lord Jesus Christ. Suffering and sacrifice for the sake of proving your loyalty, love and obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord is truly indestructible.
Every time we fall, failed to fight and commit sins and realized that we offend God, never lose hope, confession is waiting for us. We have our human weakness and imperfections, we commit sins but never think God hates you. He is waiting for you to confess the sin you have done and ask for His forgiveness, think the Love of our Lord, He is never tired of giving us chances to prove our Love. We often hurt Him but He always offers us forgiveness. When you commit sins against Him do you ask for forgiveness by saying confession to a priest, or you just let Him waiting for you to come? A priest will help you to overcome your struggle, you may also ask for spiritual direction to strengthen your faith and resist temptations that ruins our soul.
Temptation offers two things, to commit sin and to be faithful. God will not let you be tempted beyond your strength and incapacity, He also offers ways to strengthen our faith to escape temptation and win your battle. " No one can serve two masters," you need to defy temptation in order to obey God's will and every victorious fight is for His Glory.
God gives the Devil power against us in two modes: either for punishment when we sin, or for glory when we are tested.--St. Cyprian of Carthage
Evil temptations / bad temptations
Evil or bad temptations are those kinds of temptations that lead us to sin. A temptation by itself is not a sin, but how we act or do not act during a certain moment or event can be good or bad. The evil temptations are those temptations that will keep us away from God, either by doing things against His will or not obeying His will. Even Jesus was tempted three times by the devil, but he was able to resist the temptation because of his deep faith to the Father. In our daily lives, we are always tempted. Even in our own homes, schools or workplaces, we always encounter temptations of the devil. Our response to these temptations will measure how good and faithful we are as Christians. Some of these temptations are:
- 1Temptation of Material Things.There is a great difference between needs and wants.Sometimes we may be confused if these material things are our needs or just our wants. But in the end, we can evaluate that most of the things that we acquire are just our wants. Excessive desire to own several things is not good. We are tempted to get these things even if they cost a lot.Advertisement
- 2Temptation of Pride.As Christians, we are taught how to be humble in our daily dealings with our fellow men. Pride separates us from God. If we learn to humble ourselves, we will learn His ways and how to deal with other people.Advertisement
- 3Temptation to Be Self-Centered.Many times, we are tempted to just think about our own welfare, disregarding the condition of other people around us. Selfishness makes us distant with other people. If we just learn how to be sensitive with the needs of our fellow men, we will be truthful followers of God.
- 4Temptation to Be Lazy.We all need to take a rest after a day or a week of work. We deserve to regain our strength, but this should not be a passport to become lazy. Laziness is not doing what you have to do. Laziness at home, in school, or at work is not good as this affects the people around us. Given the fact that we all have our own responsibilities, not doing our part will reflect on our community. We should not resort to laziness when we have the strength to do what we are required to do.
- 5Temptation to Steal.This is related to the temptations of materialism and to be Self-centered. Our desire to have things that we cannot afford and our selfishness leads us to steal. Stealing is one of the temptations that we have to avoid. But stealing is not only restricted to material things but may also relate to ideas, thoughts and relationships.
- 6Temptation to Cheat or Lie.These two can be, and are often, related. Cheating or telling a lie can cause harm in the long run. It may make you feel good, or cover up what you did for a moment, but eventually, these things can be discovered and you will have to pay for them. Cheating in school can get you high grades now, but this will have an effect in the future when you have to take an exam to get you a job. Cheating at work can give you the position that you want but this will have an effect with how your co-workers will deal with you, especially if they knew what you did. Cheating on a relationship only brings about short-term happiness. It will lead to broken trust and loss of respect in the end.
- 7Temptation to Envy, Bitterness and Anger.These emotions are like cancer to our body. If we learn how to be humble and respect other people, we will not resort to these emotions. As followers of God, we may encounter these on our daily lives, but with the help of God, we will know how to manage these emotions. Being humble will erase our burdens of our negative feelings against other people. Constant prayer will enlighten us that these negative emotions can do us no good.
- 8Temptation to Gluttony and Sexual Lusts.Excessive desire of these will lead us to commit sin. We have to think of the welfare of other people before engaging to these acts.Advertisement
Tips Tricks & Warnings
- Always pray - Prayer is the most powerful weapon for a christian in resisting and overcoming temptations in life. If you pray, God will give you the strength to overcome for there is no temptation that is beyond our ability to overcome.
- Go to confession regularly - If you accidentally fall into sin, try to reconcile with God as soon as possible by confession your sins to Him and asking for forgiveness. God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness.
- Never entertain devil's temptations - The devil is always witty in his actions and if you are not careful, you may end up in his trap. So you should always be alert in every situation knowing that the devils exists.
- Have a spiritual mentor - This is someone is is mature in salvation and the word of God. He or she will be able to guide you and encourage you especially when you are being tempted.
- Never doubt the love of God - Always know that God loves you so much and He will not allow the devil to ruin your life completely. God allows you to go through temptation so that you can grow to become a mature christian. You will be able to develop perseverance,patience and faith.
- Have good friends - Some friends can lead you to sin due to peer pressure especially if they are not believers. It is therefore important that you choose your friends wisely.
Questions and Answers
Why are saints are able to resist temptation?
The Catholic Church proclaim saints through a religious procedure called canonization. This means that the Christian who was nominated for sainthood had devoted his life in the virtue of Christian living until he was recognized for the miracle he did. Some of the most well-known saints are Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, and Saint Francis of Assisi.
They were proclaimed saints because they have devoted their lives to bringing people closer to God. They have even reached the point of martyrdom to set a reflection of Jesus Christ in the lives of ordinary people. In this strict process of beatification, saints are able to resist temptation in one way or another by following the lifestyle and teachings of Jesus Christ. That is why Catholics seek intercessions from saints, because of their closeness or special relationship to God. They cleanse their spirits with God's power to resist their lives from sins. And saints knew that a sin is a distant force from man and God. In the religious records, saints were able to perform miracles which are evidence of a virtuous life or a life that is spotless from temptations or evil desires.
In a different perspective of sainthood, contemporary Christians view any ordinary Christian who follows the example of Jesus Christ as a saint through this verse in Revelations 14:12 Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus . The Bible honors any Christian as a saint who perseveres to keep his commandments. This includes the ability of an ordinary Christian to resist temptation through constant prayer and obeying the Word of God written in the Bible.
What situation was saint Bernard in to cause him to jump into freezing water?
Just want to know the story details of how Saint Bernard resisted temptation
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Categories : Christianity
Recent edits by: Florence I. Edim, Alma, Robbi