Resisting Temptation Brings Us Closer to God

Resisting Temptation Brings Us Closer to God

One who’s topic to temptations and but desirous of being saved attaches himself extra carefully to God and is happy to better vigilance over himself — two nice technique of advancing quickly within the path of sanctity.

He sees in his coronary heart various enemies; he is aware of his personal weak point; and though he feels that with strange grace he has ample decision to beat some, but towards others to which he’s extra violently drawn and in sure events of better peril, he’s satisfied from his personal weak point, from a sorrowful expertise, and from a data of the rules of his faith, that with out particular graces, he won’t have the braveness to withstand efficiently.

Knowing these items and alarmed on the unequal wrestle, what’s he to do? He should search assist highly effective sufficient to maintain him towards his enemies and notably towards these whom he most fears. Faith teaches him that this help is to be discovered solely in God, and that to acquire it he has solely to implore it fervently and perseveringly. To Him then does he flip with whole confidence.

At the primary motion of the temptation, he says with the psalmist, “I’ve lifted up my eyes to the mountains from whence assist shall come to me” (Ps. 120:1 [RSV = Ps. 121:1]); he solicits it by his prayers; he attracts it by his wishes; all of the aspirations of his coronary heart are eloquent to acquire it. The extra the temptation presses him, the extra he attaches himself to God. He is sort of a baby strolling alongside the sting of fearful precipices or surrounded by ferocious beasts of prey. He clings to his Father for cover each time the trail grows slippery and harmful or when the fierce growl or the fiery eye warns him of mortal peril.

Under the safety of God, just like the royal prophet, he ceases to concern enemies who’re powerless towards a powerful religion pointing to everlasting happiness and a agency hope that good points these particular graces promised to implicit confidence. He not regards the enemy whom he had thought well-nigh invincible; he despises him or assaults him with confidence, and in such tendencies he meets with a straightforward victory. This grace, continuously renewed, teaches him all of the extra the extent of God’s goodness and mercy in his regard, and in return his love grows fervent and robust.

Temptations then, correctly understood and met in accordance with the spirit of faith, connect us extra carefully to God by the nice virtues of religion, hope, and charity, to the frequent train of which they oblige us.

On the opposite hand, the conviction of our weak point inevitably excites us to better vigilance. A weak man is a timid man — timid in proportion to his weak point. That weak point makes him very cautious to not make to himself enemies and to keep away from the anger of these whom he has already made. He is attentive to his personal conduct and weighs each phrase. Doubtful of his personal power, he seeks to assault nobody.

This conduct is however a determine of the precaution {that a} Christian ought to take. He avoids with care no matter might excite the temptations to which he’s topic, no matter might give rise to new and untried risks. He is aware of who it’s that claims, “He that loveth hazard shall perish in it” (Ecclus. 3:27 [RSV = Sir. 3:27]). In the concern of being left to his personal weak point by rendering himself, via presumption, unworthy of the help of heaven, he’s all consideration to what passes in his thoughts and coronary heart, lest some new enemy ought to creep in, or lest these already there hid, profiting from his negligence, ought to take him unexpectedly, acquire him with the poisoned sweetness of ardour, and drive him to the precipice.

Vigilance is the extra vital, as a result of the temptation is just not unfrequently disguised. It makes use of methods; it alleges false pretexts; it takes upon itself the looks of advantage in order to attract the soul quietly to the deadly entice. Passion usually conceals itself, lest it ought to be acknowledged. It will insinuate itself insensibly into the guts and disguise itself in order to enter unperceived. He who’s inattentive to its method offers it time to fortify itself or fails to erect a barrier robust sufficient to withstand its assault.

On the opposite, he who’s exercised within the religious warfare and conscious of the hazard of latest temptations or of giving the slightest approach to the previous, is all the time on the alert to detect the slightest motion of his coronary heart. He examines the character of his emotions and no sooner does he understand the enemy than he challenges him and stands to his personal protection.

And this vigilance is an assured bulwark towards temptations, whether or not from with out or from inside. With it there may be no shock, and the enemy finds the garrison ready in any respect factors.

In time of peace and calm, precaution is thought to be superfluous. But in time of battle or within the midst of the tempest, we have to be vigilant to flee shipwreck or defeat. And so it’s that frequency of temptation begets vigilance, and vigilance causes a stricter union with God, and from this union springs docility to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and docility leads us within the path of perfection.

Editor’s notice: This article is from a chapter in Temptations: Where they Come From, What They Mean, and How to Defeat Them, out there from Sophia Institute Press.



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