Beads of Joy 05-06-10
Are We Seriously Determined?
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Recognize Temptation 4/5
We can be tempted alone, just from a lack of determination to avoid or resist the temptation that we are faced with. Before we even move forward here, let's be completely be honest with ourselves, you don't have to tell the world; but there are certain temptations that many of us like, and many of us even embrace. So to be determined to stop it or avoid the possible sin that may follow, we instead keep our defenses down to allow it. I believe that's just honest truth there, why make like we are holy and pious, when we know in our hearts that we really like that certain temptation. If we seriously desire to and we are determined to avoid a certain temptation; well then we need to go to Jesus for strength. Are we praying enough? Do we stand before Him in silence enough asking for the grace of God to overcome a certain temptation? How frequent do we instead turn to the world for help? Only to find that the world can not help us. The world is way too preoccupied with itself; Jesus is the only way we can defeat these temptations, if indeed we are seriously be determined to defeat them. Are we seriously determined to defeat these temptations?
If we are not determined what could happen? Soon we find out after looking everywhere, except towards Jesus, that we can not defeat this temptation whenever it comes our way, instead we give into it so willingly. The only perfect way to be determined to defeat these temptations, is through Jesus. Nothing else we do can help us. Reality Check: Let's admit it, some of these temptations are old habits of sin that just keep coming back into our lives. Have you ever confessed the same sin over and over and over; you almost feel like you can't defeat it. I've been there, it's like trying to stop smoking. Though I don't smoke, but I hear from smokers that to stop smoking it takes a great deal of determination and a solid commitment to stop, and for some it may take years. And some have even told me falling back is common, what a parallel. And if you don't stay focus on defeating the temptation, you will keep sliding back. However do we defeat these temptations then? How can we break this routine we have created? Through faith and confidence and a serious whole-hearted approach, we can defeat this. Are we seriously determined to defeat these temptations?
How does all of this take place in our lives? It can be so subtle, we so need to be attentive to these things. It usually just gets started with a simple thought that just slips into our minds. And then we imagine things about that thought; then we further embrace it and we gain a certain delight for it, a pleasure of sorts. We usually even think of the evil around that thought and the sin we know for certain it will lead us to. And so then in the end we consent to the very fact that we going to do it anyway. That is SIN indeed. This is satan's way of gaining as much of our heart, soul and love as possible from Jesus. But heed this thought about allowing even the slightest of temptations to become acceptable in your life. Soon that evil sin in our lives that we once looked upon as offensive to God and was unacceptable becomes acceptable. These are sins we'd normally confess and that we were normally ashamed of, but it no longer seems that bad anymore to us. To me that is dangerous. Are we seriously determined to defeat these temptations?
The only chance we have in dealing with this is keeping our eyes focused on Jesus. Let us take a moment and reflect on the Catechism and see what it says about temptation."God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one"; on the contrary, he wants to set us free from evil. We ask him not to allow us to take the way that leads to sin. We are engaged in the battle "between flesh and spirit"; this petition implores the Spirit of discernment and strength." CCC#2846 And this part of the Catechism refers you back to this scripture, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41. The Catechism covers the explanation of "lead us not into temptation" in the Our Father prayer in it's explaination of temptation. Final Catechism to reflect, "Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate struggle of his agony. In this petition to our heavenly Father, Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to vigilance of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is "custody of the heart," and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: "Keep them in your name."The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to keep watch. Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic meaning in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for final perseverance. "Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake." CCC#2849
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO