28 Mar FIGHTING TEMPTATION
Temptation can be likened to a wind that blows where it wills. We cannot control its direction but we can adjust our sails. Sin works so hard to take the wind out of our sails and it will stop at nothing until it sees us defeated and submerged beneath the waves. Are we going to yield and let up or fight and get out? It is incumbent upon us as children of God to fight to get out. Jesus calls us fight temptation tenaciously and like onward soldiers gun for victory keeping in mind that
“the kingdom of God is something to be conquered and only the unyielding shall seize it (Matt.11:12).”
If we yield to temptation, then we fall into sin.
Sin is a dark cloud that hangs over our spiritual vision and makes it difficult for us to obey the Word of God and live in accordance with his Will. It is a virus that darkens our intellect making it difficult for us to see the wonders of God and appreciate his countless gifts of love. It is a worm that weakens our will making it difficult for us to resist the devil and overcome temptations. It is a venomous substance that poisons our relationships making us selfish, insensitive and immoral. It is a force that casts our emotions into chaotic confusion creating a conflict of interest and interior disorder that leaves us disoriented and confused. Like the destroyer, it leaves us wounded, broken, bitter, lonely and unhappy.
The imitation of Christ is the greatest weapon to fight temptation. In Jesus, we receive the grace, the wisdom, the power, the strength, the courage, and perseverance we need to overcome temptation and defeat sin. Jesus does not mill or mull around temptation. He confronts it headlong. He, as it were, fought if off in the desert (Matt.4). With utmost urgency, he rebukes and resists the devil: Be gone Satan (Matt.4:10). So, every time we overcome temptation we become more like Jesus.
There is no doubt that with temptation, it is easier to give in than to resist. Resisting temptation is difficult and painful but that’s the only way to gain victory and realize our purpose in life. We must therefore fight with all our might aided by grace. The key thought that keeps coming to me is this: If you want to successfully overcome temptation you must be willing to suffer by way self-denial and constant mortification; “the greater the suffering the purer the love (Maria Faustina).” If we support this effort with fasting and prayer, delay of gratification, constant mortification, avoidance of occasion of sin, spiritual vigilance, frequent confessions and the Eucharist, we gain victory and put hell’s army to flight.
The harder the battle the sweeter the victory! So, whoever you are, and wherever you are in your struggle with sin, Christ welcomes you. He never tires of forgiving us. It is we who grow weary of asking for forgiveness. Like the father of the prodigal son, he is always waiting for us to come back home. He holds a banquet and celebrates every person’s return. The night is dark and yet many of us are far from home. Home, comes calling and Jesus is the door to the Father, whose mercy is endless and his fountain of forgiveness inexhaustible. Now I beckon on you, to take a dive and be saved.