"Who will give the world light? Sacrifice in the past has been the Law, it will be, alas, for ages to come. The earth's bravest and best will have to sacrifice themselves for the good of many, for the welfare of all." - Swami Vivekananda
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VEDANTA MASS MEDIA The Imitation of Christ | Resisting Temptation  

 

 

         

 

 


                   

     The Thirteenth Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

     SO LONG as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation. Whence it is written

in Job: "The life of man upon earth is a warfare."  (4) Everyone, therefore, must guard against temptation

and must watch in prayer lest the devil, who never sleeps but goes about seeking whom he may

devour, find occasion to deceive him. No one is so perfect or so holy but he is sometimes tempted;

man cannot be altogether free from temptation.

 

     Yet temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is

humbled, purified, and instructed. The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to

profit by them, while those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away. There is no state

so holy, no place so secret that temptations and trials will not come. Man is never safe from them

as long as he lives, for they come from within us - in sin we were born. When one temptation or

trial passes, another comes; we shall always have something to suffer because we have lost the

state of original blessedness.

 

     Many people try to escape temptations, only to fall more deeply. We cannot conquer simply

by fleeing, but by patience and true humility we become stronger than all our enemies. The man

who only shuns temptations outwardly and does not uproot them will make little progress; indeed

they will quickly return, more violent than before.

 

     Little by little, in patience and long-suffering you will overcome them, by the help of God rather

than by severity and your own rash ways. Often take counsel when tempted; and do not be harsh

with others who are tempted, but console them as you yourself would wish to be consoled.

 

     The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and little trust in God, for as a rudderless

ship is driven hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted in many ways.

Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just. Often we do not know what we can stand, but

temptation shows us what we are.

 

     Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is

more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when

he knocks.

 

     Someone has said very aptly: ?Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long

delay the evil has gained strength.? First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination,

followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning,

Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become

each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.

 

     Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others toward the end, while

some are troubled almost constantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted but lightly

according to the wisdom and justice of Divine Providence Who weighs the status and merit of each

and prepares all for the salvation of His elect.

 

     We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently

that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue with temptation

that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and

temptation for He will save and exalt the humble in spirit.

 

     In temptations and trials the progress of a man is measured; in them opportunity for merit and

virtue is made more manifest.

 

     When a man is not troubled it is not hard for him to be fervent and devout, but if he bears up

patiently in time of adversity, there is hope for great progress.

 

     Some, guarded against great temptations, are frequently overcome by small ones in order that,

humbled by their weakness in small trials, they may not presume on their own strength in great

ones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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