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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
temptations and trials the progress of a man is measured;
in them opportunity for merit and
virtue is made more manifest.
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.
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