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."
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
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
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.
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
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 ones.