How to Defeat Temption?
We are so involved with the things of the world, so attached by disorderly bonds of our human nature that resignation and mortification are necessary to purify our love. But how to go about it? Check these five tips from Father Nicolás.
by Father Nicolás Schwizer | Source:
How to Defeat Temption?
We are so involved with the things of the world, so attached by disorderly bonds of our human nature that resignation and mortification are necessary to purify our love. Check these five tips from Father Nicolás.
We may have decided to sin no more, but at the same time, we are often inclined to go to the ultimate limit of what is permissible.
This way, we overlook, either consciously or unconsciously, the attraction of dangerous stimuli.
When human desire pursues something, it is difficult to stop it right at the point where sin begins.
Whoever plays with fire will sooner or later get burned.
We are so involved with the things of the world, so attached by disorderly bonds of our human nature that resignation and mortification are necessary to purify our love.
Everything in our lives must belong to God.
The task of our self-education
God in his teaching adapts to our situation and in the beginning satisfies the feelings in order to attract us and to attach us to himself.
Later, the Lord does not satisfy our feelings in order to purify them and free them from their whims and attachments to the “self.”
Then God sends us emotional dryness, and allows temptations and other difficulties which help us to domain our emotions.
Five Tips to Defeat Temptation:
Prevention Avoid the occasions, for example, magazines, discussions, encounters, etc.
Practice Self-Control Going against your desires as often as possible. Mortification will help you grow in fortitude. So, for instance, give up something like a nap, food, cigarette, or TV. This will strengthen your will and help you to maintain your spirit ready to do battle. Here the education of the subconscious plays an important part. Purify will and also make sure to nourish your will adequately through images, songs (hymns), books, conversations, experiences, Church fellowship, etc.
Cultivate Inner Peace Especially in regards to sexual temptations. As Blessed Mother Teresa said “keep your chastity chase”. There are persons who in their youth led a disorderly life. As a consequence, their subconscious was left marked in such a way that they lack peace and inner freedom when facing everything sexual. This makes them very fragile and vulnerable when facing temptations in this area. If you struggle with this in addition to preventing situations of sin, and practicing self-control, you must also pray for this particular problem, as often as possible, at least daily.
Prudence Be prudent when in contact with persons of the opposite sex. Additionally, be aware that compassion can be dangerous in maintaining purity since as an inner attitude it can be demonstrated by bodily contact. Therefore, follow this principle: always maintain yourself interiorly serene or natural, and exteriorly intact (whole), untouched, according to your state of life.
Flee from the Danger Flee from dangerous persons and dangerous situations. Strive to discern which are the more favorable opportunities for falling into sin. Keep in mind your weak points and be special alert in regards to them. Perhaps we might have to avoid certain magazines, movies or conversations. I am told that even in church group meetings, jokes and conversations with double-meaning come up; I do not think they would be very suitable for our spirit of purity.
On the other hand, we also know there are persons who try to provoke us. We are also aware when we are facing a person who wants to seduce us. In all of these circumstances, do as Joseph did on the Old Testament: FLEE. This flee is not motivated by fear, but rather motivated by love: love for God, love for the spouse. For the follower of Christ situations of temptation are to be avoided at all costs, but when they happen they are to be occasions to demonstrate our magnanimous love for God and also for our spouse.
When a soul advances on the way to sanctity, God then usually gives the devil the power to tempt that person. The meaning of these and of other temptations is to make us smaller and more humble and to acknowledge our frailty before God. So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48).
Questions for Meditation
1. What types of magazines, websites or movies do I see?
2. How do I deal with the opposite sex?
3. Am I a prudent person?
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*These reflections were based on the teachings of Father Joseph Kentenich.
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