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The Anatomy of Temptation

This has long been saved in this blog, but was never published. Actually, I could no longer remember where exactly I got these insights but I'm almost sure that it was from a homily of a good priest. :)

I don't know, but maybe God led me to this again because the Season of Lent is an opportune time to really develop virtues. And this is what St. Leo the Great said about virtues:

Photo Credit: Tumblr.com

Speaking of virtue, I remember hearing this from one of Fr. Alex's homilies: there are two sins against the virtue of hope - presumption, believing that everything will work out fine even without you doing anything, and despair, thinking that no matter how hard you try, nothing will work out well.

Now here are the five truths about temptation, according to the priest who gave this homily:

1. Every temptation is not a sin. It only becomes a sin when you give in. Think of it as an invitation. Unless you accept, nothing happens. :)

2. You are tempted because you are good (or at least trying to be good). The enemy will no longer tempt you if he's already sure that you're his ally. So thank God if you're still tempted. :)

3. Every temptation is something that is beautiful, pleasurable, or desirable. The devil wears Prada. :)

4. The end of temptation is pain. Because temptations are just temporary gains that eventually lead to pain and guilt.

5. The truth is, we cannot overcome temptation alone. We need the grace and strength from God.

And here's a good way to overcome temptations (credits to Roy Lessin):

If the enemy tells you that God has not treated you well, proclaim instead, “No one has ever treated me more kindly.” Isaiah 54:10 

If the enemy tells you that your difficulties result from God forsaking you, proclaim instead, “A child of God is never forsaken.” Psalm 37:25 

If the enemy tells you that you must do something more to merit forgiveness, proclaim instead, “The blood of Jesus cleanses me from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

If the enemy tells you that your best days are behind you, proclaim instead, “Eye has yet to see the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

If the enemy tells you that you are a spiritual pauper, proclaim instead, “I dine daily at the King’s table.” Revelation 3:20

If the enemy tells you that you will never make it, proclaim instead, “Faithful is He to complete the good work that He has begun in me.” Philippians 1:6

If the enemy tells you to raise the flag of defeat, proclaim instead, “I will fly the banner of Jesus’ victory.”

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 

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