TEMPTATIONS COME TO ALL:
The devil is never asleep, nor is your flesh dead yet. This means that you must always be on guard for a battle, since on every side you have enemies who are never at rest.
Your old enemy is opposed to everything that is good. He is never tired of tempting people to sin. Day and night he lays snares, with the hope that some unsuspecting soul may fall into his trap.
Be on your guard against temptations. Pray often for the grace to overcome them.
No man is entirely safe from temptations here on earth. You have within you the source of temptation, since you were born with concupiscence.
Concupiscence of the body is the blind tendency of your feelings and animal appetites to seek satisfaction, regardless of intelligence and reason.
Concupiscence of the soul consists in an unreasoning and unreasonable self-favoring, without considering what is true or what is right.
When one temptation or trouble is over, along comes another. While you are on this earth you will always have something to suffer, because man has lost the original happiness which I had planned to give him even in this world.
Every man gets his share of temptations. How he deals with them shows what he really is. If he tries his best to lessen the occasions for temptation in his daily life, he is a wise man.
The fool takes chances with temptations and falls into sin. Man’s greatest enemy is his spontaneous, unreasoning self.
The devil’s greatest ally against my true welfare, is this foolish self within me. He appeals to it by promising or offering what looks good.
If I know God’s way of thinking, I shall recognize Satan’s bait, and with God’s help, I shall control my unreasoning desires and foolish self-favoring.
My loving Father and all-wise God, I long to reflect Your holy honesty by recognizing myself for what I really am. Let me not be blind to my weaknesses and faults. I do not want to favor myself except in the highest way-that is, I want to win eternal life for myself by following Your holy commands in my daily life. I wish to avoid or contradict whatever endangers my eternal salvation.
In fact, I desire to practice self-control and selfmortification so as to gain a greater command over my blind passions and unreasonable selffavoring. Only with such control, can I hope to overcome the many temptations, big or small, which daily come to me. Amen.
– Fr. Anthony J. Paone SJ
MY DAILY BREAD (1954)