Resisting Temptation by Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey S.S., D.D.
Serious temptations to sin must be fought Promptly,
Energetically, Perseveringly, and Humbly.
Without parleying with the enemy, without any
hesitation. At the outset the temptation is repelled
easily enough, for it has not yet gained a foothold in
the soul; if we wait until it has gained entry, the
repulse will prove far more difficult. Hence, let there
be no debate. Let us associate the idea of illicit
pleasure with all that is repelling, with the serpent,
with a traitor that wishes to ensnare us. We effect this
flight by prayer and by turning our minds to something
Not indolently and with regret, this would be like
inviting the temptation to return, but with
determination and vigour, showing the horror in which
such a proposal is held: "Get behind me, Satan". There
are, however, different tactics to be employed,
according to the kind of temptations that assail us: If
it is question of those temptations to alluring
pleasures, we must turn away from them and take to
flight by concentrating our attention on any other
matter calculated to engage our faculties. Direct
resistance in such instances generally increases the
danger. If it be a question of temptations of aversion
towards duty, of antipathy, hatred, human respect, the
better course often lies in facing the difficulty
squarely and honestly, and in having recourse to the
principles of Christian faith in order to overcome it.
For at times after having been routed, temptation
returns with renewed obstinacy, and the devil brings
with him from the desert seven other spirits worse than
himself. Equal tenacity, and not less, must be matched
against this persistence of the enemies of our soul; he
that fights unto the end, overcomes. To be all the more
assured of victory we should make the temptation known
to our spiritual director.
Humility attracts grace, and grace gives us the victory.
The Devil who sinned by pride, flees before a sincere
act of humility; and the threefold concupiscence, that
holds its power from pride, is easily overcome when by
humility we have, so to speak, laid its head low.
Taken from The Spiritual Life.