Act of Contrition
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Angelus & Regina Caeli

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Litany of Humility

Litany of St Joseph

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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Novena Prayer to St Philomena

Prayer for the Conversion of Australia
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Prayers & Litany to
the Holy Ghost &
Veni Creator
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Thoughts for the Week


Septuagesima Sunday

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
12th February 2017

Temptation and the Desire to Conquer

by Cardinal Henry Manning

Every one of us singly stands between two spirits - there is the Spirit of God on the one side, there is the spirit of Satan on the other; and the human spirit, that is, the soul with its intelligence, heart, and will, stands between. These two spirits, of God and of Satan, are in perpetual conflict round about us and for us - the spirit of Satan striving to pervert, to delude, and to cast us down; the Spirit of God perpetually guiding, strengthening, and upholding us. The thoughts of Satan are infused into us, and also the lights of the Holy Ghost - and sometimes we do not know the one from the other. We sometimes mistake the false lights of Satan for the lights of truth. We sometimes fancy that the lights of truth which come to us, are only temptations. Sometimes we imagine our own human thoughts to be the thoughts and the lights of God; and so we deceive ourselves. We are in this constant state of temptation, which is common to all men. However much you may be tempted, whether it be to deadly (mortal) sins or to lighter (venial sins), it matters not - those temptations will never be imputed to you as sins unless you willingly consent to them. This is the way of escape which is always open, the sure and certain issue by which every soul may pass, even out of a furnace heated sevenfold. You remember, some time ago we laid down as the essential condition of sin, that it is an evil act contrary to the will of God, with knowledge of the intellect, with the consent of the will, and with the consciousness of what we are doing. Now that one rule will precisely distinguish between sins and temptations.

The Prophet says: "Death climbs up by the windows" (Jer. 9:21); which spiritual writers interpret of sin finding its entrance through the senses - through the open eyes, the open ears - which are like the windows of the soul standing wide. Satan has no power at all to enter into the soul against our will. These "fiery darts" are the temptations which enter through the senses, fall upon the passions, and kindling them, disorder the affections, and through them affect the will; but if the will does not consent, the presence of any amount of temptation may be mere suffering, and however intense, it will not be sin.  So that the way to distinguish between what is temptation and what is sin is to ask yourselves: Do you welcome it? Do you open the door? Do you throw up the window? Do you invite it to come in and dwell? Or do you say: "The Lord rebuke thee - get thee behind me, Satan"? How do you receive these temptations? Another certain test whether it is temptation or sin is this: Does the presence of the temptation give you pleasure, or pain? Do you feel rather gratified by being stirred up to a sense of resentment, or does it give you pain that you have lost your calmness? If you have pleasure in it, then most assuredly you have been consenting; if it gives you pain, then as certainly it is contrary to your will.  Prayer, piety, watchfulness, self-denial, and purity of heart - these five things will keep your will firm, and if your will be firm, it will expel every temptation that enters by the senses, or by the passions, or by the affections, as the flame of a furnace which consumes everything that approaches to its mouth. It will expel and cast out of you all things contrary to your sanctification.