Dealing with Temptation

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What to do before, during and after temptation

Jesus said, "Untie him and let him go free!" Gospel of Saint John  11:44

Is this strong temptation against purity new with the invention of the internet?


The Devil would like for you to think temptations and sexual temptations are far worse today, so you can’t help but sin, but read any spiritual book of the past you and you see it addressed over and over.

Let’s look at some suggestions from a book from 1589 called Spiritual Combat.

This was the century of Shakespeare.

Sin has been around a long time and the remedies are the same!!!


Before time of temptation: Avoid all persons and occasions that would expose to sin.  Do not presume on your own strength despite the fact that after many years spent in the world you have remained firm against the force of concupiscence.  For lust often achieves in one instant what whole years could not effect.

Be cautions, run away, you are more susceptible to occasions of this sin than straw is to fire. Do not rely on your own strength or on some resolution you have taken to die rather than offend God. Despite your good intentions (once lust is enkindled) it is a flame that cannot be extinguished.

The (obsessive and compulsive) desire of satisfying your passions will make you deaf to the warning of your friends.  You will lose the fear of God, your reputation and even your life will be disregarded.  Not even the fear of the flames of Hell will be able to master the fury of the sensual fires enkindled in your heart.  Look for safety, then, in flight.  There is no other way to escape.  Too much confidence will end in eternal destruction.

Avoid idleness.  Determine what you have to do, and then fulfill exactly the duties of your position in life.  Plan your work, and work your plan.

During temptation: For exterior temptations through the eyes or ears, the real remedy is to run away from all such occasions of sin.

Interior temptations through thoughts or suggestions of the devil (who works through our imagination), often come from a pampered, undisciplined life.  Fasting, prayer, and close observance of our daily duties are required to ward off such temptations.

Prayer to Christ crucified is important: “Sweet Jesus, come to my rescue, that I may not fall a victim to my enemies.”

Or embrace or look upon a crucifix and pray, “O adorable, holy wounds!  Imprint your figure on my heart which is filled with evil, and preserve me from consenting to sin.”

After temptation:

Take the greatest care to avoid all objects that tend to temptation.

Exclude them completely from your mind, even if they seem to be virtuous or good.

These perversions are the illusions of a corrupt nature or traps laid by the devil, who would transform himself into an Angel of light in order to drag you down with him into the darkness of Hell itself.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;  thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;  and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Temptation: Before, During, After