S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Put us not into the test...

In this first Sunday of Advent, the Church presents to us the Gospel passage that speaks about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus, before formally beginning his public ministry, went to the desert to pray. And it was in the desert that Satan tempted Jesus.

This scripture passage speaks very well of our times. If we just open our eyes to the "world" that we belong to, temptation is everywhere. This prompted the late Pope Paul VI to say that "The greatest temptation in the world now is not to call sin, SIN." The experience of Jesus is very much our experience.

  • Turn this stone into bread. We are beset with a lot of temptations that has to do with the senses, with satisfying the senses. The world teaches us to indulge to give in to our unsatiable hungers -- the cravings of the stomach and the body's cravings for sexual pleasures.
  • Worship me and I will entrust to you the kingdoms of this world. We are lured by the world, in all its sense of materialism and secularism, that what really matters in life is power -- material, physical, economic, and social. And given our despicable situation of poverty, most of us give in to this temptation.
  • Drop yourself and allow God to save you. I guess that the greatest temptation that beset us is the tendency to leave to God everything and not doing our part. The false spirituality of entrusting to God everything while we wallow in hopelessness and despair. Unfortunately, many of our Catholic brethren fall into this trap of the devil.
The Church reminds us of these temptations and encourage us to go against them. That's why in this holy season of Lent, the Church has asked us to counter these temptations through three "gems:"
  1. Prayer -- to go against the temptations of the spirit
  2. Sacrifice to counter the temptations of the flesh
  3. Good Works -- to remind us that we should not only think of ourselves, but think of others as well
let us ask our Lord, that as we enter more deeply into this holy season, he may deliver us from all temptations... and live holy lives.


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