Last week, we saw Jesus going into the desert to be tempted by Satan. We, too, are not immune from temptation as we all know. Recently Pope Francis offered some insights worth repeating. He said that temptations stem from our passions and the interior wounds we carry from original sin. He said, “It is curious, temptations have 3 characteristics — it grows, it infects, and it justifies itself. It grows: it begins with tranquility and grows. Jesus himself said this when he spoke about the wheat and the tares (weeds). The wheat grows, but also the tares that were sowed by the enemy. And temptation grows; it grows, it grows… And if somebody doesn’t stop it, it will surround everything.”
“And so when we are in temptation, we do not hear the Word of God. We do not understand it. Temptation closes us in, it cuts every capability of foresight, it closes off every horizon, and brings us to sin.”
“When we are in temptation, only the Word of God, the word of Jesus, saves us. To listen to that Word that opens up for us that horizon. He is always to teach us to flee from temptation. And Jesus is great because he not only makes us flee from temptation, but gives us more confidence.”
And while the devil tries to close us in and enslave us in sin, Christ comes to free us from that prison with his Word. As we continue our Lenten observances and draw closer to the Word (Jesus), may we experience the liberating joy God offers us.
- Fr. Carl