Skip to comments.Unresisted Temptation can Destroy you, as seen on T.V. !
Posted on 03/29/2014 2:25:45 AM PDT by markomalley
The fight against temptation is a key Lenten theme and, of course, one that extends to each day of our life if we are going to be serious followers of the Lord.
There is something rather mysterious about temptation. We are often strangely drawn to things that harm us, and even knowing this, we still feel the attraction. Deep within, we hear the warnings of conscience, but still we move toward sin and to many things that we know are both wrong and dangerous. How strange we are!
Theologians have used the word concupiscence to describe our inordinate attractions or desires, and it is the surest evidence that something is deeply and desperately wrong with us. It describes a condition wherein our cupio (our desires) are off the charts, over the top, and just plain unruly. So easily do our passions want to simply overrule the most basic common sense and draw us into utter foolishness and self-destruction.
Back in the late 1980s, it became fashionable in some circles to deny Original Sin and dismiss it as a mere myth. Once when a radicalized nun told me that she did not believe in original sin, I responded, Are you kidding?! Of all the teachings of the Church, there is perhaps none with so much daily evidence as to its veracity. I instructed the good sister to go and buy a newspaper and, after having read its daily recitation of violence, corruption, confusion, disorder, war, and greed (and thats just page one), to explain to me what on earth is so desperately wrong with us. If it isnt Original Sin, Sister, what the devil is it?!
Yes, we seem to have a screw loose. Call it what you will: concupiscence, our fallen nature, the flesh; yes, call it what you will, but dont call it non-existent. It is something to be quite sober about. Our desires are out of whack and need daily discipline. Otherwise, the devil can get us with many different lures.
The Catechism advises:
Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis [the practice of self-discipline] adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to Gods commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer (# 2340).
Well said. We do well to remember the following:
Battle temptation! Otherwise, you are easy pickings for the devil; youre low hanging fruit and youll easily be snatched away.
This video is a good allegory for temptation. A certain young man is drawn by a lure. And though seeming to sense the danger he draws closer anyway. The frightening result I leave to your viewing pleasure.
What are some of the lures Satan can use to snatch you away? What are some of the ways you can learn to resist the bait that is dangled before you? How have you implemented the plan that the Catechism sets forth? Where have you done well? Where do you need to improve?
Msgr Pope ping
why does it seem like the evil are having a blast while the good suffer then
Why did Jesus have to suffer? He was really good, while we, at best, are kind of relatively good, compared to how bad we could be.
It’s the mystery of redemption, and we have to agonize through it..
I don’t know why Jesus had to suffer
no freaking clue
there is no explanation for it in the Bible and I although I have asked, I haven’t been been granted the wisdom about it
why was Jesus’ betrayal, torture and murder the way?
Jesus had to suffer for our sins. What Jesus went through is typical of what human beings have done to one another for millennia. Exactly how that was both necessary and sufficient for our salvation is too much for my little brain ... even though I’ve read the relevant sections of the Catechism in the last couple of weeks!
On the other hand, do you really want to steal, kill, commit adultery, get drunk and take off your clothes in public? I don’t. I’d rather watch science documentaries and do needlepoint.
no of course not
I want to see the evil get theirs
I think everyone does.
Excellent article. And I am cutting and pasting that bullet list so I can keep it.
We could have done without the dumb commercial, though.
They party now, we party forever.
This discussion, particularly as it deals with Msgr. Pope's observation, "Back in the late 1980s, it became fashionable in some circles to deny Original Sin and dismiss it as a mere myth,"comes at the season when Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of One called "the Savior"!
That specific term implies, does it not, that a "Savior's" role must be to save from something?
"Ideas have consequences!" - Weaver
Today, we may be seeing real-world "consequences" of widespread acceptance of the decades-long acceptance of a counterfeit idea.
In 1973, Dr. Karl Menninger, a Psychiatrist, wrote a book called,"What Ever Became of Sin?
In 2008, an article appeared in "Culture Watch" by Bill Muehlenberg, which reviewed Menninger's query, and added commentary about the degree to which redefinition of words and terms had played a part in societal understanding. Here is a small excerpt from this thought-provoking piece (recommend a full read, however):
"A recent story in the Mail on Sunday reports on changes made to the Oxford Junior Dictionary. And it seems it is not just the word sin which has got the axe. According to the story, a number of Christian and biblical terms have been deleted, including abbey, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, monk, nun, pew, saint.(End of Excerpt)
"The article quotes one concerned parent: Lisa Saunders, from County Down, Northern Ireland, compared six editions since the 1970s and was horrified to discover that a whole range of words relating to Christianity, nature and British history had been axed over the years. ‘The Christian faith still has a strong following,’ she said. ‘To eradicate so many words associated with Christianity will have a big effect on the numerous primary schools who use it. We know that language moves on and we can’t be fuddy-duddy about it, but you don’t cull hundreds of important words in order to get in a different set of ICT words.
The article also provides the rationale from the publisher: Oxford University Press said it analysed millions of words from children’s books and the school curriculum and looked at how frequently they occurred in considering how to update new editions. Advice from teachers is also taken before the final choice is made. Vineeta Gupta, head of children’s dictionaries, said: ‘We are limited by how big the dictionary can be little hands must be able to handle it but we produce 17 children’s dictionaries with different selections and numbers of words. When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance. That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed. We are also much more multicultural. People don’t go to Church as often as before. Our understanding of religion is within multiculturalism, which is why some words such as “Pentecost” or “Whitsun” would have been in 20 years ago but not now.
So what is one to make of all this? Several thoughts come to mind. Sure, as Western societies become increasingly secular such terms will therefore continue to fall out of use. But the fact that a word may not be used a lot may not be a good reason for pulling it from our dictionaries.
Historical terms were also pulled from the dictionary; words such as coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade. But as the years roll on, perhaps many will not know or care about such things as the Holocaust. Does that mean we should feel free to delete that term as well?
Certain terms are simply a part of the Western heritage and are too vital to be left out. Christianity played an enormous role in the establishment and continuance of Western civilisation, so it should not so readily be dismissed from our collective memories.
Theological demolition jobs
But leaving aside for the moment what words we include or exclude from our dictionaries, the gradual disappearance of the notion of sin has far-wider implications and ramifications. For this notion is fundamental to the Judeo-Christian worldview. Take away our understanding of sin, and these two major religious traditions no longer make any sense.
Indeed, biblical Christianity is incoherent without the notion of sin. There can be no good news of the Gospel without first understanding the bad news of sin and the Fall. The mission of Jesus makes no sense if we remove such concepts from our thinking.
Jesus made it clear that the reason he came to earth was to save sinners. For example, as he said in all three Synoptic Gospels: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. Take away the doctrine of sin and we take away the doctrine of the Incarnation. Indeed, we take away the entire message of the New Testament.
But of course very liberalised versions of Christianity are quite happy to dispense with the notion of sin altogether. They think it has no place in the believers vocabulary or theology. Plenty of examples come to mind here."
In America, we have seen semantic maneuvers and outright censorship of the very ideas of liberty upon which our Constitution's protections were built.
At the time of the report titled "A Nation at Risk" was published, there were warnings about the degree to which the public schools in America had failed in teaching students about their nation's historical foundations, one observing that there had been an effecting "erasing" of the national memory.
So-called "progressive" imposition of coercive control by political elites, as a substitute for self-government and an ignoring of what the Founders acknowledged to be the "Supreme Judge of the World" in their Declaration of Independence may have led us to where we are today.
Semantics and hidden meanings have played a large part in this Administration's promotion of its idea of "hope and change." Citizens, in their ignorance, supplied their own sometimes uninformed meanings, and now we see some consequences of an uninformed electorate.
A Memorial and Remonstrance. . . . - James Madison (Excerpt)
"Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that Religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the Manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.
"The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable; because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds, cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also; because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, who enters into any subordinate Association, must always do it with a reservation of his duty to the general authority; much more must every man who becomes a member of any particular Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no mans right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society, and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance.
"Although all men are born free, slavery has been the general lot of the human race. Ignorant--they have been cheated; asleep--they have been surprised; divided--the yoke has been forced upon them. But what is the lesson?...the people ought to be enlightened, to be awakened, to be united, that after establishing a government they should watch over it....It is universally admitted that a well-instructed people alone can be permanently free." - James Madison
And there it is, prefaced by a bunch of platitudes. Thank you, liberty, for posting that extract. The article is dated 2008. Oftentimes, those who the Vatican hierarchy are considered out of touch, nothing could be farther from reality. I've posted the following before but it is worth reposting, especially since this observation was made in 2005, 3 years prior. This is from (then) Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's homily before the cardinals were sequestered in the conclave to elect the successor of Pope JPII.
We must not remain children in faith, in the condition of minors. And what does it mean to be children in faith? St Paul answers: it means being "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine" (Eph 4: 14). This description is very timely!
How many winds of doctrine have we known in recent decades, how many ideological currents, how many ways of thinking. The small boat of the thought of many Christians has often been tossed about by these waves - flung from one extreme to another: from Marxism to liberalism, even to libertinism; from collectivism to radical individualism; from atheism to a vague religious mysticism; from agnosticism to syncretism and so forth. Every day new sects spring up, and what St Paul says about human deception and the trickery that strives to entice people into error (cf. Eph 4: 14) comes true.
Today, having a clear faith based on the Creed of the Church is often labeled as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, that is, letting oneself be "tossed here and there, carried about by every wind of doctrine", seems the only attitude that can cope with modern times. We are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one's own ego and desires.
We, however, have a different goal: the Son of God, the true man. He is the measure of true humanism. An "adult" faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ. It is this friendship that opens us up to all that is good and gives us a criterion by which to distinguish the true from the false, and deceipt from truth.
We must develop this adult faith; we must guide the flock of Christ to this faith. And it is this faith - only faith - that creates unity and is fulfilled in love.
Astute and perspicacious! FULL TEXT
Try Psalm 73. May satisfy or maybe not. But it’s always a start for me.
I just wish the writer would have pointed out that Jesus said for us to take up our cross *daily*, IOW that he would have carried his very well-presented admonition beyond lent.
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