TEMPT // LENT D::15
[ READING :: James 1 ]
James 1:13-15 (alternate translation)
“When you are tempted don’t say, “God is tempting me.” For God can’t be tempted by evil and God doesn’t actually tempt anyone! Each person is tempted when they are drug away by their own evil desires and enticements, then they are tempted. And after that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it’s embraced, gives birth to death.” ( i might recommend you read Eugene Peterson’s Message version as well )
.:: Have you ever watched a great burning furnace heaped up with ashes? Look at it some ten or twelve hours afterwards, and there will scarce be any living fire there, or only a little smoldering in the very heart of it. Nevertheless, if you can find that tiny lingering spark, it will suffice to rekindle the extinguished flames. So it is with love, which is the true spiritual life amid out greatest, most active temptation. Temptation, flinging its delight into the inferior parts of the soul, covers our soul entirely with ashes, and leaves but a little spark of God’s Love, which can be found nowhere except far down in the heart and mind, and even that is hard to find. But nevertheless it is there, since however troubled we may have been in the body and mind, we firmly resolved not to consent to sin or the temptation thereto, and that delight of the exterior man was rejected by the interior spirit. Thus though our will may have been thoroughly beset by the temptation, it was not conquered, and so we are certain that all such delight was involuntary, and consequently not sinful.
-- From An Introduction to the Devout Life by Saint Francis de Sales ( language slightly modified for the modern reader )
? How do our temptations reflect our most inner weakness ? ? Do we believe Jesus can meet us in even the most barren and dry parts of our lives ? ? teaching us how to resist the devil and the temptation of the human soul ?