Saint Thomas gives us this definition of temptation: Temptation is nothing more than to be put to the test. When a person is tempted, it is his virtue that is tried. Temptation is whatever may separate us from the faithful fulfilment of the Will of God. We may experience temptations that spring from our human nature, which has been wounded by original sin and is prone to evil from our very child hood. Concupiscence is in our make-up. Furthermore, the devil incites us to evil. He takes advantage of our weakness and promises us a happiness with him that he can in no way give. His promises are empty. Saint Peter warned the early Christians: "Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour." Tertullian gives us the remedy: "Only he who trusts in God has nothing to fear from the devil."
The devil is allied with the world and with our passions. The world is here intended to mean whatever in our existence separates us from God. This includes those we come in contact with who live solely for self-love and sensuality, those who have their gaze fixed entirely on temporal worldly affairs. Such people consider Christian detachment and chastity to be absurd remnants of days gone by. They hold voluntary mortification in contempt, even though it is absolutely indispensable for following Christ. These souls have become incapable of understanding the things of God. It suits them better to introduce and persuade others to their way of life, from which God is absent or, so they think, largely under control. With their words and behaviour they try to lead everyone else along this broad highway of pride. They will even seek to discourage people who are endeavouring to live their Christian vocation seriously, by mounting and sustaining a campaign of ridicule against them.
God allows us to undergo temptation so that we may obtain a greater good. His Providence has so arranged things that trials and contradictions may yield good fruits. At times these tests may turn out to be the best means of bringing us closer to him.
Temptation frequently acts as a kind of barometer of our spiritual life. It is precisely in difficulty and in temptation that we discover our true capacity for generosity, sacrifice and detachment. We will in similar circumstances also encounter our own hidden envy, greed, sensuality and pride, as well as our astonishing capacity to do evil. These are good moments for us to grow in self- knowledge and humility. We will see how weak we are, how much help we need from the Lord. As a result, we will find it easier to ask for the Lord's assistance. How often we should pray those words to our Father God: Lead us not into temptation hut deliver us from evil! Our experience of trial will help us to understand the defects of others. We will better appreciate their struggle, and we will be of greater service to those among whom we live and work.
The experience of temptation can inspire us to grow in virtue. In order to overcome a doubt against faith we make an earnest act of faith. Whenever we cut short a negative thought or purely critical comment we are simultaneously improving our relationship with the Lord. We should approach difficult periods in our life as opportunities in which to deepen our love for the Virgin and to grow in humility.
Monday to Friday: 07h00
Saturday 07h00 18h00 (Vigil Mass)
Sunday 08h00 09h30 11h00
Before every morning Mass.
Before and during Saturday evening and Sunday Masses.
For confession outside of these times, please contact Fr Joe or the Parish Office.