Thursday, September 5, 2013

Don't Let Temptation Frighten You

Saint Padre Pio wrote to one of his adopted children:

Don't let temptation frighten you. God wants to test and strengthen your soul by it and gives you the strength to overcome it at the same time. Up till now your life has been that of a child but from now on our Lord wants to treat you like an adult. However, the trials of adults are far superior to those of a child and that is why you are so upset to begin with. But the life of your soul will quickly settle down; it won't delay. Be patient a little longer and all will be well.

So let all these empty forebodings drop. Remember that it isn't the Evil One's suggestions that put you in the wrong but rather your consent to those suggestions. Our free will is the only thing capable of good and evil. But when our will is groaning under the trials inflicted on us by the Tempter and does not desire what he proposes, then not only is it not a fault but it is a virtue.

Take care not to fall into anxiety when you are struggling against these temptations because that only serves to strengthen them. You have to treat them with scorn and not worry yourself about them. Turn your thoughts to Jesus crucified, his body laid to rest in your arms, and say: “Here is my hope, the source of my joy! I bind myself to you with all my soul and will not leave you until you have set me safe.

Certain people, places, or things may be occasions of sin for us. If possible we must avoid them. But sometimes, as with people we live or work with every day, we are forced to interaction. In that case, if we are feeling anxious or fearful because we know a certain person triggers a negative, sinful, reactive response in us, we must change something in ourselves. We must stop giving these people the power to control our emotions. This is where St. Pio points us to the use of our free will and the practice of virtue.

We might ask ourselves, what virtue must I acquire in abundance in order not to fall prey to these temptations? Then we can turn to Christ and ask Him to help us. As we change ourselves, we will do a better job of resisting temptation and perhaps even shape better relationships with the problem people in our lives.


  1. Barbara, love the extended quote from Padre Pio. So much there! Thank you for the real life application too!