FRI-SAT-SUN
February 25-27, 2000
volume 11, no. 40

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APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH Series         INTRODUCTION

    Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

    It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices and from Old Testament Confraternity Edition and New Testament Confraternity Edition of the Saint Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life. For points covered thus far, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


installment 118:
Temptation

    Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us. This is what we mean when we say that temptations come to us from the flesh, the world, and the devil.

    The evil inclinations of our weak and corrupted nature tempt us to sin. The world, with its sinful wants and vanities, tempts us to sin. The devil goes about continually tempting us, making use of both our nature and the world for his evil purposes.

    In itself, temptation is not a sin. It becomes sinful only when:

    (a) we bring it upon ourselves by carelessness or over-confidence;
    (b) we play with, take pleasure in, or yield to it.
The greatest saints have often been most strongly tempted. Our Lord even permitted Himself to be tempted. Thus we see that temptation is not a sin, because we are not responsible for it.

    God permits us to be tempted in order to try us, to let us win an eternal reward. God subjected the angels to a test. Those who passed it are now enjoying Him in Heaven, their reward. "Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee" (Tobias 12:13). God permitted the devil to tempt our first parents. Temptations serve to keep us humble. God permits all mankind to have temptations, but never temptation beyond their strength to resist. "God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength."

    The stronger the temptation, the greater the graces God gives for its conquest. The conquest by the saints of wicked temptations have made them greater saints. Christ Himself was tempted by the devil, to gluttony, to avarice, and to pride. He wanted to show us that by resisting we may rise to greater love of God. Good men who are worried because so many temptations assail them should remember that ants quickly gather over a jar of honey; the devil strives to catch the good, because he is already sure of the wicked.

    We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into sin, and God will always help us if we ask Him. The length of time during which a temptation persists does not make it sinful, if we continue resisting it. A temptation may attack us all our lives, but as long as we fight it, or pay no attention to it, as long as we do not yield, we commit no sin. We have not been conquered, and God will reward us for the good fight.

    No temptation can do us harm if we obey God's laws and keep away from sin. If we resist, temptation will flee from us. Our lot for all eternity depends entirely on ourselves. God votes for Heaven; the devil votes for hell. The deciding vote is ours. Shall we vote for Heaven or for hell? "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

    When assailed by temptation, one must at once resist. It is easier to conquer temptation at the beginning than later on, just as a fire is easier to put out at the outset. Since nothing can be done without divine grace, one must pray. One must imitate the Apostles who had recourse to Jesus when a storm arose. Let him say at once, "Lord, make haste to help me!"

    Some remedies against temptation are:

  • (a) Watchfulness and prayer.
    "Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation" (Matthew 26:41). Avoid idleness, keeping always occupied, either by work, or by wholesome recreation. If evil thoughts enter the mind,think of other things, in this way ignoring the temptation.
  • (b) Frequent confession and Holy Communion.
  • (c) Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Guardian Angels.

    With these to safeguard us we should be able to fend off temptations and if they persist, take them to the foot of the Cross and ask Jesus to wash them in the Font of Divine Mercy from His Sacred and Merciful Heart.

Monday: An Image of God

          

February 25-27, 2000
volume 11, no. 40
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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