My husband and I have begun doing the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary by St. Louis de Montfort, and the subjects of the past two days have been temptation and sin. This reflection on the “into” of the “Our Father” by blogger Jennifer Fulwiler of Conversion Diary is a perfect exploration of what is addressed in the excerpts from The Imitation of Christ that we are reading this week.
The passages talk about the importance of rooting out sin from the very beginning, not letting it sink into our conscious and become something that’s almost comfortable for us to think about, say, or do.
There are some areas of my life in which I know I’m likely to fail, though I don’t keep on guard, nor do I fully trust in God’s grace to help me do the right thing. Of course, I feel bad that these weak patches exist and team up with holes in my faith. It certainly serves to make me more aware of my desperate need for grace and forgiveness, which isn’t such a bad thing.
On one hand, it’s reminded me that we are going to be tempted, that no amount of progress in the spiritual life will suddenly make us above all temptation.
At times, I’ve gotten angry with myself that I would even have a temptation the nature of which I felt ought to be beneath me. Enter pride, stage right and left.
The wonderful saving grace is that regardless of the temptation, how long we’ve struggled with it or how new it is, God’s given us what we need to withstand it. The more sensitive we are to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the sooner we’ll spot and turn away from the temptations that could easily lead us to sin. At the same time, He’s there waiting for us with love and mercy when we choose to give in rather than use the grace He’s given us to do the right thing.
Lord, You know us so intimately and love us so dearly. Help us to become more open to Your love, especially when we’re most aware that we don’t deserve it, can do nothing to earn or merit it, and can never repay the debt that we owe. Amen.