When facing temptation, follow St Francis de Sale’s advice
There are times we each feel an overwhelming temptation to commit a sin. Even though we know those sins are deadly and could lead us to hell, our passions blind us and we commit them anyway.
The way we resist temptation is a sign of spiritual maturity and helps form a strong habit to counter vices.
St Francis de Sales has the most amazing practical help. In his book Introduction to the Devout Life, he explains what you should do when you are initially tempted.
So soon as you feel yourself anywise tempted, do as our little children when they see a wolf or a bear in the mountains. Forthwith they run to the protection of their father or mother, or at least cry out for help.Do you fly in like manner to God, claiming His compassion and succor,—it is the remedy taught us by our Lord Himself: “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.”
As it usually happens, if the temptation persists, he has the following to say:
If, nevertheless, the temptation persists or increases, hasten in spirit to embrace the holy Cross, as though you beheld Jesus Christ Crucified actually Present.Make firm protests against consenting, and ask His Help thereto; and, so long as the temptation lasts, do you persist in making acts of non-consent. But while making these acts and these protests, do not fix your eyes on the temptation—look solely on Our Lord, for if you dwell on the temptation, especially when it is strong, your courage may be shaken.
Aside from these tips, another very effective way to combat temptation is to start doing something else. Leaving your immediate surroundings could be effective if the temptation is something indoors. If you fill your thoughts with wholesome things, you reduce the space for temptation significantly. Regularly reading the bible or other spiritual books helps a lot. With this, your mind has something holy to chew on regularly. Bringing your mind to God’s presence.
Another powerful method is to invoke constantly the name of Mary and Jesus. Trust in God and know too that Mary scares Satan.
When facing temptation follow St Francis de Sale’s advice. Please leave a comment.