I hope and pray that your Lenten journey is proving productive and enriching. It’s a truly Christian surprise that giving up things can prove to be enriching, and that holding on to things can lead to impoverishment.
Have you succeeded in all your Lenten resolutions?
Does your fasting remind you to pray and to do charity?
If you’ve had any setbacks, or have found it difficult to enter in to the Lenten spirit, take heart. Take 10 minutes now to pray. Say a decade of the Rosary, an Our Father and a Glory be, then let your mind rest in the presence of the Lord. Ask yourself if there is one small thing you could give up: e.g. sweetener in your morning coffee. Ask yourself if there is one small prayer you could offer: e.g. pray a Hail Mary morning, noon, evening.
Ask yourself if there is one small act of charity you could do: e.g. react to that trying person with forbearance.
Love and Peace,
Fr. Liam Quinlan
We Must Resist Small Temptations
~ St. Francis de Sales
Although we must oppose great temptations with an invincible courage and although the victory we gain over them is extremely advantageous, it may yet happen that we may profit more in resisting small ones for as great temptations exceed in quality so small ones exceed in quantity. Hence the victory over them may be comparable to that which is gained over the greatest. Wolves and bears are certainly more dangerous than flies. Yet they neither give us so much trouble nor exercise our patience so much.
It is easy enough to abstain from murder, but it is extremely difficult to restrain all the little sallies of passion, the occasions which present themselves at every moment. It is easy enough for a man or a woman to refrain from adultery. It is not so easy to refrain from glances of the eyes, from giving or receiving marks of love, from procuring gifts and little favors, or from uttering or listening to flattering words. It is easy enough not to admit a rival to husband or wife as to the body but as to the heart. It is easy enough to refrain from defiling the marriage bed, but it is difficult to refrain from everything that may be prejudicial to conjugal affection.
It is easy enough not to steal another’s goods, but it is difficult not to covet them. It is easy enough not to bear false witness in judgment, but it is difficult not to falsify in conversation. It is easy enough to refrain from drunkenness, but it is difficult to observe perfect sobriety. It is easy enough to refrain from wishing another man’s death, but it is difficult to refrain from desiring what may be detrimental to him. It is easy enough to abstain from defaming him, but it is sometimes difficult to refrain from despising him.
In a word, these small temptations — anger, suspicion, jealousy, envy, fond love, levity, vanity, insincerity, affectation, craftiness, and evil thoughts — are continually assaulting even those who are the most devout and resolute. We must, therefore, diligently prepare ourselves for this warfare. [Notice he calls it warfare.]
Let us rest assured that, for as many victories we shall gain over these trifling enemies, so many precious stones shall be added to the crown of glory that God is preparing for us in His paradise. Wherefore I say that be ever ready to fight well and valiantly against great temptations if they come, we must in the meantime diligently defend ourselves against attacks that seem small and meek.