Fight our Passions

Friends in Christ, a book that I like to read every few years is called ‘Spiritual Combat.’ If we ourselves are reflecting much on our lives, we know that we each have some sort of spiritual combat going on. Everyone has some ‘Achilles heel’ that presses us, or tempts us.
.
Whether it is anger, or lust, or greed, or gossip, or – whatever – it is that ‘thing’ that, if we fail in it, we feel defeated or sad or disgusted with ourselves. Often our particular problem is a passion, and St. James refers to this today in his Epistle: ‘Where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?’
.
Passions are different for each person, usually depending on one’s temperament. For the Choleric, anger is usually his challenge. For the Phlegmatic, sensuality, food, lust can be his challenge. Whatever the passion, we must fight, and this is the spiritual combat of our lives.
.
St. James gives us a plan for this combat: When a passion arises, call on God in an act of humility, and then turn your attention to something else; in this way we defeat the devil’s temptations. ‘Submit yourselves to God,’ he says. ‘Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.’
.
Acknowledging our dependence on God’s help, admitting that we are sinners in need; this brings the Lord’s power to us, that we can conquer any enemy. ‘Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.’ So, if resentment starts to build in our mind, or lust is making it’s way into our heart, pray, fix your mind on something else, get busy, and in this way you will defeat the devil. But it takes humility to admit that we need the Lord.
.
Francisca del Valle says, (p. 69-72) in Satan’s battle against us, God often seems to remain silent; he allows the Enemy to attack, even prepares the way for it. As if hiding, God allows us to directly confront the Enemy, especially in our passions; but if we call out for assistance, we find God’s power secretly within, and then when Satan is crushed and defeated in humiliation, our victory is the more glorious. And that is how God wants it. He wants to give his glory to us. So let’s give God some victories this week.

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation