Pope Francis reminds us that the three temptations Jesus experienced are also common for us: the temptation to play God, the false security of economic well-being, and giving in to evil as a short-cut to power. A temptation is an empty fantasy, always powerless to deliver what it promises. When we give into temptation, we are left feeling even more unsatisfied than before.
It is helpful to know when we are most vulnerable to sin. Think H.A.L.T! When we are hungry, angry, lonely or tired we are likely to grasp at anything or anyone promising even a moment of satisfaction. Maturity of self-awareness (knowing our vulnerabilities) prepares us for growth in relationship with Jesus and therefore with each other. A healthy and positive discipline is required for this growth, like the athlete in training for competition or the musician rehearsing for performance.
The greatest achievement of the devil in our world today is that so many people think he doesn’t exist. This means the he can operate without being noticed and in ways that are devious and destructive.
An Invitation: Take a few moments every day to notice Jesus present and active in the events and encounters of your life in the last few hours. Now become aware of where you have experienced the presence and action of the devil in your life today. Conclude these moments by remembering that in a conflict between Jesus and Satan, Jesus always wins.
Fr John O’Connor
“One thing is clear: Temptation is always present in the life of Simon Peter and temptation is always present in our lives. Moreover, without temptation, you cannot progress in faith. In the ‘Our Father,’ we ask for the grace to not fall, but we don’t ask to not be tempted.” Pope Francis.