Monday, February 11, 2008

Priere du Jour - Prayer of the Day!!

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Prayer and Devotions

Overcoming Temptation
by Father José LaBoy, LC

Resolution: In a moment of temptation, try to remember what God wants and ask him for his help.

February 10, 2008
First Sunday of Lent

Matthew 4: 1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'" Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'" Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Introductory Prayer: I believe, Lord, that with your example and help I can overcome temptation in my life. Help me to understand that you offer me everything necessary to let myself not be led into temptation. I hope in you, Lord, because you know that I am weak, and therefore you give me your grace which is stronger than sin. I love you, Lord, because love for you and for souls will give me the strength to destroy sin in my life and the lives of others.

Petition: Lord, may prayer and vigilance help me not fall into temptation.

1. The Spiritual Is More Important than the Material Jesus teaches us to give more importance to the spiritual than to the material. However, man is weak, and he easily considers that satisfying his material needs justifies his not doing God’s will. If we don’t follow Christ’s advice, then being tired will be a good enough reason not to pray, being in a bad mood will be a good enough reason not to live charity, and having a great idea will be a good enough reason to act as we want, not as we are taught. The devil’s strategy is to make us look more at ourselves and our needs, than to look at God, his will and the needs of the Church and of others.

2. The Problem with Overconfidence Jesus teaches us that our actions have to correspond with what God wants, not with what we think he wants. There is always the danger of supposing that God thinks like we do, instead of seeking with all our strength to think as he does. Remember what Christ told Peter when Peter dared tell Jesus what he had to do (not foretell his future suffering and death): “Get behind me Satan”. Lent is a privileged moment for us constantly to “turn to the Lord” as the only source of true happiness. In fact, trusting more in ourselves than in him is a sign of pride. True humility, something without which we cannot be holy, will lead us to trust more in him than in ourselves.

3. Only God Deserves Our Worship Obviously, we don’t consciously deny God and worship idols. But we shouldn’t forget that our heart will be where our treasure is. If Christ is not our treasure, then we will worship ourselves, others, things, money, honors, fame… While we wouldn’t genuflect in front of our new computer or that stylish outfit we just bought, we may give these objects more importance than they deserve. That only God deserves our worship is a very demanding reality. This means that God has to be the center of our thoughts, words, desires, actions and plans. This means that his will is more important than ours.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, help me understand that prayer and detachment from material things are necessary means for overcoming temptation. Help me remember that you overcame temptation in order to teach us all how we can overcome it too.

Resolution: In a moment of temptation, I will try to remember what God wants and ask him for his help.

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