Book Talk Tuesday, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 4, Chapter 7

Book Talk Tuesday, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 4, Chapter 7

CHAPTER VII. Remedies for Great Occasions.

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
succour,–it is the remedy taught us by our Lord Himself: “Pray that ye
enter not into temptation” [184]

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. Divert your mind with any right and
healthy occupation, for if that takes possession and fills your
thoughts, it will drive away temptation and evil imaginations.

One great remedy against all manner of temptation, great or small, is
to open the heart and lay bare its suggestions, likings, and
dislikings, to your director; for, as you may observe, the first
condition which the Evil One makes with a soul, when he wants to seduce
it, is silence. Even as a bad man, seeking to seduce a woman, enjoins
silence concerning himself to her father or husband, whereas God would
always have us make known all His inspirations to our superiors and

If, after all, the temptation still troubles and persecutes us, there
is nothing to be done on our side save to persist in protesting that we
will not consent; for just as no maiden can be married while she
persists in saying No, so no soul, however oppressed, can be guilty
while it says the same.

Do not argue with your Enemy, and give but one answer,–that with which
Our Lord confounded him, “Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written,
Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.”
[185] Just as the pure wife would make no reply, and cast no glance on
the foul seducer who strove to lead her astray, but would straightway
fly from him to her husband’s side, not arguing, but cleaving to her
lawful lord in renewed fidelity;–so the devout soul when assailed by
temptation should never trifle with it by answer or argument, but
simply fly to the Side of Jesus Christ, its Bridegroom; renewing its
pledges of unchanging devotion and faithfulness to Him.

[184] S. Luke xxii. 40.

[185] S. Matt. iv. 10.