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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Resisting sin

From today's Mass readings:

Heb. 12: 1-4

Brothers and sisters:
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us
and persevere in running the race that lies before us
while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,
the leader and perfecter of faith.
For the sake of the joy that lay before him
Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame,
and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners,
in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle against sin
you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.

The last sentence of this reading jumped right off the page at me. Christ resisted sin to the point of giving up his own life to defeat it. I am afraid that I all to often give in to sin without much of a fight. By virtue of our fallen human nature we are bound to fall to the temptations of sin from time to time. However, by the Grace of God we are given the ability to fight off temptations to some degree. It is my thought that some may be able to fight off a higher degree of tempation than others. The reasons for this are too vast and numerous to list I'm sure. My fear is that I all to often do not use the full potential of the Grace that God has granted me in fighting tempation. It seems that I sometimes give up too soon, allowing myself to be swept away in a tide of sinfulness. I say that because it always seems that one thing lead to another which leads to something else.

I have often thought, "I should pray the rosary until this tempation passes." It has rarely worked. Not because the rosary wasn't effective but because I never started praying it. It think this is an example of giving up to easily. Instead of going head first into the fight armed in prayer, I let the temptation over come me. One thing that I have had success with is praying the Jesus prayer, "Lord Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner" during times of temptation. This simple prayer is very powerful. Maybe simpler is better for me right now. Lord Jesus, have mercy on me a sinner. Give me strength in the face of temptation.

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