Preparing for Consecration
Preliminary, Day 9: Imitation, Book 1, Ch:13 (cont)
Spirit of the World
Spend this period casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ.
It is our nature and our worldly training to try to solve our problems by ourselves, to be strong in the face of our challenges. How long do we wait then and bear our struggles without heavenly assistance? When we delay in responding to the command, "Ask and you shall receive," how long is it before we find ourselves allowing the temptations to take hold? Let us run quickly to Our Lord immediately upon sensing the first sign of temptation, begging for God to shield us from the influence of the evil one. In our weakness, we find our greatest solace because when we run to God in our weakness, He has the greatest opportunity to strengthen us. – Bernadette Harmon
Fire tempers iron and temptation steels the just. Often we do not know what we can stand, but temptation shows us what we are. Above all, we must be especially alert against the beginnings of temptation, for the enemy is more easily conquered if he is refused admittance to the mind and is met beyond the threshold when he knocks.
Someone has said very aptly: "Resist the beginnings; remedies come too late, when by long delay the evil has gained strength." First, a mere thought comes to mind, then strong imagination, followed by pleasure, evil delight, and consent. Thus, because he is not resisted in the beginning, Satan gains full entry. And the longer a man delays in resisting, so much the weaker does he become each day, while the strength of the enemy grows against him.
Some suffer great temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others toward the end, while some are troubled almost constantly throughout their life. Others, again, are tempted but lightly according to the wisdom and justice of Divine Providence Who weighs the status and merit of each and prepares all for the salvation of His elect.
We should not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but pray to God the more fervently that He may see fit to help us, for according to the word of Paul, He will make issue with temptation that we may be able to bear it. Let us humble our souls under the hand of God in every trial and temptation for He will save and exalt the humble in spirit.