Friday, May 6, 2016

Mary TV May 6, 2016 Reflection - Day 9 - Temptation Part 2

      (c) Mateo Ivankovic 2016

May 6, 2016
First Friday
Consecration, Day 9
Dear Family of Mary!
Today again we think about temptations in our lives. Thomas a Kempis gives wise counsel about resisting temptation. He warns that we would do well to close the door on a temptation immediately, because if we tarry with a temptation it will quickly take over our mind, imagination, and will. It is worth reading his words:
Fire tries iron, and temptation a just man. We often know not what we are able to do, but temptations discover what we are. Still, we must watch, especially in the beginning of temptation; for then the enemy is more easily overcome, if he be not suffered to enter the door of the mind, but is withstood upon the threshold the very moment he knocks. Whence a certain one has said "Resist beginnings; all too late the cure." When ills have gathered strength, by long delay, first there comes from the mind a simple thought; then a strong imagination, afterwards delight, and the evil motion and consent and so, little by little the fiend does gain entrance, when he is not resisted in the beginning. The longer anyone has been slothful in resisting, so much the weaker he becomes, daily in himself, and the enemy, so much the stronger in him.
Some suffer grievous temptations in the beginning of their conversion, others in the end and others are troubled nearly their whole life. Some are very lightly tempted, according to the wisdom and the equity of the ordinance of God who weighs man's condition and merits, and preordaineth all things for the salvation of His elect. We must not, therefore, despair when we are tempted, but the more fervently pray to God to help us in every tribulation: Who, of a truth, according to the sayings of St. Paul, will make such issue with the temptation, that we are able to sustain it. Let us then humble our souls under the hand of God in every temptation and tribulation, for the humble in spirit, He will save and exalt. In temptation and tribulations, it is proved what progress man has made; and there also is great merit, and virtue is made more manifest. (Imitation of Christ: Book 1, Chapter 13)
The more vigilant we are in our spiritual life, the better! I believe that Our Lady has been teaching us such vigilance throughout her time with us in Medjugorje. Why else would she call on us to "Pray, pray, pray!" She has been vigilant for us all these years, trying to help us resist temptation. Here is a beautiful message in which she does just that:
October 2, 2011 "Dear children; Also today my motherly heart calls you to prayer, to your personal relationship with God the Father, to the joy of prayer in Him. God the Father is not far away from you and He is not unknown to you. He revealed Himself to you through my Son and gave you Life that is my Son. Therefore, my children, do not give in to temptations that want to separate you from God the Father. Pray! Do not attempt to have families and societies without Him. Pray! Pray that your hearts may be flooded with the goodness which comes only from my Son, Who is sincere goodness. Only hearts filled with goodness can comprehend and accept God the Father. I will continue to lead you. In a special way I implore you not to judge your shepherds. My children, are you forgetting that God the Father called them? Pray! Thank you."
It is very important to understand that following temptations to not live according to God's ways destroys our relationship with God the Father. This was Adam and Eve's great failure. They broke the trusting relationship that the Father had begun with them by following the temptation of the devil. What is at stake with a temptation is our life as the Father's dear child. Our Lady wants very much for us to have a deep and loving relationship with God the Father. And so she cautions us to not give in to temptation. Our life with the Father is a huge positive!! Temptations are negatives, fed to us by the world, the flesh and the devil, to take away our joy in the Father, to make our lives empty and lifeless. To withstand temptation is to choose life!!

Let me add, praying the Totus Tuus prayer is probably the best defense against temptation!  By asking for Mary to take over every part of our being, our heart, our mind, our thoughts, our dispositions and feelings, etc, we are taking on the best protection against our enemy and his insinuations that we can find.  Where Mary is the devil flees!  
Let us pray:

(Totally Yours)
Immaculate Conception, Mary my Mother, Live in me, Act in me, Speak in me and through me, Think your thoughts in my mind, Love through my heart, Give me your dispositions and feelings, Teach, lead me and guide me to Jesus, Correct, enlighten and expand my thoughts and behavior, Possess my soul, Take over my entire personality and life, replace it with Yourself, Incline me to constant adoration, Pray in me and through me, Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.
© 1956, Mother Immaculata, OCD
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
Cathy Nolan
(c)Mary TV 2016

"Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world."
Saint John Paul II
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