“My daughter, I want to teach you about spiritual warfare. Never trust in yourself, but abandon yourself totally to my will. In desolation, darkness and various doubts, have recourse to Me and to your spiritual director. … Do not bargain with any temptation; lock yourself immediately in My Heart. … Put your self-love in the last place, so that it does not taint your deeds. … Shun murmurers like the plague. Let all act as they like; you are to act as I want you to (Diary, 1760).
In the Gospel we read how Jesus remained in the desert for forty days tempted by Satan.
Having been separated from God by our abortions, we are often, within the healing process, tempted, even if we have gone to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Temptations to despair, temptation to old behaviors, temptations to unforgiveness towards others, ourselves, or even believing God has not forgiven us. The list can go on and on.
Temptations are not in themselves a sin. It is what we do with them that can become sinful. It is important to nip them in the beginning so they do not grow into actions. Jesus in His temptations, prayed to God and fasted. He used them as an occasion to join to His Father and grow stronger in His resolve. He knew Satan was a lair and that God is love and Mercy.
The next time you are tempted to despair in your healing, feeling like you are going nowhere and wanting to give up, use the occasion instead, as an opportunity to proclaim your trust in God in spite of what you are feeling.
Pray, offer the temptation up for someone or something, and most importantly reach out for help by picking up the phone and speaking to someone who can guide and walk you through it.
The devil wants to isolate us so he can fill our head with his lies. Remember always, as Jesus did, God love loves you and is there with you even when you cannot feel Him.
“The image of the wilderness is a very eloquent metaphor of the human condition. The book of Exodus narrates the experience of the people of Israel that, after having come out of Egypt, wandered in the Sinai desert during 40 years, before reaching the Promised Land.
During this long journey, the Jews experienced all the force and insistence of the tempter that led them to lose confidence in the Lord and to turn back; but, at the same time, thanks to the mediation of Moses, they learned to listen to the voice of the Lord, who was calling them to become his holy people.” Pope Benedict XVI (March 5, 2006 Angelus, St Peter’s Square)