Christians face a spiritual battle each day
1. Lead an ordered life
First, pay great attention to prayer, which is the foundation of your spiritual life. Find time also to read the Bible. We suggest you reflect on the Gospel of St. Matthew, chapter 25, verses 35-40.
You also need to be firmly rooted in your vocation. It might be a married life, priesthood, consecrated life, etc., but whatever it is, you have to be faithful in all things to the call God has given you.
Lastly, dedicate some time to the Church. We know we haven’t all been called to full-time ministry in the Church, but we can all collaborate in some way, according to our own possibilities.
2. Categorically reject temptation
One problem in the spiritual battle is being slow and weak in our response to temptation. But with God’s grace, you can strengthen your will and decisively and roundly reject temptation from the outset. On the other hand, we often have temptations because we put ourselves into a near occasion of sin. Always remember this proverb: “Whoever plays with fire eventually gets burned.”
3. Identify the enemy and ask God for help
When we fall into temptation, it’s very useful to admit it, saying: “The Devil, the enemy of God, is tempting me.” Name him and say short prayers asking the Lord for help. Here are a few examples of very powerful short prayers: “Jesus, I trust in you,” “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation,” “Lord, save me,” and “Lord, make haste to help me.” Invoke the holy names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph with faith and trust.
4. Fight against desolation
Spiritual desolation is experienced as a darkness before divine truth, an insensitivity to the divine Word, laziness in doing good and distance from the Lord. It can have an unexpected strength, and make one vacillate in the good intentions one had just a day before. St. Ignatius said that when one is in a state of desolation, it is important to pray and meditate more, examine one’s conscience (to understand why you are in a state of desolation) and then apply a proper remedy and punishment.
5. Fight against laziness
If you don’t have anything to do, the Devil will give you plenty of tasks. St. John Bosco wasn’t fond of vacation time for the boys at the oratory, precisely because he knew that having too much time on one’s hands was often accompanied by many temptations.
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