Reconciliatio et Paenitentia 26: Catechesis, Part 6: Temptations

Pope John Paul II sees pastors among the clergy as responsible for catechesis, including many points, which we’ll review in the next few days.

On other points too, of no less relevance for reconciliation, one looks to the pastors of the church for catechesis.

On the sense of sin, which, as I have said, has become considerably weakened in our world.

My sense is that the weakness is a constant in all ages, and the weakness permeates even the Church and its hierarchy.

The main topic today, however …

On temptation and temptations: The Lord Jesus himself, the Son of God, “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin,” (Hebrews 4:15) allowed himself to be tempted by the evil one (Cf Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12f; Luke 4:1-13) in order to show that, like himself, his followers too would be subjected to temptation, and in order to show how one should behave when subjected to temptation. For those who beseech the Father not to be tempted beyond their own strength (Cf 1 Corinthians 10:13) and not to succumb to temptation, (Cf Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4) and for those who do not expose themselves to occasions of sin, being subjected to temptation does not mean that they have sinned; rather it is an opportunity for growing in fidelity and consistency through humility and watchfulness.

Christianity prays daily, many times, to be delivered from temptation. Those last two virtues mentioned in this paragraph–humility and watchfulness–are very important. Many saints have commented that the deeper they delved into the spiritual life the more aware of their own sins they became. It seems to be a contradiction, but I think such sentiment illustrates the double qualities mentioned here.

This document is Copyright © 1984 – Libreria Editrice Vatican. The link on the Vatican site is here.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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