20140519 Struggle against temptation 與誘惑對抗

St. Francis de Sales devoted eight of the 15 chapters in the fourth part of “An Introduction to the Devout Life” on the struggle against temptation.
Temptation is a solicitation to evil on the part of our spiritual foes: the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Providential purposes
Father Adolphe Tanquerey, the author of “The Spiritual Life,” pointed out that God Himself does not tempt us directly, but He allows us to be tempted by our spiritual enemies, at the same time giving us the graces necessary to resist. God wants to make us merit heaven by fighting temptation.
Father Tanquerey pointed out that temptation is a means of purification. He wrote that temptation “reminds us that through lack of vigilance and of effort in the past we have fallen, and it becomes thus an occasion for new acts of contrition, shame, and humiliation, which make for the purification of the soul.
“It obliges us at the same time to put forth earnest and sustained efforts lest we fall; it makes us atone for our negligences and for our surrenders by the performance of contrary acts which further purify the soul.”
Temptation is an instrument of spiritual progress. Father Tanquerey wrote, “It is like a stripe of the lash that awakens us at the moment we would lull ourselves to sleep and relax. It makes us realize the necessity of forging ahead, of not halting midway, but of ever aiming higher, the more surely to remove the danger.
“It is a school of humility, of distrust of self. When tempted we realize more fully our weakness, our powerlessness; we feel more keenly the need of grace, and we pray with greater earnestness. We see all the better the necessity of mortifying in us the love of pleasure, the source of our temptations, and we embrace more eagerly the little crosses of every day in order to weaken the power of concupiscence.
“It is a school of love of God; for to insure our power of resistance, we throw ourselves into God’s arms, there to seek for strength and shelter; we are more grateful to Him for His unfailing grace; we act towards Him as children of a most loving Father to Whom we have recourse in all our trials.”

Three phases
According to St. Augustine, the three phases in temptation are: suggestion, pleasure, and consent.
Suggestion is the proposal of some evil. Father Tanquerey wrote, “No matter how dangerous such a suggestion may be, it does not constitute a sin, provided that we have not provoked it ourselves, and do not consent to it. There is sin only when the will yields consent.”
Pleasure follows the suggestion. St. Francis de Sales wrote, “Inasmuch as our souls have two parts, one inferior, the other superior, and the inferior does not always choose to be led by the superior, but takes its own line, it not infrequently happens that the inferior part takes pleasure in a temptation not only without consent from, but absolutely in contradiction to, the superior will.
“It is this contest which St. Paul describes when he speaks of the ‘law in my members, warring against the law of my mind,’ and of the ‘flesh lusting against the spirit.'”
Regarding consent, Father Tanquerey wrote, “If the will withholds acquiescence, combats the temptation, and repels it, it has scored a success and performed a highly meritorious act. If, on the contrary, the will delights in the pleasure, willingly enjoys it, and consents to it, the sin is committed.”
“No matter what happens, don’t worry as long as you don’t consent. For only the will can open the door of the heart and let that corruption in,” said St. Josemaria Escriva.

在他「熱心引」一書中,當中第四部份共十五章,聖方濟.沙雷用了八個章節,談到有關對抗誘惑。

 

誘惑來自我們靈修的敵人 —— 私慾、世俗和魔鬼。

 

天主的旨意

 

「神修生活」作者、亞道夫.鄧奎里神父指出,天主不會誘惑我們,卻容許我們接受來自靈性敵人的誘惑,另方面又會賞給我們足夠的聖寵去對抗,以期最後得賞天堂永生。他認為經歷誘惑能使我們成聖:「一、(誘惑)一方面讓我們明白過往的跌倒,皆因靈性警醒不足,另一方面給予我們更新悔改之心,因犯罪而感到羞愧、自我謙卑,這麼一來,倒使我們的靈魂得到潔淨。二、會敦促自己作出努力,以免再度跌倒,願意賠補所犯的罪孽,直至靈魂真正重歸純潔。」

 

誘惑其實是靈修的過程。鄧奎里神父續寫道:「一、我們以為靈性可以放鬆休閑下來的時候,誘惑卻是當頭棒喝及一種鞭策,使我們意識到,靈修雖然是緩進的,但卻是不息的,不可以半途而廢,甚至追求更高的境界,擯除更多犯罪的危機。二、歸順謙遜之德,不會自恃。一旦誘惑來到,馬上醒覺到自己的軟弱無能,極需要天主的聖寵,催使我們熱切祈禱,克制引起誘惑的私慾,背負每天的十字架,以削弱自身的偏情。三、因著對天主的愛,我們會感受到那股抵抗誘惑的力量,把自己投向天主全能的臂彎,尋求祂的庇蔭與力量,我們會感激祂不離不棄的寵佑,在任何試探的光景中,總能像小孩般仰賴天父的助祐。」

 

三部曲

 

聖奧斯定說誘惑包含三部曲:提引、快感、同意。

 

誘惑開始時,會是一些罪惡的提引。鄧奎里神父解釋說:「任何罪惡的提引都不搆成罪,至少並非源於自己,也不是自己應允的。當我們允許這提引繼續,便犯了罪。」

 

隨著罪惡的提引,便是犯罪的快感。聖方濟.沙雷寫道:「我們靈魂的深處有高與低兩個層次。低層次的不常常聽從高層次的指導,倒願意跟隨自己的喜愛,不屑地選擇完全相反高層次的意願。這就是聖保祿所謂的『五官與理性的對峙』和『肉慾對抗靈性』。」

 

談到有關同意,鄧奎里神父寫道:「假如我們不曾應允誘惑,甚至抗衡它、擊退它,我們便取得這次勝利,獲得功勞;相反,我們接收那犯罪的快感,允許它繼續留存,我們便是犯罪。」

 

聖施禮華神父說過:「如果你從未同意誘惑,便不需擔心自己犯了罪;因為只有意志能打開內心的門,讓敗壞才得以進入。」

 

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