Tuesday, January 31, 2012


A temptation is an impulse given to the will by the flesh, the world, or the devil to commit sin. The flesh tempts man in three ways: 

(1) by the concupiscence of the eyes to seek the riches, pleasures, and comforts of life; 
(2) by the concupiscence of the flesh to indulge in sensual gratifications; 
(3) by the pride of life to seek worldly honor, fame, and influence. 

The world tempts man in two ways: 

(1) by inspiring him with slavish fear or human respect; 
(2) by pandering to his passions. 

The devil usually tempts man 

(1) by intensifying the allurements of the flesh and the world; 
(2) by inciting his carnal appetites to evil.

God permits man to be tempted 

(1) to test his good will; 
(2) to ground him in humility; 
(3) to stimulate his fervor; 
(4) to detach him from earthly things and center his affections on spiritual things; 
(5) to give his virtue a healthy growth; 
(6) to give him an opportunity of merit and reward; 
(7) to teach him to advance in the spiritual life.

Monday, January 30, 2012


All evil spirits constitute the third enemy of man's salvation. Moved by hatred and envy they do all in their power to bring man to perdition. Not content with using the influence of the world to turn him from the path of virtue, they exert their influence on him personally to attain their end. Though they cannot influence man's mind and heart directly, they can inflict great harm on them through his senses and his passions.

The devil may act on man's external senses, (1) by an illusory sensation and make a corresponding impression on the imagination and memory; (2) by a corporeal apparition, as he appeared to the Saviour in the desert. He may act directly on man's internal senses (1) by inciting the instinct to carnal desires; (2) by effacing virtuous impressions from the imagination and memory; (3) and impressing vicious images in their stead ; (4) by fixing such vicious impressions deeply upon the internal senses. In this way the devil distracts the mind of a child of God, harasses his will, and inclines his heart to sin, counteracts the past effects of grace and virtue, blinds man to the blessings of the present, and tempts him to sin.

Ordinarily the devil is too shrewd to tempt man directly to embrace error or to act maliciously. In fact he accomplishes his end more securely by using the evil impressions of the imagination and memory and the bad example and friendship of the world to instill perverse principles in the human mind and selfish motives in the human heart, and thereby puts man at variance with God. In this way the devil does not shock man, but easily leads him to hold, that, as his influence cannot be easily detected, it has been much overrated, especially in modern times.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


The world is that part of mankind which rebels against God and follows the inclinations of the flesh. The Savior said the world had nothing in common with Him. According to the teaching of Jesus Christ (1) God is all and man nothing; (2) eternity lasting, time fleeting; (3) heaven is incomparable, earth a wilderness; (4) life is a trial, heaven the reward, and hell the punishment.

According to the false theory of the world, (1) man is everything and has freed himself from God's dominion; (2) time is eternal and eternity a fable; (3) the honors, riches, and pleasures of life alone are worthy of man's ambition; (4) man's heaven or hell is on earth; (5) life, alas, is too short and ends in gloom; (6) we can have no knowledge of a next world. If there is a heaven God is so good that He will welcome all to it.

Christ teaches that we must give honor and glory to God; but the world has arrogated all honor and glory to itself. Christ points out man's debt of gratitude to God; the world flatters him by saying that he must thank himself for what he is and has. Christ warns man to fear Him, who can cast both body and soul into hell; the world warns him to fear the criticism and enmity of men. Christ declared that the first and greatest commandment is to love God above all things, and the next to love our neighbor as ourselves. The world says man's first duty is to get all the pleasure he can out of life, and the second never to be caught in a dis- honorable deed.

Thus the world enslaves the thoughtless and simple by its false principles, selfish motives, and deceitful rules of conduct, and ever allures the children of God to forsake the path of virtue, and enter on the broad road that leads to destruction.

Saturday, January 28, 2012



1. The Flesh.

The flesh is man's corrupt nature. As God created him man was sincere and faithful in mind, generous, constant, and fervent of will, and so devout of heart that even his sensual nature was spiritualized by it. In consequence of original sin, however, man now inclines to im- prudence, ambition, and infidelity of mind, to inconstancy and sloth of will, and to selfishness of heart to so alarming a degree that his entire lower nature rebels against the dictates of his reason and the dominion of his will.

In consequence of this corruption of human nature, man inclines to make his life on earth a time of carnal indulgence and mental dissipation, instead of regarding it as a period of probation that should be employed and sanctified by labor, sacrifice, and daily prayer. In proportion as he adopts this view he loses sight of the Christian ideal, and becomes a human animal that is more influenced by the allurements of the world than by the fear and the love of God. As such he is the slave of human respect, exposes himself heedlessly to the occasions of sin, and becomes the slave of his sensual desires. Or, if he is naturally proud, his self-love impels him to gratify his desires in striving after the honors, riches, and applause of the world. The labor and suffering that he will then cheerfully endure will be proportionate to the extent and permanence of his ambition. He may even say with Lucifer of old, '' I will ascend above the clouds, I will be like the Most High'' (Osee xiv. 13).

From this we see that the flesh is man's greatest enemy, (1) because it weighs him down to earth; (2) because it is a constant part of himself from the cradle to the grave; (3) because the world and the devil use it to lure his soul to perdition.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CHRISTIAN UNITY: Day 8 - United in the Reign of Christ

Day 8
Theme: United in the Reign of Christ
To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne (Rev 3:21)

I Chr 29:10-13
It is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all
Ps 21:1-7
You set a crown of fine gold on his head
Rev 3:19b-22
To the one who conquers I will give a place with Me on My throne
Jn 12:23-26
Whoever serves me, the Father will honour


Jesus Christ is the first born from the dead. He has humbled Himself and been exalted. Christ is not covetous of His victory, but shares His reign and exaltation with all people.

David’s hymn, born of the joy of the king and the people before the Temple was built, expresses the truth that everything happens by grace. Even an earthly monarch can be an image of the reign of God, in whose hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

The king’s psalm of thanksgiving continues this idea. Christian tradition also gives it a Messianic sense; Christ is the true King, full of blessing and life, the perfect presence of God among people. In a certain sense this image can also refer to people. Are not human beings the crowning achievement of creation? Does not God want us to become ‘co-heirs with His Son’ and ‘members of His royal household’? 

The letters in the Book of Revelation to the seven local churches constitute a message to the Church in all times and places. Those who admit Christ into their homes will all be invited to share with him in the banquet of eternal life. The promise regarding sitting on thrones, previously announced to the Twelve, is now extended to all who are victorious.

Where I am, there will my servant be also. We can link Jesus’ I am to the unutterable Name of God. The servant of Jesus, whom the Father honours, will be where his Lord is, who has sat on the right hand of the Father in order to reign. 

Christians are aware that unity among them, even if requiring human effort, is above all a gift of God. It is a share in Christ’s victory over sin, death and the evil which causes division. Our participation in Christ’s victory reaches its fullness in heaven. Our common witness to the Gospel should show the world a God who not limit or overpower us. We should announce in a way that is credible, to the people of our day and age, that Christ’s victory overcomes all that keeps us from sharing fullness of life with Him and with each other. 


Almighty God, Ruler of All, teach us to contemplate the mystery of Your glory. Grant that we may accept Your gifts with humility and respect each person's dignity. May Your Holy Spirit strengthen us for the spiritual battles which lie ahead, so that united in Christ we may reign with Him in glory. Grant this through Him who humbled Himself and was exalted, who lives with You and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.

Questions for reflection
  1. In what ways do false humility and a desire for earthly glory manifest themselves in our lives?
  2. How do we express together our faith in the Reign of Christ?
  3. How do we live out our hope in the coming Kingdom of God?