Reality Check

What are the “little and feeble assaults” in your life? Are there little temptations that become so common in your day-to-day activities that you no longer give them much thought?

In his, Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales creates vivid images, large and small, of temptations that bombard us daily. No one is “immune” to temptation and none of us will ever be free from being tempted. You may want to use the following as a checklist for your life.

“Wolves and bears are obviously more dangerous than flies, but they are less annoying and do not try our patience so much.

It is easy to refrain from murder, but it is difficult to refrain from little outbursts of anger for which opportunities arise at every moment.

It is easy for a man or woman to refrain from adultery, but it is not easy to refrain from amorous glances, from giving or receiving flirtatious love, from soliciting little favors, from speaking or listening to words of flattery.

It is easy to admit of no rival to the husband or wife as far as the body is concerned, but it is not easy to do so with regard to the heart.

It is not easy to be unfaithful to one another in marital love, but hard to refrain from everything that may be injurious to it.

It is very easy not to steal the goods of others, but difficult to refrain from envy and covetousness.

It is very easy not to bear false witness in a court of law, but difficult not to tell lies in conversation.

It is easy not to wish the death of another, but difficult never to wish him harm.

It is easy never to slander a man, but difficult never to despise him.

In short, little temptations to anger, suspicion, jealousy, envy, flirtation, vanity, frivolity, duplicity, affectation, deceit, unchaste thoughts – these are the trials which even the most devout and resolute must constantly face. Therefore, we have to prepare ourselves for this battle with great care and diligence. Be sure that, for all our victories over these little enemies, as many precious stones will be set in the crown of glory which God prepares for us in heaven.

Because of this, I repeat, while being ready to fight courageously against temptations when they come, we must defend ourselves well and diligently against these little and feeble assaults.”

St. Francis de Sales - Introduction to the Devout Life

Prayer should be the first step of defense against temptation and sin. There is no better prayer than the one Jesus taught us, The Lord’s Prayer.

One of the ways to pray The Lord’s Prayer is by dividing it into six sections and pausing to meditate or contemplate the theme of each section.

For example:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name

Thank God for who He is and His abundant faithfulness. Contemplate God’s many attributes and praise Him.

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven

Pray for God’s rule and reign to become a reality in our lives, city, nation, and world. Ask for God to bring miracles and salvation.

Give us this day our daily bread

Pray for God’s daily provision in your life. Take some time to verbally bring your requests before the Lord.

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who have trespassed against us

Engage in a few moments of silence to allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin. Confess those sins to the Lord.

Also, be still and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind those that have sinned against you so that you can forgive others and not allow a seed of bitterness to grow in your heart.

Lead us not into temptation

Ask for God to guide you in “paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Pray that he may give you the discernment and knowledge of His will in the decisions you make today.

Deliver us from evil.

Pray for God’s protection against any of the strategies of Satan. Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy. Ask God to be your strong tower and mighty deliverer.

(Reference: Daily Prayer app,

Blessings and peace to you as we journey together in Encountering Christ in Word, Liturgy, Charity, and Community.

A Saint Monica Sojourner

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