The Temptations of Christ
In the Scripture passages of Matthew and Luke, we read how the enemy of peace tempts Jesus in various ways. In summary, Jesus is tempted to create bread out of stones so he can eat, leap from a height and rely on angels to break his fall, and kneel before Satan in return for all the kingdoms of the world.
While those temptations may not be our temptations today, it would be naive to think we are spared our version of troubling and rebellious thoughts. Often we can be unaware of temptations and call our various conditions ‘bad moods’ or ’tough times'. At other times, we lack self-awareness and blame our tougher moments on someone or something outside of ourselves. We all do this. The failure to take responsibility for our thinking and thoughts leaves us in conditions we would not choose if we became more aware of life without them.
In other words, while it’s great to avoid obvious mistakes and sins, it’s not much good if we poison our relationships with the people around us and fail to bring God’s mercy to them. We can do better. Maybe Lent is a time to look honestly at how we can do better. Maybe Lent is a time to sift through unthinking habits and discard or detach from those that no longer serve and to get serious about those that do serve. We all know people who are religious who do not seem to be spiritual. And we also know people who are deeply spiritual but who lack any connection to the acquisition of greater holiness, for example, our Sacraments, our life in our Catholic Church.
Which one is a greater challenge for us? Do we need a little more religion to ground us into the acquisition of the virtues? Do we need a little less religious conversation and simply try to embody the life of Christ, using the graces in the Sacraments to bring mercy quietly to the people around us?
In the Backpack courses and culture, we try to bring our temptations and unruly thinking to the surface so that we can do the hard work to get rid of that which does not serve a peaceful life. All of our teachings will aim at bringing us closer to direct contact with God, thus, direct contact with our own condition on each day given to us by the Lord, who is the only master of time. Asking ourselves questions about our thoughts can be an act of the greatest courage because often, we will not like what we find. That’s the point. That’s the exercise. That’s the job. And here is the question:
"What are my temptations today?”
Ask the question.
Get the freedom! Team Backpack
TC Buchanan on
Thank you Kathryn for this very timely and helpful post. I am so grateful to and for you. And thank you Chris Beach for your awesome comment…. I ask Jesus every day to let my heart beat in sync with His, to let me see with His eyes, hear with His ears, think with His mind and love and forgive with His heart. But I feel like I am missing something…. Your quote from Louisa Picarretta “ think in us, pray in us, love and forgive in us, serve in us” is the missing piece! I never thought of the “pray in us” part and although being His hands, His servant on Earth was my intention I was not verbalizing the “serve in us” part. I am now! Thank you! God bless you!
Chris Beach on
Love being reminded to put everything in the hands of Christ. Our thoughts are the most powerful because they lead our words then actions. This ties in with living in the Divine Will which is from servant of God Louisa Picarretta (approved writings from the Church). Jesus asks us to let him live in us each day so that he can “think in us, pray in us, love and forgive in us, serve in us. “ With that in mind, when a negative thought enters my head , I try to remember to surrender to Him and the thought leaves. I know longer allow myself to be thinking aimlessly about anything or any ONE.
I talk to much and interrupt others instead of really listening and praying about the answer.
valerie naylor on
yes I agree with the above writing. I believe satan can place some of our unruly thought inside us as a temptation. Each morning of late I have had to battle to be in good form and serve. After praying for a while especially the rosary or attend mass or just adoration can restore my peace again. It can be a constant battle. Thank you so much for this wonderful apostolate. Love to you all.
John Henry on
Thank you, Katheryn, this is exactly what I needed in order to move forward, rather upward on my path up the mountain!
Thank you for this freebie…..I am unable to afford courses(contemplitive one is my hearts desire😇🙏) God’s graces be showered upon this his Apostleship, and Anne his locutionist\seer. Love and prayers for each and every Apostle, and every soul. Amen.
Thank you God for the gift of this Apostolate. Amen🛐🐑🕊️🔥
Katherine Paredes on
Thanks to the Contemplative Prayer Structure, I’ve been working on this question for a while now and it is amazing the freedom, the relief that comes from facing my dark thoughts and then remembering to put all my trust in God’s mercy and loving-kindness!
Susan Pilley on
I like be the phras “the only Master of time”. A really important thought as in Canada right now doctor assisted suicide is on the rise. So sad when people think choosing death is a good thing.