"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The devil made them do it ...

Jan Saenredam

Oh no he di'n't.

Today's reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel is excellent catechesis on temptation and lust.

Especially for those who 'struggle' with these types of sins - yet maintain a 'relationship' with the sources of 'their' temptation.  Although we know, as St. James said:  "each man is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire."  Lust.

The story of Susanna is all about that which is obviously very commonplace today. Sex-lies-social media: Lust, voyeurism-porn, soft-porn or 'Beefcake', covetousness, infidelity, hypocrisy, lies. How seductive is grace and beauty, vain rejoicing in natural goods.

The men lusting after Susanna were old, respected elders and judges, reputed to be religious. Their story helps to understand the 'stages' of temptation and sins of the flesh ...
They suppressed their consciences;
they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
and did not keep in mind just judgments. - Daniel 13
Religious men sometimes can do this quite easily.  Even if they are faithful to their religious obligations.  Say their Office, say their prayers, keeping up appearances, and so on.

The old guys - the judges in the story, suppressed their consciences - they wouldn't look to heaven, that is - they performed their prayers - perhaps - but they did not truly pray.  They did not pray in the midst of temptation - and no fear of just judgment for sin could deter them from following their lust. As the Prophet Daniel exclaimed: beauty has seduced you, lust has subverted your conscience.

That is exactly how we fall into sin - young men and old.

Gay Catholics would do well to consider this.  Especially when they flirt with temptation, occasions of sin, and most definitely sexually open-ended same sex relationships in intimate, exclusive friendship, and so on.

Today's meditation in Magnificat from Ven. Louis of Granada is also very helpful in understanding the 'treacherous vice' of lust ...
This treacherous vice begins in pleasure, but ends in and abyss of bitterness and remorse ... The more you indulge in these infamous gratifications, the more insatiable will be your desire for them, the less they will satisfy you.  It is the nature of these pleasures to excite the appetite rather than appease it ... - Ven. Louis of Granada

 ...each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 
- James 1:14

1 comment:

  1. BTW - the gif is James Franco kissing himself in the mirror - it's not two men kissing.


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