“Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee.”
Today is the Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel. He is the heavenly physician, and he wants to help. The temptations aren’t going away. They need to be used as a tool to advance in holiness.
O God, who sent the blessed Archangel Raphael to accompany Your servant Tobias on his journey, grant that we, Your servants, may also be guarded by him always and strengthened by his assistance.
LESSON Tob. 12:7-15
In those days, the angel Raphael said to Tobias: “For it is good to hide the secret of a king: to reveal and confess the works of God. Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold. For alms delivereth from death, and the same is that which purgeth away sins, and maketh to find mercy and life everlasting. But they that commit sin and iniquity, are enemies to their own soul. I discover then the truth unto you, and I will not hide the secret from you.
“When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son’s wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.”
GRADUAL Tob. 8:3; pS. 146:5
Raphael, the angel of the Lord, took the devil and bound him.
V. Great is our Lord, and great His power!
The following text is attributed to a Fr. Sálesman:
So powerful and terrible are the enemies of our purity, that when they fight us, all the lights of our spirit are extinguished, and we forget all the meditations and holy resolutions that we had made, and it does not seem, but that in those moments we despise the great truths of faith, and we lose the fear of divine punishment. And it is that impure temptations feel supported by the strong inclination that the body feels towards sensual pleasures. Whoever does not turn to the Lord with humble and trusting prayer in those moments is lost. It is necessary to convince ourselves that no one will be able to overcome the impure temptations of the flesh, if he does not entrust himself to the Lord many times, but especially at the moment of temptation.
And those temptations will not go away while we are on earth. God wants to save us, but he wants us to be saved as overcomers. That is why all our lives we will be at war against our passions, and only those who have fought bravely will receive the crown of triumph. (Saint Alphonsus Maria). The temptation will be tenacious (very difficult to push away) and alive and aggressive, even violent. That is why each one must prepare to resist it, and this throughout life until old age. If we seek perfection, we must prepare ourselves to resist temptation, which is why St. Paul says: “Faithful is God who will not allow temptations beyond our strength to come. And by allowing temptations to come to us, it will also provide us with the way to be able to resist and overcome them” 1 Cor. 10;13
Achieving purity is not a made reality that someone can preserve without struggle and without danger… it is a work in progress. It demands never making peace with our defects, neither with passions nor with sensual attractions. Maintaining purity demands a response of fidelity every day because every day we have the possibility of betraying Christ by sinning, but also every day we have the possibility of showing him our fidelity by rejecting impure temptations. Winning in the fight for chastity is one of the greatest demonstrations of love for Our Lord.