Have Courage on the Battle Field of Virtue vs Temptation

November 27, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 371
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Let not the duration or difficulty of the labors alarm you. God, Who calls you to combat, will give you victory.

He sees your weakness; He will support you when you falter, and He will reward you when you conquer.

Reanimate your failing courage, not by comparing the difficulties of virtue with the pleasures of vice, but by comparing the labor which precedes virtue with the trouble which surely follows vice.

Place side by side the fleeting pleasure of sin and the eternal happiness of virtue, and you will see how preferable is God’s service to the fatal repose to which sloth allures you.

Yet do not allow victory to render you indolent, for success often lulls us into a dangerous confidence.

Never abandon your arms; for your enemies never sleep, and life without temptations is as impossible as a sea of perpetual calm.

A man is usually tempted most at the beginning of a good life, for the devil has no need to tempt those who have abandoned themselves to his control.

But he is unceasing in his efforts against those who have resolved to give themselves to God.

Therefore, let him never find you unprepared, but, like a soldier in an enemy’s country, be always ready for combat.

If you are sometimes wounded, beware of throwing away your arms and surrendering in dismay.

Rather imitate those brave warriors whom the shame of defeat spurs to more heroic resistance and greater deeds of valor.

Thus you will rise from a fall with new strength. You will see the enemy to whom you formerly submitted now flying before you.

And if, as it may happen in battle, you are repeatedly wounded, do not lose heart, but remember that the valor of a soldier does not consist in escaping wounds, but in never surrendering.

We do not call a combatant defeated when he is covered with wounds, but when he loses courage and abandons the field.

And when you are wounded lose no time in applying a remedy; for one wound is more easily cured than two, and a fresh wound more quickly than one that has been inflamed by neglect.

Do not be satisfied with resisting temptation, but gather from it greater incentives to virtue, and with the assistance of God’s grace you will reap profit rather than harm from the attacks of the enemy.

If you are tempted to gluttony or sensuality, retrench something from your usual repasts, even though they in no way exceed the limits of sobriety, and give yourself with more fervor to fasting and other practices of devotion.

If you are assailed by avarice, increase the amount of your alms and the number of your good works.

If you feel the promptings of vain-glory, lose no opportunity of accepting humiliations.

Then, perhaps, the devil may fear to tempt you, seeing that you convert his snares into occasions of virtue, and that he only affords you opportunities of greater good.

Above all things fly idleness. Even in your hours of relaxation do not be wholly unoccupied.

And, on the other hand, do not be so absorbed in your labors that you cannot from time to time raise your heart to God and treat with Him in prayer.

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